A guest review by Leslie
Which way is up? Cale Durbin is about to find out.
When Cale Durbin receives a GPS system for his birthday, he tests it out on the drive to meet a blind date. The blasted device gets him lost, but Cale doesn’t mind so much when he ends up at the door of a hunk named Mike who shares many of his interests.
After the date fails, Cale discovers the GPS possesses a unique feature—it leads him right to Mike again! Can true happiness be found through a global positioning device, or is Cale headed in the wrong direction?
This is the fourth of five M/M books being released by All Romance eBooks as part of their “28 Days of Heart” promotion (see below). As with the others I have reviewed, it was a short, fast, mostly entertaining read although of the five, this is the one I liked the least but for reasons that may not be as problematic for other readers. Let me try to explain.
The story opens with Cale Durbin coming home from work to get ready for a blind date, which he is not looking forward to. It turns out it is his thirty-fifth birthday. His best fag-hag friend Myra has set him up with a guy she thinks will be just perfect for Cale; trouble is, this has yet to happen with any of the dates Myra has arranged. Cale is not enthusiastic about his prospects for the evening. Worse, the reservation for dinner is at Shakey’s on the other side of the city which means he won’t be able to drink much, since he’ll be driving before and after the meal.
As he comes into his house, he sees a small package, which turns out to be a GPS. No name is on the box and he has no idea where it came from. He doesn’t really care, though, and figures it will come in handy to guide him to his dinner destination. When he is just a mile or two from the restaurant, the directions suddenly change and the GPS guides him into the driveway of a gorgeous guy named Mike. Cale wishes he could stay and watch the baseball game with Mike, maybe drink a few beers, maybe do something more…but alas, his date awaits.
At the restaurant, he endures the date from Hell through the appetizers, then heads to the men’s room. The GPS starts beeping again and directs him to the bar…and, surprise! Mike! I don’t want to spoil the story completely so I’ll stop there, but it doesn’t take too much imagination as to what comes next.
The story itself was fairly innocuous and for a short, fast read it is usually the type of thing I enjoy. My biggest problem, however, was that I didn’t really care for Cale. He was supposed to be a thirty-five year old attorney, but he acted like a much younger, immature jerk. He whined a lot. He whined about his blind date. He whined about what he wanted to do on his birthday. He whined about leaving Mike’s house the first time he got lost. And so on. This is a mature man? I felt like slapping him and telling him to grow a spine.
At the restaurant, he literally ditched his date when the GPS directed him into the bar. Even though the other guy, Ryan, immediately picked up a waiter (and somehow managed to leave with him right away, too, which didn’t make much sense since it wasn’t that late in the evening and would his shift be over?), I still felt that Cale was unkind and uncaring to just walk off and not even explain that he was leaving. I wasn’t all that surprised he didn’t have a boyfriend, given his behavior.
Once Mike appears on the scene, they have insta-love as well as one of my pet peeves: Mike was Cale’s lover (using the term, that is…see here) before they even had sex. Practically before they kissed. Okay—there was a quickie blowjob in there, but it is the vault from “gorgeous stranger” to lover with no stops in between that bugs me—and it bugged me in this story.
I really felt that the whole “magical GPS device” was underplayed. Instead of having any wonder or amazement how this crazy little gizmo kept putting Mike in his path, Cale just sort of accepted it as the status quo. He was very blasé about it and after finding Mike three times, he handed the device over to his friend Myra, hoping that it would help her find a nice guy. Huh? The whole angle was fun and could have been played for so much more but it was just left sort of drifting…
And that was my biggest problem with this story. It actually had a very clever premise and could have been really cute and fun but just fell flat. Which is disappointing because I was looking forward to this release. As I said, other readers might not mind as much as I did and would enjoy this story quite a bit. I think it is a matter of taste so I give it a limited recommendation—didn’t totally work for me, but in this case, I am just one reader and your opinion might vary. Give it a go if the blurb intrigues you because the money for your purchase goes to a good cause.
A postscript: I just wanted to add one little comment that I just thought of…this is one of the few books I’ve read that has two horny guys who get together, have intercourse and then…fall asleep. LOL. Not once, but twice! It made me chuckle. For readers who get tired of countless multiple orgasms, instant erection recovery, and shooting gallons of semen all over the house, this novella might provide a welcome change of pace. 🙂
NB: All Romance ebooks is having a special “28 Days of Heart” promotion during the month of February. A new novella is being released every day. All proceeds from the sales of these books will be donated to the American Heart Association to support heart health and research. Five m/m books are included in the releases and I will be reviewing all five here at Wave’s site: Exchange of Hearts by G.A. Hauser (review here); A Fair Trade by B.A. Tortuga (review here); Love is Blindness by Sean Michael (review here); GPS by Leigh Ellwood (this review) and Sea of Sin by India Harper. The books are reasonably priced and support a good cause, so do consider a purchase if you are tempted by my review.