Title: An Enchanting Liftoff
Author: A.J. Marcus
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: October 5,2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 56
Reviewed by: A.O. Chika
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.8 stars out of 5
The sky’s the limit….
It’s wealthy advertising executive Rusty Donovan’s first time at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. When he scores a ride on a hot-air balloon in rainbow colors, he’s as captivated with the balloon’s pilot, Chad Holmes, as he is with the breathtaking experience. Rusty learns Chad’s business is struggling to the point where he might have to close it down. Fortunately, Rusty has some ideas about promoting Chad’s Santa Fe based tour company, and he also has some ideas about what he’d like to do with Chad. As they work together and get to know one another, the future—both for the business and for them as a couple—looks as bright as the brilliant New Mexico sky.
States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.
It’s a short story, so I expected the romance to come fast and hit hard. But the pacing was just off. Rusty and Chad’s meeting was nice; there was no instalove… until there was. I mean that ending made me go huh? Seriously, who proposes after dating someone for two months? I wonder if they are going to do the long distance marriage thingy seeing as Chad is in New Mexico and Rusty would have to go back to work after the ad campaign is done.
Let me explain a bit. Rusty is a big shot Advertising executive, you really wouldn’t know he’s a rich guy, so thumbs up to him not being a flashy guy. Chad runs a hot air balloon tour company, business hasn’t been booming because his balloon “Rising Pride” is as the name implies a rising LGBT flag.
So, Rusty meets Chad, they go up, take a few pics and Rusty might have stared at Chad a bit too long but hey Chad is hot so it’s fine. after the ride Rusty takes Chad out to dinner, it’s like a perfect not-date that is kind of a date. They talk about stuff including their sexuality, and they both find out that the other is gay.
They go to Rusty place…calm down kids, no bedroom marathon happened. As I was saying, they go to Rusty’s place to talk about Chad’s business, as Rusty has a few ideas on how to advertise Chad’s business.
They talk until it’s late and Rusty asks Chad to stay the night…once again kids, it’s not what you think. Well, they did have that ‘steamy kiss’ but for some reason, I didn’t feel any passion or connection between the two of them. I wanted to, I re-read the book twice but I didn’t feel any heat/spark, I just saw words.
There was a sex scene but, I really couldn’t get into it, as I need to feel a connection or a strong attraction to enjoy reading a sex scene, hence the sex scene was uncomfortable for me and I skipped it.
Chad and Rusty get closer after the sex and starts dating as neither of them are big on one night stands. Everything is fine until the death of one of Chad’s friend and mentor. Felix death is horrific even though it wasn’t explicitly explained in the book, Felix was in his balloon when the wind caught him and blew it straight into some power lines. The wires probably weren’t set right as they snapped and whipped around the gondola and everything went up in flames… with Felix still in it.
The story was nice, the pacing felt fast and slow at the same time, but I still felt that Chad’s proposal was a bit too fast. I mean I know Rusty was there for him during the period of Felix death, I know rusty helped advertise his balloon business and I know that they’re both in love with each other, but proposing after just two months made me raise my eyebrow.
Would Rusty move to New Mexico permanently?