Title: Gambling On Love (Second Edition)
Author: Jane Davitt
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: September 19, 2016
Page Count: 287
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
When Gary and Abe came out to each other in their final year of high school, a longstanding friendship turned into a new love. Keeping their feelings a secret was easy until a coach caught them together in the locker room, and their fragile relationship shattered around them. Panicked, angry, and rejected by his mother, Gary fled town, breaking Abe’s eighteen-year-old heart.
Eleven years later Gary returns just as unexpectedly, crashing into Abe’s truck during a blizzard. He’s as arrogant and stubborn as ever—and just as irresistible. Time has changed them both in ways they never imagined, but the heat that flares between them is enough to thaw any ice.
While Abe discovers what Gary did to survive in the city, Gary realizes that Abe has grown into a man with needs to match his own, and they fall in love all over again. But Gary’s determination to carry out one final order from the rich, older man he lived with—and obeyed—for years means that a dead man’s plans might split them apart again . . . this time for keeps.
As “Gambling on Love” begins, we meet best friends Abe and Gary the summer before their senior year of high school as Abe tells Gary he is also gay (“I’m gay, I’m in love with you and I can’t handle it.”) A school year of exploration and discovery passes until one interrupted very hot locker room blowjob later, Gary leaves town before graduation, Abe stays and 11 years pass before they see each other again.
In a bizarre coincidence, when driving through his old stomping grounds, Gary crashes into a truck in the midst of a blizzard – Abe’s truck. At this point, it takes a full 12% of the book to move from the crash to Abe and Gary finally getting to shelter. And, the plot line slows to a crawl, as the remainder of the story involves Gary needing to go to Las Vegas to fulfill his lover/employer Peter’s final wishes.
Ultimately, if I’m to care about the characters in a story, I want a sense of what makes the characters tick, what they value, what they desire. It is difficult to care about Gary and Abe because we never get to know them as young men, and when they reunite 11 years later, there are huge gaps in their histories. For example, Peter and Gary had a D/s agreement where Gary gave complete control to Peter, yet we never get any concrete examples of what that entailed. Abe’s life in the interim years is equally vague. Although the ending gives Gary and Abe a HEA, the short epilogue (an undetermined amount of time later) doesn’t really add anything to the story.
With a one-note plot, very few secondary characters other than Abe and Gary and a slow pace, this book just did not do it for me. I cannot recommend this book.