Novel: Ex-Boyfriend Material
Author: Sean Ashcroft
Part of Book Series: Standalone
Summary: Alex is smart, charming, and attractive. Good at approaching people and getting them to sleep with him, his talents fall down when it comes to maintaining a relationship. His last boyfriend left him with a broken heart and without half the rent, so now he needs a new roommate. This time, he wants someone mature, sensible, and not even a little bit attractive to him.
What he gets is Liam–funny, gorgeous, and surprisingly put-together for a man who doesn’t own a single shirt without a stain on it and has an incurable oral fixation.
After months of feeling as though he can never move on while he lives in London, America is Liam’s fresh start. His breakup with his girlfriend left him heartbroken, and home only reminds him of everything he’s lost. With a twelve-month contract on offer, the chance to take a break is too good to pass up. All he needs now is a roommate, since his company-organised apartment has fallen through.
He runs across Alex’s Craigslist posting and thinks the other man seems perfect–little does he know that his new roommate is also nursing a broken heart, and coping with it by sleeping his way through the entire population of New York.
Both of them know the dangers of getting into a relationship with their roommates. Alex spent months stuck in a relationship that made him increasingly unhappy, Liam had to move away from his home to give himself a chance to heal.
They seem to soften each other’s rough edges, fill the gaps in each other’s lives. But love is risky, and their hearts are fragile–can they learn to trust one another and take the chance to have a home in each other’s arms? Or will their pasts and their fears get in the way of their happiness?
Post’s Author Opinion:
Note: This is a personal opinion, it does not reflect YaoiOtaku’s official position towards the novel.
Ignoring the cover (there isn’t another one, otherwise I would have used it) this novel is… Actually, no, don’t ignore the cover, this novel is exactly what you’d expect seeing the cover. Reading this was like eating a slice of stale bread that has at least two ingredients missing.
The premise of the novel is promising. Nothing we haven’t seen before, but it still has potential. Good part is that there was no weird unexpected development that made Liam and Alex live together and it wasn’t like a dozen other novels where they hate their guts. On the contrary, since they first laid eyes on each other they could clearly tell that the other was attractive. The bad part is that except from the author telling us this, there was nothing else to indicate any kind of attraction. They are just plain, bland roommates.
Moving forward, this novel reads easy, but it’s linear. There are no ups and downs, no excitement, no anxiety, no wondering what’s happening next, nothing. I couldn’t feel any emotion while reading it, it was that bad. (I really dislike writing this kind of reviews because I’m sure someone worked hard for this, but it’s just bad.)
There are all kinds of side characters waltzing in and out, their whole purpose being to tell us that Liam and Alex are attracted to each other. More than attracted, they are in love and every stranger they come in contact with, every coworker and their pets know this except themselves.
For nearly 100 pages Liam and Alex are just rommates. Alex likes casual sex, Liam is kind enough to kick out Alex’s one night stands, in the process chatting with them and them telling him how in love Alex and Liam are, all the while they both don’t believe it.
They finally come to the realization themselves, but how, I couldn’t tell. I literally know nothing about these characters except for what the author tells us. I don’t know what motivates them, I don’t know what makes them react the way they do, I don’t feel what they claim to be feeling, I only know what happens while it happens as they both seem to explain what they say while they say it, like there is no thought process whatsoever and words just pop out of their mouths all of a sudden. There is no depth, no character development and no emotion.
We know that Alex had a past relationship, we are told it went bad, but we don’t know why it went bad. It’s clear that his relationship was used as a means to make Liam approach Alex at some point, as if that was even needed (in my opinion that’s a bit of lazy writing, but don’t mind me) and while Alex fully realizes his feeling for Liam and accepts them, no internal battle going on, somehow he’s the one having troubles coming on to him and being honest. While he clearly knows he loves Liam, for some reason he can’t admit it. That makes no sense.
Liam too has a past relationship, but while his relationship isn’t there as a plot device, it’s there only to put him on equal ground with Alex. Something like oh, so sad, they are both hurt and need each other and, in his case, to tell us that Liam is not a virgin.
There are some explicit scenes in the novel too, and for the first time ever (
I’m all about those dirty scenes) I didn’t even felt like reading it. Nothing registered, they were just words, nothing more. I wasn’t even disappointed, I fully expected it.
The worse part is that there is potential, this novel could have been so funny and touching. For instance I really liked how it was clear Liam had a British accent and Alex an American one. There was no effort to reading their lines with the right accent, it came naturally, so I know this could have been better. Does this mean I am going to read something else by this author? No, absolutely not. Actually, do yourselves a favour and skip this one, there are way better novels out there.
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