Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Release Blitz: Helix by Anna Martin (Review+Giveaway)

Length: 61,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press


When high school student James has trouble with his truck, Dylan, who is studying to be a mechanic, comes to the rescue. James thinks he hides his immediate attraction well, but is happy to be wrong when Dylan asks for his number. Since James is new to romance, they take things slowly, and because Dylan is in college, James keeps the budding relationship secret from his overprotective dad.

Across town, Mark, a teacher and single father to James and his sister, Frankie, meets Steve at a bar for what both believe will be a quick hookup. Mark doesn’t see any reason to tell his kids about Steve or press Steve for details about Steve’s adopted son…. It’s just sex between them. Isn’t it?

Two very different love stories grow side by side, each hidden from the other. But all of that changes at a family barbecue, when Mark decides it’s time for his kids to meet Steve and for him to meet James’s boyfriend, who none of them realize is Steve’s son, Dylan. The inevitable explosion means the two couples have some explaining to do to soothe the hurt feelings of their families—and lovers.

4 Stars!

This isn't exactly a book of two halves, but I bet readers will be rooting for one pair!

I had a firm fave pairing when reading this book, and I suspect that pretty much all readers will. It's a decent read that probably could happen IRL, in a small enough community, and I liked how the tale ended. It ended as I suspected it would, and I do think the guys are in it for the long term, both pairings, though very differently.

I wondered if there'd be tension and/or weirdness in the tale, but there wasn't, as the dads don't find out about their kids dating until the tale is almost finished, by which time both pairings had settled into a relationship that suited them. I really liked how sweet and romantic James and Dylan were, but the dads' pairing didn't work for me. I thought the dads weren't after anything more than a cert hook-up as and when it suited them, so they didn't have to go out and find anyone when the urge took. I didn't see love or lust, but a sort-of liking for each other and 'getting off' sex, if that makes sense. In contrast, the kids were so sweet together, not that Dylan or James were really kids, being 21yo and 18yo respectively.

To me, it felt like the dads' thing was an add-on, not my kind of relationship-building and not my idea of romance. Yes, they were 39yo and 45yo, but still, I hoped for the whole hearts and unicorns thing, which I didn't get. Don't get me wrong, there were feelings between these guys but those didn't come off the page, didn't have me rooting for them and tbh, had the guys not been having a thing, I wouldn't have missed them. I thought Dylan and his dad, Steve, had a pretty grown-up, decent relationship, but James's dad, Mark, especially as a teacher, seemed kind of OTT and a bit out of touch with his kid. I did wonder, as did Steve, if Mark wasn't a bit prejudiced against Dylan for more than the age gap between the kids, but I don't think that was the case. I think Mark imagined a totally worst-case scenario - utterly unjustified - and kind of went off his trolley, upsetting Dylan, Steve, James and also Frankie, James's twin. But, Mark ended up eating humble pie about 3 times, so yeah, that sort of eventually made him OK in my book, pun intended.

I really liked the ending for James and Dylan. I loved that James got his teaching degree for infants' school, as we Brits call it, and that Dylan had been saving for their future during this time. I really did think that they were in it for life, for all the right reasons, and that they were really sweet and romantic together. I wasn't at all surprised or upset at where the dads were, as I hadn't gelled with either, and, they were where they wanted to be.

ARC courtesy of Dreamspinner Press and Bayou Book Junkie, for my reading pleasure.

Author Bio

Anna Martin is from a picturesque seaside village in the southwest of England and now lives in the Bristol, a city that embraces her love for the arts. After spending most of her childhood making up stories, she studied English literature at university before attempting to turn her hand as a professional writer.

Apart from being physically dependent on her laptop, Anna is enthusiastic about writing and producing local grassroots theater (especially at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she can be found every summer), going to visit friends in other countries, and reading anything thatís put under her nose.

Anna claims her entire career is due to the love, support, prereading, and creative ass kicking provided by her best friend Jennifer. Jennifer refuses to accept responsibility for anything Anna has written.


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