The book is listed as out of print on GR. Considering it was just published recently a few months ago, I’m not sure why. Perhaps there’s some scandal I don’t know about but in case it’s just something random or benign, here’s what I thought about it. N. Woods is a new author to me and I choose this novella due to shorter length, new author, and a seemingly fun premise. I like the offbeat vibe of the story but I never connected to the characters or their romance. They seem nice but the problems brought up are way too easily solved and the couple doesn’t really become a couple until they have sex at the end of the story. I took a break around the halfway mark and it took me almost a week to want to finish the novella, despite the easy reading.
Isaac is a bartender at a bar that Caleb frequents on Friday nights. After two months of watching Caleb every week, Isaac finally gets up the nerve to hit on him. However, Caleb runs off shortly. Eventually the two have a first date, which ends in Caleb having an epileptic seizure. Despite his fear, Isaac is determined not to let that get in the way of their budding romance. Caleb isn’t so sure it’s that easy.
The premise is familiar with Isaac an aggressive pursuer that lets nothing stand in his way while Caleb is hesitant, this time due to his medical condition. Isaac must convince Caleb that he’s worthwhile and his epilepsy isn’t an issue. I found the story predictable and quaint but not necessarily bad. It’s a little staid and boring but I liked the unusual use of epilepsy. While it was used nicely in the story, I also thought it was a little too easily solved. Isaac learns everything he needs to know from watching you-tube videos. I’m sure it’s a helpful tool but I found it hard to believe he didn’t actually seek some professional guidance. I also found his support of Caleb touching but also slightly overwhelming and overbearing.
Isaac came across as too flat and easy for me. He’s tenacious in going after Caleb because he thinks Caleb is cute but there didn’t seem to be a strong connection between the men. It takes 150 pages (out of 180) for the two men to finally sleep together and at that point, very little romantic interaction had happened. The two seemed to fall in love because they were having good sex. I never felt any real spark between Caleb and Isaac. It’s almost as if Isaac didn’t want to be alone and Caleb thought no one would ever want him – so why not be together.
The writing is easy to read but it had small problems that serve to agitate me. For example Isaac had the nickname Neo, cute and a funny reference, but it never had much of a memorable impact. The nickname is used so infrequently I forgot about it easily. Also Isaac called his dick “Isaac Junior” which never failed to irritate me. It made me think of Isaac as an immature teen just learning what his equipment could do. There is surprisingly little dialogue as Isaac, the narrator, would prefer to tell about the events in his thoughts and explain everything to the reader. I got tired of this and it bored me sadly.
Although this author is new to me, the style definitely doesn’t appeal or suit me as a reader. The book is ok, not great, but not terrible either. I found it bland and inoffensive and I forgot the characters almost immediately after finishing. I wouldn’t recommend it as I know there are much better offerings out there.