Two novellas (and one short story published under different name) in — and I can safely say that I think Aidan Wayne’s writing and story fit my reading preference to the T. Because I see how Wayne focuses on characters and connections when telling about the relationship, and not just sexual relationship for the sake of steam alone.
I found Counterbalance to be fulfilling my need of reading romance where the characters interact in more than just the bedroom. Where it started as friendship and not as lust. I loved how Bao befriended John, that he kept coming back to talk to John, to bring him lunch, to ask John to go out and had fun. This story was written solely from John’s perspective but I easily thought both characters to be written quite well.
I loved that John was confused with Bao’s attention, and he didn’t know how to do with it. I didn’t miss Bao’s perspective at all because I thought it was more of an interesting ride to take alongside John. I loved finding out Bao’s reason to approach John in the first place as well as his determination to keep looking for John. With John’s scars — which made people nicknamed him as Phantom — it was easy to think that was the reason why he stood out for Bao. I was so happy that Bao proved my initial judgment wrong; and that it was a sweet reason, one that I didn’t think before.
Yes, Bao might be a little too perfect … this optimistic, cheerful, positive character that is like a sunshine on rainy days. But hey, I thought we need this kind of characters in our fiction too. Bao made John happy and I approved of that.
Oh , and I LOVED Wayne’s character occupations!! In Loud and Clear, we have cab driver. In here, we get a head rigger for Cirque and an acrobat. I would love to read more of Bao doing his moves!!
The only complaint that I have this time was the flow of the story was a little disrupted approaching the end. ** SPOILERS ** When Bao was injured and then having to take a break to rest, I kind of felt that it broke the rhythm that seemed to be approaching climax when Bao and John had their first kiss **END SPOILERS** . It bothered me slightly.
Anyway, I can’t wait to read more stories coming from Aidan Wayne. Hopefully, next time will be more than just novella length.
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.
Author: Aidan Wayne
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance / Novella
Word Count: 21,500 words
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: September 12, 2016