Title: Not Like the Movies
Author: Brien Michaels
Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs
Buy Link: Buy Link Not Like the Movies
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Sammy
Review Summary: A college boy’s boring and mundane phone sex job turns into something quite unexpected…dare we utter the word…love?
Blurb: Jay has spent the last decade in front of a computer. He watches movies, taking everything he knows from them. But lately he’s started to want more. Including a one night stand with his super-hot roommate Chris. Starting off slow, he’s called the Sexy College Studs hotline, and the sexy sounding Duke.
Chris has had everything handed to him his entire life, but college life is tough. In an effort to earn more cash, he’s been working for Sexy College Studs. On the phone, he goes by the name Duke and is in high demand, with more repeat customers than any other guy in the company. But his clients bore him. Except the mysterious Kyle, the guy with the strange fascination with movies, who wants him for companionship, not just sex.
When Jay and Chris find out each other’s true identities, it’s weird for both of them, but Chris is up for the challenge. He wants a month to prove to Jay that true love isn’t what you see in the movies. But he falls for Jay harder than he expected. If he wins, he gets the relationship he’s always craved, but if he loses, he could lose Jay forever.
Review: Let me restate for the record that I hate blurbs, so often they give too much away. Ok, so now you know the premise of the story. However the blurb does fail to mention the mysterious caller element who seems to be stalking both Chris and Jay. I feel it is rather an important plot point because for me it kept the novella from being the same old “gay for you,” “out for you” run of the mill plot line that grows so old after you have read one or two. In fact the “caller” gave an edge to the story that happily carried me along for quite a while.
I also really like the character of Chris. He was funny with a bit of snark and really believable. I found it easy to imagine a college student doing a sex talk hot line job, after all, we do desperate things for money and he certainly had found a niche where he could disengage himself from the call process and mindlessly rant on the standard sex dribble required to do the job–until Kyle, or as we find out, Jay. Here the phone sex became more, heat was added and unchecked desire made the calls sexy and fun. Add to that mix the angst-ridden Jay and you have a delightful foil from which these characters are able to play off of each other.
Yes, this book, Not Like the Movies was a tight little story, complete with heated moments, funny, smart dialogue and a promising relationship build that truly had me turning the page with anticipation to see where author Brien Michael was going to lead his two delightful main characters.
And then the book stopped.
Stopped…cold…as in…no more pages…no solving the mystery…no clear definition of where Chris and Jay were headed relationship wise..just stopped..the end…turn off the kindle, the fat lady has sung.
What? I sat and stared at the last page and shook my head. I wanted to turn and see the author next to me so I could give him a good shake and ask him to get back on the computer and write the ending–NOW!
I understand this is a series. I understand as well that these characters may pop up again in a later novella. However, neither of those possibilities can excuse what to me was an unfinished story. That is simply frustrating. And, to be honest, I like this writer’s prose. His pacing, wording, and ability to immerse you in the setting of campus life was solid. The story simply was not complete and because of that it feel in the ratings like a stone.
So, dear reader, I give you Not Like the Movies and ask you to make your own decision. Perhaps a dangling ending is something you enjoy? I will say that I feel the author has some real talent in the m/m romance writing genre and I hope he continues to give us more novellas with just a bit more polish.