Sunday, June 24, 2018

Book Review: Easy Does It Twice (The Right Time #1) by Gianni Holmes

Book: Easy Does It Twice
Series: The Right Time #1
Author: Gianni Holmes
Release Date: June 15, 2018
Length: 268 pages


For the past 18 years, Gordon has suppressed his sexuality, choosing instead to live the lie, of a happily married man with two children, a home and their perfect picket fence. But Gordon’s wife is dead, leaving him with the responsibility of caring for their two teenage children. With the passing of his wife, Gordon found he was given a second chance…a new start to life. But, coming out as a gay man in his late thirties, was not easy for him. With a homophobic son who was a senior in high school and a daughter who was infatuated with her high school teacher, the same man Gordon was in love with, nothing could get worse… Or could it? 

When a high school in a small town in Louisiana, looking for a native French teacher accepted Beau on a contract, it was the perfect opportunity to start life over and forget his emotionally abusive boyfriend. Everything was moving along just fine for him until he met Gordon, the older father of two who was struggling to keep his family together. But worse, Gordon was struggling to finally embrace himself as a gay man. One night was all Beau wanted to show this man the beauty of accepting himself for who he was but he got more than he bargained for. He fell in love and was happy for the first time in a long while. 
But does happiness really last? 

A viral video of Beau kissing Gordon at the local community center left Beau without a job and Gordon with a whole lot of explaining to do? When his kids accused him of ruining their lives, will Gordon stand by what he felt for Beau? Will he be selfish this time and hold onto his happiness or will he return to his pretentious lifestyle to keep everybody else happy? 

Easy Does It Twice is a contemporary gay romance, featuring real life conflicts of coming out later in life, facing one’s children’s unfavorable reaction and difficulties faced by some instructors identifying with the LGBTQ community. If you enjoy reading stories with depth, and love ultimately conquering, you will love Easy Does It Twice.

4 Stars!

Gordon Matti’s returns from a fun filled family weekend with his two teenaged children to find that his wife Barbara has taken her own life. The aftermath of her suicide leaves the family in tatters drowning in guilt and the frustration of not knowing why Barbara chose to do this to her family without explanation or even a simple goodbye. Gordon is struggling to hold his family together while coming to terms with his own sexuality. Charlie has withdrawn from her friends and is barely passing any of her classes and Oliver is heading down a path of self-destruction.

Meeting Beau changes everything.

What I Loved: I loved the premise of this story. Gordon is a 38-year-old man who is just now taking the chance to explore his sexuality. He’s been a dedicated father and husband but it’s been tearing him apart over the years that he’s never had the opportunity to truly be happy (other than his kids that he loves completely). Gordon is a good father and wants to make his kids happy even at his own expense. He has a naïveté about him when it comes to being with another man that endeared him to me and didn’t cause me to hate that he stayed in a marriage even when he knew he was gay.

I don’t want to spoil things so I’m going to leave this somewhat vague. I loved that Gordon is not a coward. When it truly counts, he doesn’t back down and leave things be. He is protective and loyal and it’s apparent that he’d do anything for those he loves.

What I Liked: I liked that at the end we get a HEA along with an intriguing glimpse at the premise of next book in the series. It left me feeling quite satisfied having things come together and wrap up but also knowing that we will be getting more from the parts of the story that couldn’t be tied up neatly in this particular book.

What I Didn’t Like: simply put, this story had potential to be 5 Stars, however, I can’t overlook a few things that took away from it. First, I realize that the author most likely comes from outside of the US due to some of the vocabulary found in the story (ex. trainers instead of tennis shoes or sneakers. Exam papers instead of test, quiz or exam etc...) but I really had difficulty with a lot of the phrasing throughout the book. Things were very disjointed at times and the flow was constantly thrown off by the way things were worded. Conversations and dialogue just did not feel natural and it sometimes made it hard to truly embrace what was going on.

Secondly, there was so much going on in this one book. Too much, to be honest, and at times, it was overkill. I love angst and I’m glad this wasn’t just some cookie cutter, overly saccharine cutesy story. But in my opinion, all of the drama we got was unnecessary.
We have Gordon dealing with his wife’s suicide, being 38 and coming out, homophobia from friends, family and the community. Beau dealing with past domestic abuse, workplace discrimination, violence, and homophobia. Then both of the children are dealing with issues stemming from the suicide and their father’s relationship with Beau. Throw in the antagonistic shrew sister-in-law, asshole cops, a spiteful principal that hates Gordon and his family and it was way too much to take in.

Overall, though, I am giving this 4 Stars. I like the fact that even though I have some issues with the execution of the story, I couldn’t put it down either. Its entertaining and engaging and definitely pulls you in. I liked the characters and found myself invested in the story they had to tell. Easy Does it Twice is far from perfect but I’d definitely recommend it. If you like stories featuring an older man with a second chance in love and happiness falling for his child’s teacher, chock full of angst, drama, and romance, this is for you.

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

About The Author:

Gianni Holmes is a true believer in love and romance finding people regardless of gender, race, religion or creed. A hopeless romantic, she lives in an oppressive society where sex is still very much taboo. With her writing, she engages content she may not be able to talk about otherwise. She has a first degree in Spanish and International Relations and has been a teacher for the past 4 years. She enjoys old TV shows such as Everybody Loves Raymond and the Andy Griffith Show. She loves museums, the outdoors but hates large bodies of water, a fear stemmed from almost drowning as a teen. People usually comment that this is weird for her to be afraid of the water although she lives on an island. Her dream is to infuse the writing community with great stories people are able to relate to, relive and characters they can fall in love with. 

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