When Love Takes Over
Posted by gaylistbookreviews
Title: When Love Takes Over
Author: Jacob Z. Flores
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: C List
Blurb: Zach Kelly’s life is a shambles. His boyfriend of three years dumped him, and his writing career is going nowhere. On a whim, he heads to Provincetown, Massachusetts, to nurse his broken heart and figure out his next step. He’s expecting to find rest and relaxation on the sandy beaches of Cape Cod. Instead, Zach meets a hunky porn star during a chance encounter at a leather shop he mistakes as a place to buy a belt that is definitely not for whipping.
Van Pierce is smitten when shy and inexperienced Zach crashes through a shelf of fetish gear. Though Van’s got an insatiable appetite for men on and off the set, his porn persona, Hart Throb, hides a broken heart. He’s struggling to find the reality the porno set doesn’t offer, and Zach is fighting to find the fantasy that will set his writing on fire. The odd goofball and the suave beefcake may either find love amid Provincetown’s colorful pageantry where summer never seems to end—or more heartbreak than either can imagine.
Review: A fun and sexy romp that had me shaking my head and chuckling at some of the antics that go on in Provincetown.
Zach was adorable. He had lost himself in his sense of inadequacy and an unbalanced relationship. Shy and introverted, he struggled to make friends and was not finding success as a writer. It was fun watching him gain confidence as he came into his own during his stay in Provincetown. He found new interests, his sex appeal and confidence, new friends, and his voice as an author. Most of all he found love.
Van was complicated. He was a porn star who had some serious double standards about sex. He was a man who hid the heart he wore on his sleeve behind a jaded persona whose whole life was based on emotionless sex. He had horrible judgement and taste with men, yet was able to see how wonderful Zach was before he had gone through his Provincetown makeover.
Van’s hypocritical judgements and expectations of Zach annoyed me. The man is a porn star who is in the middle of filming a movie and he was upset and disappointed that Zach was having a good time partying. Then he was mad that Zach struggled to accept his job, where Van has sex with other men. As a reader, I sensed that Van wanted to have sex outside of the relationship and felt entitled to do so, while demanding that Zach stay away from any other men. The lack of loyalty to Zach and inability to seek a respectful, balanced and healthy relationship was at times frustrating and painful, particularly because I appreciated Zach’s struggle and growth. Thankfully Van begins to see that he isn’t being fair and that he needs to make some changes in his own life.
These men and their story were crazy, fun and full of laughter, hot sex and screw ups. Both men grew so much in this story. In many ways the acceptance and love they found with each other, and their chosen family of friends, helped them to believe in themselves and most importantly to accept themselves and find out how they wanted to live their lives.
The quality of writing was excellent, but I did struggle with the flowery style of writing, with Van and his ego, and with a lack of depth in the story. Insta-love is always difficult to write and can easily veer off.
There was a line at the beginning of this book, not long after we meet Zach, that struck me hard and soured my view of him. As Zach is finding his way to Provincetown he is tearing himself apart mentally and has this thought: “God, not only was he a mass of pent-up frustration and a certified klutz, but he’d traded his cock for a pussy.” It left me feeling like I was spending time with someone who couldn’t truly become my friend because he did not like or respect me on a fundamental level. I never felt like it was resolved in the story. I did not feel that it was an attitude that he even noticed, which hurt my feelings and made me angry as a woman and, in turn, affected my view of the character and therefore my enjoyment of the book as a whole.
Reviewed by Nina
Posted on October 19, 2013, in Nina and tagged Bars, Beach, Break Ups, Broken Hearts, C List, Change, Contemporary, Drama, DSP, Finding A New Dream, Finding Love, Finding Your Voice, Finding Yourself, Freedom, Healing, Hook Ups, Insatiable, Leather Shop, Letting Go Of The Past, Love, Making a New Life, Making Your Own Family, Massachusetts, Multiple Partners, Nina, Partying, Persona, Porn, Porn Star, Provincetown, Really Really Bad Exes, Series, Song Writers, Vacation. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.