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 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.
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.