This is a joint review with the fabulous Monique from Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews.
You can find my join review with Monique at Sinfully Sexy as part of the Try Blog Tour where there are some HUGE prizes to be won.
When I heard Ella Frank was going to write an m/m romance novel, I was incredibly excited.....I had heard only good things about this author so I couldn’t wait to get my hot little hands on it. As an established m/f erotic romance author, I feel Ella not only took on the challenge, but embraced it, knowing the risks involved in possibly alienating her existing fan base… and also how Try would be perceived by the fans of the m/m genre. Personally I feel the target audience of this book is for Ella’s existing readership, those fans that love her erotic romance series, giving them a taste of m/m romance whilst still holding true to her tried and tested formula, which as far as I am concerned, if it helps convert some of those readers into fans of m/m then I am a very happy lady. Unfortunately as a reader of only m/m romance, after the 40% mark I realised that the book wasn’t working for me personally and not wanting to alienate those readers I feel it was intended for and wanting to give an objective review to followers of both genres, I asked our friend and Guest Reviewer Lisa to also read and review Try, to see if her reading experience was perhaps different to mine… So you get two reviews, two perspectives, two ratings and one book!
“So...I like to try a little bit of everything and everyone.”
The words sank into Tate’s head, settling in, and then they started to make a whole lot more sense – until Logan, as usual, threw another can of gasoline on the fire.
“I’d like to try you.”
Try by Ella Frank is the first book of her new Temptation series and, simultaneously, it is also this author’s first venture into the M/M genre. Not being a person who has read a multitude of M/M books, I will still indicate that I think Ms. Frank did an incredible job with this book. A passionate and explosive start to a relationship between two people, this author takes us into the minds of two very different men and we get to experience all the nuances of when they simply let go and try.
“Does every word that comes out of your mouth have to do with sex?”
Logan smirked against Tate’s mouth. “Usually, eighty/twenty, but with you, it seems more ninety-eight/two.”
“Well, come on then. Let’s get the talking over and done with, so we can move on to the fun part. You know, the part where my cock gets to meet yours.”
Logan Mitchell is charming, sexy, arrogant and charismatic. He is also a man-whore player of epic proportions. When it comes to his sexual expeditions, Logan does not play favorites. He is up for anything that will leave him feeling an abundance of pleasure, and that includes not being stuck to simply one gender. Yes, sir. Our hedonistic playboy plays on both sides of the fence. With an undeniable sexual appeal, Logan gets what he wants. When he sets his sights on the new bartender at his usual bar hang-out, After Hours, Logan wants nothing more than to make him his new sexual conquest. But the sexy bartender is resistant to his charms which is frustrating to Logan when all he wants is for him to take a chance and try.
“I’ll drive us home.”
“On your bike?”
Tate rolled his eyes. “No, on my magic carpet.”
“I’m not getting on the back of your bike, like some chick.”
Tate shrugged and pushed Logan away as he turned and started to walk down the alley toward the parking lot.
“So, you’d give up a chance to be pressed up against my ass the whole way home?” he called out and started to laugh when he heard footsteps behind him.
Logan muttered. “Ah, hell.”
“Who is this guy? Tate stood there, completely stunned by the words that had just come out of that perfectly shaped mouth – Wait. Why do I care about his mouth?”
Tate Morrison has no plans of starting a relationship with anyone. He is recently divorced and still dealing with his bitch of an ex-wife. Tate is finally moving on with his life, trying to find a new normal and working a new job at an upscale bar. When a regular at the bar starts to shamelessly flirt with him with an unwavering determination only seen in raging bulls, Tate attempts to play nice and shrugs off all the sexual innuendos being thrown at him. But Logan Mitchell does not stop his persistent advances and Tate finds himself desiring the extremely magnetic man. There is only one problem. Tate is not gay.
There is something about Tate that has Logan in a shameless pursuit. Never has he had to chase someone with such gusto but Logan is brazenly unyielding and will not stop until he has Tate. Even though Tate has never been interested in men, he finds himself reacting to Logan. There is something about the man that has desire stirring deep within him. Tate may have never been with a man in the past but Logan has his body on fire and makes him want to try.
