Shy and self-conscious Derek has spent two years of his life losing a hefty amount of weight and is about to enter graduate school to become a certified architect. Now he’s determined to find love, so he places an Internet ad in search of a boyfriend. Gerry, a confident, self-made man with his own landscaping business, falls head over heels for Derek as soon as they meet.
While Derek’s waiting for Gerry to find something wrong with him and call the whole thing off, Gerry is hiding something from Derek, afraid of what the consequences may be when and if it’s discovered. Only when they find the courage to confide in one another can they commit to love.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Sweet Surrender is a cute, engaging story that reads pretty quickly with a strong happy ending. The best way to describe this story is an easy, enjoyable fluff piece of romance with some realistic characters and issues. There isn’t a lot of action and sometimes the internal musings and cautious behavior goes on for too long but this helps give a more authentic feeling to the relationship. This particular offering feels like reading about two real men that fall in love but have concerns about family, school, work, finances, and more emotional issues such as self esteem and body weight issues. In a sea of perfection, the honestly flawed but good men in Sweet Surrender may appeal to readers.
The story follows Derek as he meets and starts dating Gerry. They met on an internet dating site and both are looking for a relationship rather than a hookup. Gerry realizes Derek has some body issues and decides to take things slow between them to build a friendship foundation first. Soon the two are ready to move on and even fall in love, but not everything is easy. Gerry must deal with his beloved mother who is very religious and doesn’t understand or agree with homosexuality but loves her son very much. Derek must balance work, school, and a new relationship.
The flow is pretty good with a solid, quick pace that makes the story go by pretty easily. The action is mostly character driven with Gerry and Derek meeting, falling in love, and making their relationship work. Surprisingly there is a very low level of angst and some realistic fighting. Both men felt honest and real as they struggle with everyday issues and although this is a romance novel, they don’t fall into the whirlwind courtship and instant love trap. Instead they gradually build a relationship together that is tested and holds strong. There are a few contrived scenes such as Brendan’s insistence on the two moving in together and the health scare towards the end, but these are minor annoyances if anything.
Gerry and Derek are well crafted and shown through alternating third person perspective. Derek starts out pretty insecure with his body as he was once very overweight and has worked hard to lose weight. He still suffers from the same problems and insecurities he had when he was overweight and needs a lot of reassurance from Gerry. Slowly Derek matures and gains more confidence. Part of this is clearly Gerry’s influence but Derek is also only 22 and still has some maturing to do. On the other side Gerry is 30 and he struggles with being the sole person responsible for a busy, time consuming landscaping business and helping his mother. Gerry’s struggles are different from Derek but still engaging as he also has relatable problems. Every relationship is tested by money, work, family, and time constraints so it’s nice to see those issues offered here in a muted way that shows their impact while still depicting a strong couple.
Sweet Surrender offers an honest look at men that are cautious when beginning a relationship and want to take things slow. They don’t want to move in and get married immediately but are open and careful about their progress forward. The men are also not perfect but they love each other and try hard to be together. If you’re looking for a perfect easy spring read about some likable and authentic men and the realistic problems their relationship faces, check this out.
Get it HERE!