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Review – Nothing Ventured by Jay Northcote

Review: Nothing Ventured by Jay Northcote

Publisher: Dreamspinner
Publish Date: November 12, 2014
Reviewed by: Heller
How I got this book: E-Arc from Publisher

23380439“When Aiden agrees to run the Mad Mucker—a twelve-mile muddy slog over an obstacle course—he’s expecting it to be a bit of a laugh. The training will be tough, but Aiden could use the motivation to regain some fitness. Matt is the sexy cousin of one of Aiden’s coworkers and a last-minute addition to the team. When he agrees to train with Aiden, Aiden suddenly finds the prospect of regular workouts a lot more appealing.

Soon attraction flares, and they embark on an intense physical relationship. Matt doesn’t want to fall in love with a man, and Aiden doesn’t want to fall in love at all, but despite their insistence on no strings, they grow closer. As the day of the race approaches, time is running out for them to work out how they feel about each other.”

This had an interesting set-up. The men, Aiden and Matt, are pushed into being training partners for an upcoming obstacle race. Aiden was persuaded through a friend at work to sign up on the office team and Matt, who works at a gym, is that same friend’s cousin. This got off to a rough start for me. I found Matt cold and Aiden a bit douchey. It takes a while for the guys to warm up to each other and as they did I found myself enjoying the story more but with reservations. There was a tenseness to their interactions which fell firmly on the workout buddies with benefits. Aiden also has a similar relationship going with a old boyfriend from school, Pete, for part of the read as well.

It’s all very casual, casual until it isn’t anymore. Things start to move into a more intense zone and that scares off Matt which upsets Aiden. It’s all very Alpha male bristling to the point where I wanted to knock their heads together. Any hint of vulnerability had them both shying at the gate.

After all the intense backing off the men engaged in I found that things wrapped up a bit too easily during the race, still it was nice to see it all work out so handily. The epilogue was both fun and pushed the relationship forward to a point where I could see it working out well into the future. All in all this was a decent read with an interesting premise. I found the characters and their relationship a bit too stiff and awkward at first but I grew to enjoy their slightly tense interactions which were balanced out with a few light-hearted and sweet moments.

I’m giving “Nothing Ventured” a C+

By Heller

In the United Nations of Book Pushers I represent the Canadian contingent. I've known Has, Lou, E and Minn for a few years now and I've discovered many a new author from them for which I will be forever grateful. New to me often translates to "Where has this book been all my life?" and leads to endless re-reads.

The majority of my childhood was spent with my nose in a book (not that it's any different now) and I always carried at least one with me wherever I went no matter whatever trouble I was up to. My e-reader is something I could never give up now, despite my initial resistance to it. I love my books but carrying around a library in a small electronic device is a thrill that never gets old.

I read anything and everything that strikes my fancy: Regency, Retro-Romance, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Urban Fantasy, Post-Apoc...the list is pretty much endless. I tend to cycle through interests so it really just depends on my mood at the time. I would say that right now M/M books have me firmly in their grasp and they've been the majority of my reads for the past couple of years. I think there's nothing better than headjacking into a story and characters created by an author, I'm always up for a ride to a place I've never been before.

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