Our December (The Making of a Man #1)


Title: Our December (The Making of a Man #1)
Author: Diane Adams
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Publisher: Love Lane Books
Genre: Contemporary M/M, Young Adult
Length: Novella (115 PDF pages)
Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Summary Review: A sweet love story but I thought it lacked excitement because the protagonists spent too little time together for the chemistry between them to really jell.

THE BLURB

Sometimes two people fit together so well it seems their love was preordained, as if every step taken led inevitably to a happy ending. Deeply in love, Jared and Alex are such a couple, but the path to true and lasting love is rarely smooth. At 15 being gay isn’t the best thing that ever happened to a guy. In fact, Alex Ross thinks it’s down right scary. Then he meets 20 year old construction worker Jared Douglas, and Alex starts to think the gay thing might not be so bad after all.

The attraction between them is intense, but mindful of Alex’s age Jared is determined to keep the sparks from igniting. The stress of controlling his feelings makes it almost a relief when Alex’s father ships him off to prep school. Jared expects Alex to forget him and find a boy friend his own age; he doesn’t anticipate how much it will hurt. When Alex comes home for Christmas, just turned 16 with his heart on his sleeve, Jared knows he can’t continue to keep everything he feels a secret.

The Making of a Man Series

 THE REVIEW

The story starts out with the two main characters in their thirties, after having been together for 14 years. The rest of the romance is told through flashbacks from when Alex and Jared first met. Alex was 15 at the time and Jared 20, and the 5 year age difference between them is the main plot of the story since Alex was underage.  Jared owned his construction company which he inherited when his father died suddenly and he had to leave university in order to support his mother. Obviously he had to work long hours to build up his business reputation and at first the job was pretty tough. Then he met Alex and his friend Clark on one of his projects and lost his heart to the then 15 year old. The next couple of months explored their feelings for each other while Alex tried to understand what was happening to his hormones. His sidekick and best friend Clark was always with him so Alex and Jared spent very little time together as a couple which was exactly what Jared wanted since he tried to remove temptation by keeping Alex as far away from him as he could. Matters came to a head when Alex’s father realized that his son was gay and in love with Jared, and he knew what could happen if they remained in close proximity, so he sent Alex away to an out of state school.

While there is a lot to recommend this story, including two protagonists that you will probably fall in love with, I thought that this book lacked excitement because Alex and Jared spent so much time apart. Our December should have been labeled as a young adult romance because so much of the time is spent with Alex and his best friend Clark engaging in juvenile shenanigans. Clark’s face time in the story was as much as, if not more than Alex who was away at school for part of the time, and Clark practically attached himself to Jared’s hip to keep him company during Alex’s absence. While he was nice enough I really would have preferred it if there were more scenes between Alex and Jared. I also had a concern with the  many POV’s in the book, including that of Alex’s mother who really had no role in the book other than being kept in the dark about Alex’s sexual orientation.

The problem with a romance like this is there is such a significant disparity in the maturity level between 15 and 20 that the characters’ perspectives are worlds apart. There were lots of ‘fillers’ in the story such as Alex and Clark horsing around, which is normal for boys their age but I found it quite boring in a romance, and some scenes between them seemed unnecessary and juvenile although age appropriate. This shifted the emphasis in the story from Alex and Jared and focused on the antics of the two friends.

I thought that the characters were a bit underdeveloped as we didn’t get to see Alex’s evolution and coming out. When he left he was still struggling with his sexuality even though he knew he had strong feelings for Jared, but he was ambivalent about girls. Also we don’t know much about Jared’s coming out which was barely touched on. The story starts with the two characters at 30 and 35 respectively, flashes back to Alex and Jared at 15 and 20, Alex just turning 16, and then back to them in present day.

The writing was quite good and I liked Alex’s father who just wanted to do what was best for his son. As the father of a 15 year old in love with a man 5 years his senior I thought his attitude was unusual. He admired Jared’s integrity and recognized that he would have a stabilizing influence on Alex and would not take advantage of his extreme youth but temptation would always be present while they were in the same location.

Most of the book covered the period in Alex’s and Jared’s lives when Alex was 15, trying to find his way in the world and decide whether he was gay or straight and going through the usual teenage angst. In addition, Clark who was a major player in the story, was with them most of the time so Jared’s and Alex’s relationship was not developed fully.

There was a little frotting in the book and oral sex at the end so if you’re looking for an erotic romance with lots of sex this may not be the book for you. On the other hand if you want to read a sweet romance you will really like Our December, which is sort of a coming of age mixed in with a bit of romance that’s a cute light read, and I think you will enjoy it. This book is listed as Book 1 so I’m assuming it’s part of a series and we’ll see Jared and Alex again because their romance seems unfinished to me. On the plus side Diane Adams is quite a good writer and the characters will grow on you.

Author

I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball

11 comments

  • Hi! Thank you so much for the review of Our December. I’m always interested in knowing how what I write comes across to others and I really appreciate the detail of your review. It helps to know what my readers stumbled over, or what they liked best and when someone gives such a clear look at what they feel it helps highlight things I can work on to become a better writer.

    Our December is indeed the first book in the series The Making of a Man. Many of your questions will be answered in the next book. One thing that is specifically addressed is what happens with Alex and his Mother. I’m glad that was already the focus of the second book since so many have asked about it.

    Once again thank you for reading Our December. I appreciate the time and the effort that such a review takes. Oh, I had to edit, I forgot to thank you for the wonderful compliments you gave my writing, it made my day. Thank you!

    Diane

    Reply
    • Hi Diane
      Thank you for dropping by.

      As you can tell, I love the characters of Alex and Jared and wish that I could have spent more time with them as a couple. I understand the issues that the age disparity caused and you were really brave to write a book with a 15 year old protagonist.

      I’m looking forward to reading the other book(s. Please let me know when the next book is being released since I have a vested interest in this couple.

      I DO love your writing. 🙂

      Reply
  • Hi Wave, great review! You did a great job(as usual) of describing the good and not so good. I will put this series on my watch list. I’m much more interested in the long term relationship. So many books about first love, not so many on surmounting the trials and tribulations of a long term relationship. Do authors think life gets boring? Man, I could use a few months of boring! LOL Thanks Wave, I will keep me eye on this writer!

    Reply
    • Hi Reggie
      Thanks for the nice words but I should warn you that if you check Goodreads you will find a slew of 5 stars for this book, so my 3.75 is a minority opinion. 🙁

      I try to indicate in my reviews why I think a book makes it or not, and this one had a lot to recommend it but there was much that was lacking as well which was fixable.

      Diane Adams is a very good writer which really comes through in the prose – I just wish that the issues I mentioned had been resolved in the book. I will definitely look for the other books if this is going to be a series.

      Reply
  • Larissa
    If do you get this book please let me know if you like it. I’m really interested in your reaction to a few elements in Our December.

    Reply
  • Yes, it was already on my list before I read the review. You always just know how to make my pile just a little bit larger! 😉

    Reply
  • Oef yeah, a story with an underage character in it is very tricky! Judging from the review, it would have been better if it was young adult and the focus was not on the romance but another plot with the romance as subplot. Oh well, judging without reading the book here 😉

    Nice review! 🙂

    Reply
    • Larissa
      I liked this book despite the rating. There is a lot to recommend it and if you’re looking for a nice sweet romance (despite all th horsing around between Alex and Clark) you should consider getting Our December. The characters were fun.

      Reply

Please comment! We'd love to hear from you.

%d bloggers like this: