Title: What Chris Wants (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor #4.5)
Author: Lori Foster
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Length: 44 pages
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
A guest review by Lasha
Summary Review: It was obvious that fans of this series wanted Chris to get his HEA, I just wish the author could have jumped on board too.
When the going gets tough, the tough turn to Chris Chapey. As the right-hand man to a group of take-no-prisoners mercenaries, Chris can organize a top secret rescue mission with his eyes closed. But when it comes to his personal life, Chris is the one who needs a little help.
His problem: Matt Houser. Chris can’t deny his attraction to Matt, but Matt has no idea what Chris’s job really entails and how much it means to him. Matt challenges Chris to change his life—and make a place for him in it. Can Chris risk telling him the truth?
Let me start out this review by stating I have been reading romance novels for 30+ years. I started out with Harlequin Romances and Presents and as I matured moved into the Silhouette Nocturne and Harlequin Temptation books. Those novels are where I discovered Lori Foster and her Men to the Rescue series. So, I was very excited to hear that Ms. Foster had jumped into the m/m world by writing her first novel featuring a romance between two male protagonists called What Chris Wants, which is a part of the Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor series.
Since I had not read the first four books in this series, I was happy to see that Chris’ story was self-contained, so all you really need to know if that Chris is gay, works for a hot guy named Dare, whose sort of a mercenary, and is in a casual sexual relationship with Matt.
Unfortunately, that plot doesn’t progress further in the short 44 pages of this novella. Despite fans of this series begging for Chris’ story, I did not see that Chris was really treated to his HEA. Why? Because more time is given to the previous heterosexual couples in the series and none to Matt and Chris, the main couple in this book. What Chris Wants had every bad cliche I hate in any romance novel: unlikable characters, no passion between the main couple, a Big Misunderstanding and not one, but four Mary Sue’s butting into Chris’ love life.
I wanted to like this book, I really did. I loved Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series, and Jules and Robin were my favorite pairing in them. And even if Robin and Jules’ love scenes in Ms. Brockmann’s books didn’t get the same treatment as the straight couples in her books, at least Jules and Robyn genuinely seemed to love and lust after each other. In What Chris Wants, I saw no attempt from the author to explore their relationship. We get a few brief kisses, no onscreen sex; but most importantly there is no attraction or chemistry between Chris and Matt! Nothing. Na da. Zip. I was rooting for these guys to get their happy ending, but since a lot of the book focused on the previous couples from the series and catching up with them, Chris and Matt’s love story was overlooked. Now, I don’t mind fade-to-black sex scenes, but the author has to lead up to that point with kissing, foreplay, attraction, etc., and this book had none of that. Quite frankly, I saw more chemistry between Chris and his (male) boss, Dare than I did with Matt and Chris.
And this is a shame. Why? Because I know Ms. Foster can write better than this. I’ve read her books before and know she can sizzle with the best of them. If her m/f scenes can burn up my Kindle, why should her m/m book be any different? They shouldn’t.
I have no idea if the author was told to turn it down by Harlequin or if she felt uncomfortable writing m/m love scenes, but either way, What Chris Wants suffer from a lack of a plot, pointless secondary characters interfering with the main couple, and no chemistry between the leads what-so-ever. Overall, a complete disappointment and the reason I could only give it two stars.