First Impressions

Title: First Impressions
Authors: Christopher Koehler
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Amazon:
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: 300 pages
Rating:  3.75 out of 5 stars

A guest review by Lasha

Summary Review:  A humorous look at how first impressions can change the course of a relationship that unfortunately just didn’t work for me in the end.


THE BLURB

The first time Henry Hughes and Cameron Jameson meet, it’s an unmitigated disaster. Cameron reminds Henry of all he left behind when he stopped making adult films, and he cruelly rejects Cameron. When Cameron discovers Henry’s porno-thespian past, he assumes he’s dodged a bullet.

But circumstances continue to throw the two together. Though the physical attraction between them grows, they cling to first impressions, even as a slow dance reveals just how good they could be.

Henry finally realizes how wrong he was, but Cameron can’t cope with “sleeping with the enemy.” It will take a confrontation for Cameron to realize just how wrong he’s been, but unfortunately, he may have lost his chance.

THE REVIEW

This is the first book I have read by Mr. Koehler. First Impressions asks the question: does a first meeting really matter or can a bad first impression be excused in the wake of an apology? Meddling friends think Henry Hughes and Cameron Jameson would be prefect for one another and they set-up an encounter at a party. Unfortunately, Henry is a complete and utter jerk to Cameron when they are introduced and any attraction the two men might have for one another is quickly dispelled by Henry’s attitude. Problem is Henry and Cameron keep running into each other and the more they see each other, the more they like each other. So, Cameron has to decide if the first impression he had of Henry is the real Henry or should he take a chance on the other man?

There were things I liked about this book and things I felt needed some work. I will start with the things I enjoyed, mainly the secondary characters like Cameron’s mother. She’s hysterical and nearly takes over the book in her scenes. Some of the funniest moments in the book center around her. Add in the comedy duo of Cameron’s wacky roommates — I saw them as a male version of Three’s Company (and if you are too young to remember that TV show, Google it. :geek2: ) — and the laughter quota is high.

But while I enjoyed those elements, I felt the more important characterizations of Cameron and Henry didn’t work. As the main love interests, while they certainly had chemistry once they got together, the long build-up with Henry being such a jerk to Cameron and Cameron stewing over it, dragged their romance down to almost non-existent. Their “accidental” meetings were short and brief, and in my estimation did nothing to explain to the reader why the couple should be together. Unfortunately, the romance came a little too late for this reader. Plus, those wacky roommates I mentioned? They and the other secondary characters, which I did like, took over a good portion of the book, so at times I felt it was their book and not Henry and Cameron’s. While I love a good secondary sub-plot, there were just too many unnecessary characters vying for screen time which took me away from the budding romance of Henry and Cameron, the main reason I read an m/m book.

However, despite these issues, I could see the potential in this book. The humor was not forced, and had me chuckling out loud on a few occasions. And since I feel humor is one of the more difficult genres to write, I give Mr. Koehler high praise for pulling that off successfully. While I cannot give First Impressions a full recommendation, I will check out more of this author’s books based on my initial impression of this one.

Author

I’ve been reading romance books since I was 12 and when I found m/m books a few years ago I fell madly in love with the genre. My favorites tropes are: GFY, police partners in love and May-December romances. I also adore paranormals and in my spare time away from Jessewave, I review pararmormal m/m books at my own blog. Give me a good shifter book and I’m a happy girl!

2 comments

  • And here I LOVED the cover. And I mean that in a big way. Loved loved loved. I was afraid that I was considering buying it just for the cover. I think I for one am going to take a chance on this one. Just got out of surgery and I need some laughter. A lot. Thans for the review. And the warnings. It will help.

  • Thank you for the review. I don’t think this is one for me but I have to say that the cover itself would turn me off. (Wasn’t there a discussion about covers a while ago?)

    I like a nice classy cover; covers like this really turn me off and I’ve seen a lot of them lately. Ethan Day’s “A Token in Time” (lovely cover) was terrific and I wondered why I hadn’t read anything else by the author – When I checked out Day’s other titles I realized why – it’s those awful covers. I totally skipped over them.

    And I know you can’t judge a book by… etc., but… I don’t know, maybe it’s just me but an interesting, classy cover is more likely to draw my eye and pique my interest.

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