Going Up by Amy Lane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Lately I haven’t been in the mood for m/m books but I chose this because it’s Amy Lane, usually a sure fire hit for me. It was a cute, sweet enough story but kind of boring. I find Lane’s greatest books come with heaping amounts of angst. When she tries to do sweet or light, it never hits the mark for me unfortunately. This is a novella so it was quick to read and innocuous but I forgot it almost while I was reading it and never really engaged in the story. The meet-cute was sweet but it lingered in nowhere for too long and then I never really bought into the chemistry between the two men. I’d probably recommend it for someone that likes very sweet renditions of fairytales.
Zach is a lonely rich boy. He grew up with extremely wealthy, politically ambitious parents who therefore didn’t have much time and affection for him. He followed their dictates and went to law school, all the while hiding his sexuality. When Zach meets school teacher Sean in the elevator of their apartment building, Zach finally realizes that he’s found someone worth coming out for. Only then he has to also figure out how to get more than 30 seconds with Sean at a time.
The premise is pretty cute I have to say. I did enjoy the concept of meeting someone in the elevator that you find attractive but not having time to really pursue that. Their brief conversations, punctuated by the DING! of the elevator floors was a nice affectation that made me smile each time I read it. The two men lead pretty busy lives with their work so long periods of time go by with very little interaction. Here is where I think the story keeps them apart for too long. It’s only at the very end do they actually spend time together outside of the elevator and at that point, they pretty much fall in love and move in together immediately. I will give the writing credit for doing everything it could to make this believable but I struggled with it due to the lack of chemistry between the two men.
Here is where my enjoyment of the story falters. Both Zach and Sean are bland and inoffensive. They’re also interchangeable to a point. I liked Sean’s various outfits and Zach’s slow gathering of friends and a social life, so I didn’t dislike the characters. They simply failed to make a connection with me as the reader or between each other, in my opinion. I never felt much chemistry between the two men and the later sex scenes did little to convince me otherwise. Perhaps it was the overly corny dialogue and poetry references while they were making out. I understood where the story was going with Zach’s emotional neediness but I never felt as though it was true to the character. He always seemed more self imposed than what the story portrayed, or at least that’s how I saw him.
Ultimately it’s a cute, easy to read and quick story about a lonely prince that finds love with a messy, adorable, completely opposite kind of man with a big family that will envelop him in the love he’s always wanted. It’s nothing new or different but still endearing in its own way for the right reader.