Life, Over Easy by K.A. Mitchell
Watch that first step. It could turn your life upside down.
Until a fall ended his Olympic diving career, John Andrews lived for the seconds he spent in the air. Now he’s adrift on a college campus, grounded by paralyzing vertigo and double vision. Worse, he sees shimmering colors over everyone’s heads.
The last is hardest to ignore, and impossible when it comes to Mason. While sex with the hot, moody computer major gives John a rush as heady as diving, Mason’s the only person John’s ever seen surrounded by two distinct colors.
Mason feels like a stranger in his own life. His lover is dead, and he drowns his guilt in bourbon and sex—until John’s innocence reawakens the man he used to be. After Mason gives the young virgin a proper introduction to sex, he plans to send him on his way. But John sees too much to make things that easy.
For John, their connection is more than just sizzling sex, it’s something worth fighting for. The more he learns about the colors, though, the more he realizes the free-spirited Mason isn’t free at all. John doesn’t take second place to anyone—even the dead.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
K.A. Mitchell fans are likely to really love this offering. It has the great sex she’s known for, solid characters, good tension, and enough of a happy ending that readers will be excited for the next book in the series. The concept of John’s new found ability is interesting and different without stretching the bounds of imagination too much. Skeptics who don’t believe in psychics, ghosts, or auras can still buy into the story with just a touch of suspended disbelief. The great writing makes the idea come alive and feel honest, instead of hokey or contrived. Also this is clearly a contemporary story with some paranormal elements.
John is a twenty-one year old freshman struggling to find his footing. Once an Olympic diver, a tragic accident has derailed his life. He can no longer dive as he deals with paralyzing vertigo and sees sounds as colors. Not to mention the slight quirk of reading people’s auras. But John doesn’t want any of this “crap” in his life. He’d be happy if the colors disappeared forever and his encounter with the hot, troubled Mason leads to more frustration, confusion, and unbelievable sex. With Mason dealing with his own struggles to move past the death of his partner, John alternately sparks and fights with the arrogant, rude, and smoking hot man. Now if only they can get on the same frequency.
The story is character driven and really hits all the great high points that fans have come to love about the author. The writing is good with some great back and forth banter. The smooth, crisp prose is easy to read and creates a fast, enjoyable pace. The contemporary setting is offset with just a touch of the paranormal. This is the aspect of Mason’s dead partner, Alex, hanging around as a ghost and John’s ability to read auras. He reads auras in single colors but they give John information about how a person is feeling. For example the colors may sharpen and shrink if a person is angry or upset.
Although I’m not a particular believer in the ideas presented, the story incorporates the aspects so well that it doesn’t take much suspended disbelief to go with the concepts. They’re presented well and are essential to both Mason and John so the ideas feel real and important versus being an easy contrived idea to prolong tension. The painful price John pays is a good balance to the insider information, although John’s abilities go too far when he can subtly nudge people’s actions. This is a minor qualm and one that I just wished the story hadn’t gone that far but not enough to really detract from the enjoyment.
The characters are well crafted and really have bite. John and Mason spark off each other for a lot of hot sex scenes, I think there are 3 within the first 50 pages, so the author’s great style and heat come through right away. The chemistry is delightful between these two and when they transition to rude, snappy comments they’re just as entertaining. The push/pull angle of their relationship works well and keeps the tension in the story as there is real doubt if either of these men can get over their own issues enough to be together. This also gives the story a light angst feel but very light. Considering the heavy work the author is capable of, readers can feel confident that this offering is definitely low angst.
Overall "Life, Over Easy" is a really good first installment. It has a happy for now ending, no doubt simply due to the first book in the series. The cast of characters introduced are fun and well rounded with no obvious villains and perfect people. Everyone is nicely nuanced and lends a full feeling to a story that is engaging and interesting. There are some minor issues that kept me from loving this one, such as some scenes lagged and the back/forth tension went on slightly too long, but I doubt many readers will be too bothered by this. Instead pick this up as another solid romance offering from an author with a great backlist.
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2 thoughts on “Life, Over Easy (Fragments, #1) by K.A. Mitchell”
Great review, Kassa. I have this and I’m really looking forward to reading it now after reading the reviews from you and Wave. The aura/synesthesia thing sounds fascinating.
I think you’ll enjoy it. It’s a bit over the top but the story uses the concepts pretty well.