Out of the Past by Jeffrey Ballam
Author: Jeffrey Ballam
Publisher: Seventh Window
Blurb: Paul Vanderwall isn’t looking for love. His last boyfriend, Eric, left him with no explanation and refuses to respond to his phone calls, leaving Paul gun shy about attempting to start another relationship. But then Paul is picked for jury duty and meets a man who intrigues his mind and libido. Javier Villalobo is the tall, dark and handsome attorney for the defendant on the sexually provocative case for which Paul is a juror. Paul finds it difficult to listen to the testimony, especially with Javier standing in such close proximity. And if that’s not bad enough, Paul soon runs into Javier outside of the court room. But the trial is still in session, which means that Paul can’t respond to Javier’s eye contact, nor can he act on his own growing desire for the sexy lawyer. When the trial ends and Paul receives a note from Javier asking him on a date, Paul hesitantly accepts. And then Eric returns with a warning and a threat…
Review: This sounded interesting and I was looking forward to reading it, but it ended up not being my kind of book at all. First, editing was a problem. Yes, my darlings, I know I give the impression of being a girl who goes with the flow and nothing much bothers me, but inadequate editing of a book takes all the fun out of reading it. I kept stumbling over things that should have been fixed, like “We our dating.”
The PDF-formatted copy was glitchy; the first page of every chapter would be sized nicely and then the balance of the chapter jumped to small print, forcing me to get out my glasses, and sweeties, you know I hate to cover up my pretty eyes with glasses.
The story rambled on and on, offering too much detail, too much information, too… much. I tried really hard to like these characters but in the end, they didn’t move me and I was never engaged.
I am only one voice, one reader, one opinion. Here’s an excerpt, so you can decide for yourself:
“Well, thank you for calling back to leave your number so we could arrange to meet for coffee. May I ask something before we get into the details of the coffee?”
“Yes, you may.”
“Would our meeting for coffee be a problem?”
“Problem, how?” I asked as Reggie settled in on the mission style sofa, and Gina went to the kitchen to get a soft drink from the refrigerator.
“Is there someone who might object to your meeting someone else for coffee?”
“I thought attorneys were supposed to be direct.” I chuckled softly. “Are you asking me if I’m involved with someone?”
He laughed. “Yes, I guess I am.”
“No, there is no one who would object to our meeting for coffee.” Sonny came and curled up in my lap, something he rarely did.
“Can we, then?” Meet for coffee?”
“Coffee” is mentioned six times. That’s about four times too many in so short a scene. A good editor could have fixed this, and I recommend the publisher engage one.
If you like long, rambling stories that take a while to get to the point–I know you’re out there, you little minxes!–you will enjoy this story. I, unfortunately, do not.
Reviewer: Red Licorice