After kissing the corner of Logan’s mouth, Tate’s eyes held his as he vowed. “I don’t care what anyone says. Love being with you like this. I fucking love it.”
As things heat up between Logan and Tate, this book takes hot to new levels of panty-melting goodness. Ella Frank certainly has a gift when it comes to writing sexual tension and some seriously hot and erotic scenes. For me, this book was not too overly emotional and angsty. It was simply the start of Logan and Tate. Yes, we do see Tate going through a whole lot internally as his world shifts on its axis. Letting Logan into his life threatens to change everything about his world. It threatens to change him. Also, Logan has never really been in a serious relationship. Logan has his own carefully guarded walls that prevent him from becoming too emotionally vulnerable. Can Logan allow himself to be so exposed as Tate pushes through his emotional barriers? With so much at stake, both men want to take the plunge into uncharted waters and simply try.
All in All, Try is an incredible start to this new series by Ella Frank. My only criticism is that I did find some parts of the book to drag a bit. These two men certainly had a plethora of sexy times and I think that this could have perhaps been cropped a bit. I do understand that this is the commencement of Tate and Logan’s journey and this book was definitely more about the pair exploring things with one another. I am guessing that the next book will dive a little deeper into Logan and Tate and the dynamics of what it means now that they are together in a real and exclusive relationship. Do I think that perhaps this entire story could have been told in one book? Maybe. That remains to be seen. I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.
My thoughts on Tate and Logan pretty much echo what Lisa has already said so I am not going to rehash more of the same but rather explain what worked and didn’t for me personally.
I did have to sit back and wonder if perhaps my expectations of this book, with all the hype and excitement was too high or maybe as an m/m reader I have completely left behind my enjoyment of m/f erotic romance! Did it feel like a het romance? …I didn’t get that from the characters but I did get it at times from the style of writing, which goes back to my thinking on the intended market for this book.
I loved the anticipation of the chase and I have to admit, as much as Logan annoyed me, I did find him incredibly hot …but I am a sucker for bad boys and with all the sexual tension between these two I was totally engaged in Logan relentlessly going after what he wants, taunting and pushing Tate’s boundaries in a tantalising seduction... knowing he is conflicted, and yet keeps poking that open wound for a reaction. The atmosphere between these two men was intense and erotically charged right from the start, their chemistry fraught with frustration, denial, anger and an abundance of sarcastic wit and come backs used to both shock and taunt Tate and right up to about the 40% mark, I was loving it!
However after that I started to flag and completely switched off. For me personally I needed more substance, I wanted to know more about the characters and have a plot and storyline running along in the background to hold my attention. I liked the characterisation but I found them superficial and I wanted more depth. The most enlightening scenes being the telephone conversations where they actually open up to each other rather than deflect their emotions… or had a raging hard on getting in the way of them trying to have a conversation... because these two men are insatiable! ...and seem to have permanent erections, moving from one sex scene to another. Now... shock... horror... that I should complain about that, but I have to say it was just too much for me and I didn’t engage again until around 70%.
You are probably thinking I really didn’t enjoy this book, but in truth there was a lot I liked about it and again, I agree with everything Lisa said but I wanted more emotion, not the raw emotion of sex but something more heartfelt and Ella Frank touched on it ever so briefly and I loved that, seeing Logan the arrogant, narcissistic arse vulnerable and finally pushing aside his selfish attitude to actually consider someone else. Tate battling with his insecurities and inner turmoil with regard to his sexuality, and the impact that revelation would have on his life, plus the fact he was putting his trust in a man with an over inflated ego that found it hard to keep his dick in his pants! I even enjoyed the volatility to the relationship, both being alpha males with possessive streaks that could rival any caveman. But this all came at the end and didn’t make up for the apathy I experienced in the middle. And to be honest, for me it was only half a book, consisting of the beginning and the end, and I could quite happily have cut out the middle. I agree with Lisa and have a feeling that Ella Frank will delve into the relationship and their emotions more in the second book and I also agree that it could have been condensed into one book... with less sex and more substance!
Would I read book two... Absolutely! Because I feel unsatisfied, and know there is so much more to these men than we have so far been privy to.
*A copy of Try by Ella Frank was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.