Capital Games

Title: Capital Games
Author: G.A. Hauser
Publisher: Linden Bay Romance
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Genre : Contemporary Romance, GLBT (M/M)
Length: Novel

Rating :*** (out of 5)

Steve Miller is an advertising executive at a very prestigious firm in Los Angeles. The former LAPD officer had switched careers several years ago and is in line for a significant promotion. But there is a fly in the ointment – someone else is also vying for the position.

Mark Richfield has been invited by Steve’s employer to join the firm. Mark is an extremely attractive, even beautiful man who seems to draw the eyes of both men and women. In business he appears to be unbeatable and he has closed large deals which far exceed Steve’s accomplishments.

When Steve meets Mark he recognizes that he is a formidable opponent but he is also strangely attracted to him sexually. He goes out of his way to avoid Mark who takes pleasure in taunting him. The simmering animosity between them explodes at a team building weekend when the two men become lost in the desert. One thing leads to another that night and they end up having sex, even though neither one admits to being gay.

Shortly after, Steve who now admits his feelings for Mark finds out that he is engaged and the wedding is one month away; he is devastated. They have sex again on many occasions but Steve fears that Mark is just experimenting and does not really care about him since plans for the wedding are continuing unabated. Also, one evening Steve drops by Mark’s house unexpectedly and finds out that his roommate is gay and is in love with him. Mark tells Steve that growing up, everyone including his family, assumed because of his looks that he was gay but he never had a homosexual relationship before.

The pace of the book is very fast and the story is quite interesting so far with a number of surprises. Now this is where the author loses me. Mark’s character, in my opinion, is not at all believable. He is 100% sure by this point that he is gay, he professes to love Steve, his fiancé gives him several opportunities to back out, he is a successful wheeler-dealer on multi-million dollar contracts, yet he is a coward in his personal life and lacks the courage to cancel the wedding. I find all this hard to fathom. In the meantime he is still having sex with Steve who is distraught that Mark might actually go through with the wedding. My other problem with the story is that both men cried at the drop of a hat. I’m all for sensitive male characters but it seemed that the tears were ever present in this book.

Capital Games started out with a good plot but I did not feel that the characterizations and execution lived up to it. The big ending confirms my feelings about Mark’s character and as a fan of G.A. Hauser’s writing I did not find that this book met her usual high standards.

This book was previously reviewed for Rites of Romance Reviews


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