Title: On the Dotted Line
Author: Alexa Snow
Cover Artist: Alessia Brio
Publisher: Torquere Press
Buy Link: Buy Link On the Dotted Line
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Length: 50,200 words
Rating: 3 out of 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: Low key and a little underwhelming ordinary life romance.
Blurb: When college drop-out Paul LeBlanc first meets pediatrician Dr. Cameron Fraser at the emergency room, he isn’t hoping for anything more than good news about his best friends’ James and Alison’s baby. He’s more involved in baby Gabby’s life than the average guy his age might be, but there’s a good reason for that — she’s his biological daughter, a gift given to his friends when it turned out James wasn’t able to father a child.
Cameron asks Paul to go for drinks, but Paul doesn’t want to hope for more than a few dates and maybe some hot sex. As it turns out, Cameron isn’t into casual sex, but Cameron also knows right away that what he wants with Paul is anything but casual.
Paul’s life is complicated. He has a mountain of debt that no one knows about and just paying the bills is a struggle. He’s sick of rummaging in the couch for change to do a load of laundry and worrying about when his junky car will break down next. Still, he suspects that the added complication of a boyfriend might be worth it if that boyfriend is Cameron.
Set very much in the real world of daily life with not enough money, worry and miserable times this book has it’s feet firmly on the ground. Unfortunately while both characters were pleasant enough, I was rather underwhelmed by their romance. This came in part because I could not quite relate to them or the things they did, which considering the ordinariness of the situation was unexpected. Paul’s shame at being in debt through no fault of his own seemed excessive. Cameron’s pen collection completely defeated me, I spent a lot of time probably over thinking it’s significance – I mean, they featured on the cover as well. I eventually came to the conclusion it was meant to be an endearing quirk, but it didn’t really do it for me.
Paul’s financially restricted life certainly made him appear as a sympathetic character, and I cared enough to worry about him getting enough to eat. His affection and involvement with Gabby was also a nice detail. However Paul’s close friends Alison and James caused me problems as I didn’t particularly like them. They didn’t realise that their friend and kindly sperm donor with whom they had regular contact was both quietly undernourished and threadbare broke. Even while understanding post child birth hormonal unbalance – I read nothing but children’s books for a year after my son was born – Alison certainly was quick to react quite aggressively to difficult situations. Moreover, I didn’t understand why James was Paul’s best friend and object of previous unrequited affection, as he seemed unappealing.
I quite liked Paul and Cameron together, but it really was very low key stuff. Ordinary life can be made very exciting, unfortunately this book fell short of that for me. My personal taste is for the more highly coloured so it is possible that this domestic romance will appeal to other readers.