Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Release Day Review ~ Gnarly by Mickie Ashling

Release Day Review ~ Gnarly by Mickie Ashling

Title: Gnarly

Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Release Date: June 21, 2017
Category: Contemporary, MMM or More, World of Love
Pages: TBD (Novella)

Dr. Ed Hollingsworth, widowed for five years, returns to San Sebastián, Spain, after a thirty-year absence. He seeks out his first and only male lover, pro surfer Javi Elizalde.
After surviving a near-fatal shark attack, Javi turned his back on the sport he loves and became a recluse.
Iker Lizaso, professional jai alai player, finds himself at loose ends now that his contract has expired. Forced to retire at thirty-eight, he returned to his home in the Basque Country to figure out what to do with the rest of his life.
Three different men, encumbered by their past, converge in a city famous for its food, summer festivals, and romantic promenades. Can they find happiness together? It’ll be difficult, maybe even improbable, considering their backgrounds, but Cupid’s arrow usually hits the mark, and this particular strike might be epic.
World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

Gnarly is part of Dreamspinner Press World of Love series, stories that span the world. The majority of this story took place in San Sebastian, Spain, a place the author spent some time exploring. San Sebastian sounds like the perfect getaway based on the descriptions in this book, and it was interesting learning about another area of the world.

This story is about rekindling an old relationship, finding love, and being accepting of an unconventional relationship. Ed is a doctor that finds himself questioning his life when it's time to move on. His wife died, and his twin sons are away finishing college, and he's unsure what's next for him. He decides to make a return trip to Spain, a place he has fond memories of, and with the hope of finding the only male lover he's had. When he finds Javi, he's not welcomed back with open arms and instead finds an angry, depressed man. When Javi orders him away, Ed decides to make the most of his time and explore the island and beach, which is where he meets local lifeguard Iker. Ed's reappearance has kicked Javi in the pants and forced him out of bed and back into life.

The first half of this book is very mundane and slow, but it's filled with a lot of backstory and sets up the relationship between the three men. At first, the only character I liked was Iker. He seemed to be easy going and accepting of his life. I don't feel like I got to know him as well as Ed and Javi, and at times he seemed to be more of a third-wheel. This was really a story about Javi and Ed. I liked Javi and enjoyed seeing him work through his depression and get his life on track. Even though he was in his 50's, we saw him grow up on the page and accept the life he's been given and work to make it better. It took a while for me to like Ed. He had his affair with Javi as a young man, then just forgot about him and went on with his life, but now that his life was different, he's suddenly back for Javi.

I'd consider this a HFN ending, more than a HEA, but the promise for a future was there. If you don't enjoy menage stories, this isn't for you, though! Otherwise, give this story a chance and learn about a beautiful part of the world!

Rating: 3 stars

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