Give Way

Give Way 
Author: Valentine Wheeler 
Publisher: NineStar Press 
Release Date: January 4, 2021 
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance 
Page Count: 112 
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 

This is the author's second book, set in the fictional community of Swanley, Massachusetts, which is a culturally diverse small town with a strong LGBTQ community.  Her first book, "No Parking" has the same setting and is a mature adult romance between two female characters.

Kevin McNamara, 60-year-old silver fox,  meets substitute 45-year-old mail carrier, Awais, and very quickly realizes that he is bisexual and the two men share a steamy night of passion.  But afterwards, the doubt starts and Kevin convinces himself  he cannot see Awais again.  But never fear, we do eventually get a fairly low-angst HEA. 

While I apreciate that the MCs are mature, they each spent a lot of time parsing those numbers, as in (and I'm paraphrasing here) "I'm 20 years older than him (umm, no)" or "He's my son's age" (again, no). Awais mentions being "almost 50" a few times, again not quite true. It seems as if every interaction between town characters also references a time frame - lots of "boy, thirty years ago, we did this or that" or "I knew them for 20 years" etc.  Maybe it was just me, but it seems a bit excessive.

Part of the charm of this story is getting a sense of the community and its residents, and while the author deftly weaves together the fabric of Swanley, be prepared for a lot of characters, and a lot of very brief character backgrounds. This novella weighs in at 112 pages. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of page time left for Kevin and Amais' budding relationship and while the author does a stellar job on the sex scenes, I wanted more time to get to know the characters, and for their relationship to deepen and grow a bit within the confines of this book. 

In the context of the whole series (I'm assuming the author will further develop the back stories of all those interesting characters), I'm sure we'll get more glimpses of Kevin and Amais' life together, but for now, "Give Way" is an interesting story that feels a bit too hurried and a bit too heavy on details.  

3.5 stars and I will look forward to reading another book in this series. 

I received an ARC from the Publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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