Ryan’s relationship-phobic, preferring to live his life from one anonymous hook-up to the next. He never remembers a name, and he never goes back for more. But then he meets Jayden, the one-off who won’t get out of his head, his life — or, indeed, his bed. Ryan remains in a denial, however; he has no place in his life for emotion or feelings, despite how much difficulty he finds in keeping away from the gorgeous, confident Jayden.
It’s not until Jayden gets a boyfriend, bringing their non-relationship to a sudden end, that Ryan thinks he might have been feeling something all along. Feeling a lot, actually, but it’s too late. Jayden’s happy with his new man, and Ryan shouldn’t want to get in the way of that — but he’s selfish, and he’s had an epiphany, and maybe the only way to get Jayden back is to reveal more of himself than he knows how to handle. But is it enough for Jayden to take a risk on a man who, by his own admission, has no idea how to love?
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Resistance is an angst filled emotional ride but worthwhile and fun to read. The story is third person present tense, which is not always a popular choice. The writing is good enough and the characters interesting enough to overcome this for me and the flow eventually settles into a nice pace that keeps the action moving along. There is a lot of navel grazing, woe is me internal whining but this is always offset by characters that are level headed, intelligent, and sympathetic. Overall an engrossing and entertaining read if you don’t mind the present tense choice.
The story revolves around phobic Ryan. Due to his past, he’s terrified of falling in love and relationships so he keeps to a series of one night stands. When he meets Jayden, they have an explosive night of sex which leaves Ryan strangely wanting more. Jayden is not giving up on Ryan that easily and his subtle campaign throws Ryan into a tailspin. Ryan may want more but he’s too scared and keeps running away. There’s only so much Jayden will put up with so Ryan’s friends are determined to get Ryan over his commitment issues.
Although present tense is not a favorite of mine, after the initial awkwardness, the story really picks up and I didn’t notice. The writing is pretty solid with good descriptions and interesting characters. The main character of Ryan is the one with the most issues and spends considerable time whining in his own mind. He’s completely commitment phobic and struggles with a push and pull reaction to Jayden. He’s extremely attracted to Jayden but he’s afraid of what that means and refuses to take a chance. He can be frustrating for readers as he has a truck full of issues that constantly crop up. He clings to his friends in rather dysfunctional ways and rarely takes responsibility for his actions.
Yet the flip side to this is that the cadre of friends and Jayden himself all present a good counterpoint. Ryan’s best friends – Freddie and Olivia – are sympathetic and caring to Ryan but not afraid to call him on his antics. This is a nice addition since they often reflect what I was thinking of Ryan’s actions. The fact that others saw his behavior and tried to help in both shocking and caring ways helps alleviate the frustration I got while watching Ryan sabotage himself over and over. Jayden is a nicely well rounded character who is willing to fight for Ryan but he has his own breaking points. He takes some of Ryan’s behavior but draws a line and doesn’t forgive so easily. Jayden wants a partner and he’s willing to deal with some of Ryan’s issues but wants Ryan to grow up as well. The mixture feels honest and keeps a good balance to Ryan’s angst and internal musing.
Since the initial attraction between the two men is hot sex, there is a high erotic factor included. That’s not bad though as the sex scenes are steamy, enticing, and fun to read. They’re evocative of course but always seem to add another element to the story or characters. Sex is a big motivator for Ryan so the fact that he’s so into Jayden is initially through sex and eventually through emotion. This also is a good choice because it breaks up Ryan’s roller coaster of emotions. Ryan goes through a wide range of emotions from fear, anger, and bitterness to caring, hopeful, loving. He really changes and grows over the course of the story so this makes the angst and self indulgent behavior worthwhile.
For a short novel, Resistance packs a lot into it and ultimately delivers a very enjoyable read. The quick banter and Jayden’s wit especially makes for fun dialogue. All of the characters from the secondary female friends to Jayden and Ryan are an entertaining cast, which makes the story very engrossing. You’ll pick this up and not put it down until you’re done.
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