I am going to start with a disclaimer. I love Annabeth Albert’s stories … I enjoy her Portland Heat series and her contribution to this year’s Goodreads M/M Romance “Don’t Read in the Closet” event, Waiting for Clark, is simply one of my favorites and an almost perfect read. So when I saw that she was releasing a full-length novel, and then the book was available in Netgalley, I didn’t think twice. I just requested right away (and was lucky to be approved).
Albert’s writing was good and attainable; I had no problems with it it all. Then there was Cody, one of the main narrators. While he sometimes showed a Diva-esque behavior as he thought of himself as the best and lead singer of Embellish, Cody ended up being quite endearing for me. Cody’s background struggle with his family, his determination to make it on this business, alongside the judgments and sneer from others because of his Goth/Twink/Rainbow/Man-Whore attitude made Cody much rounded character. Yes, Cody pushes Lucas with his flirt and his arguments, but it brought different dimensions of him, and I’m SUCH a sucker for that complexity.
Unfortunately, this book failed me in other levels. It might also had something to do with expectations, and this one didn’t give me what I wanted. Thus, my lack of enjoyment during and after finishing the read. First off, it felt too long. Cody and Lucas going hot and cold for more than 200 pages challenged my patience. Especially when the drama felt childish — then again, these were 20’s years old men, so maybe that was why it was difficult for me to connect? — Seriously, it felt dragging, and I found myself skimming the 1/3rd of the book or so.
Then, we also had the sex content over the story. Okay, so this MAY be just my issue, all right? I don’t see many M/M readers having problem with it. I guess I was expecting the emphasis to be combination of the competitions, how the group was going each week, while having the romance in between. I felt that the competition was pushed WAY back, whereas the parts that related to the competition was actually some of my favorites: like Cody taught Lucas how to dance, how the choreograph the dance, heck, even how they chose the song to sing. Instead this felt like a repetitive sex-lessons for a gay virgin hero, which didn’t work for me at all. I couldn’t care less for the mutual jerk-off sessions, or the push-and-pull about doing it in the bedroom, etc. I wanted the romance and I didn’t get it.
Oh, and everything related to the “conservative way = bad” and “free to do what you want = good” was also not a favorite theme of mine *shrugs*
Bottom line, this is not my favorite from Albert. As always, reading is a personal experience, and I might come to this with different set of perceptions and preferences. I can see this being a favorite for those who love their new adult boys, and their angst. It’s simply not mine.
The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.
Title: Treble Maker (Perfect Harmony, #1)
Author: Annabeth Albert
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance / New Adult
Word Count: 102,403
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Release Date: August 4, 2015