Title: Moving Maverick (Made Marian #5)
Author: Lucy Lennox and Michael Pauley
Release Date: April 7th 2017
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
“Do you remember what you promised?”
Maverick: I haven’t been back to Rabbit Island, South Carolina, since my parents died and my grandmother, Mimi, rejected me. I’m only returning now to attend her funeral and sell an estate I never wanted. But the moment I step foot on the island and fall into Beau’s arms, I realize it might not be so easy to say goodbye after all.
Beau Talmadge was always the boy next door, but now he’s no longer a kid. The man is hot as hell and pushes all my buttons in the very best way. I’m supposed to leave in a week. Sell everything, close the door on my past, and walk away forever. So why am I letting myself fall for someone who lives thousands of miles away? And how the hell am I going to break it off when it’s time to go?
“That I’d come back.”
Beau: It took one short summer to fall in love with Maverick Mitchell and fifteen long years to forget him when he left. I’d never expected to see him again, but when he shows up at Mimi’s funeral looking lost and lonely I can’t resist doing anything I can to comfort him. Falling into bed with Maverick is easy and the nights we spend together are as hot and steamy as a South Carolina thunderstorm.
I know it’s not smart. I know it’s not what he planned. But dammit, Mav belongs in my arms, in my bed, and in my life. So how the hell do I get him to stay?
“Took you long enough.”
Fair warning: Moving Maverick is a 73k word gay romance novel featuring sweet tea vodka, fancy salt and pepper shakers, guys catching crabs (not that kind), Aunt Tilly with a knife, and multiple detailed instances of man parts touching.
Moving Maverick is the fifth book in the best-selling Made Marian series. It can be read on its own but is much more fun read as part of the series.
The sweet HEA ending tried to make up for a lot, but I just couldn’t overcome the anger I felt for most of the first half, or the rage I felt at learning the “reason” why Maverick’s grandmother Mimi refused to take custody of Mav when his parent’s died.
This just did not work for me.
I usually really enjoy Michael Pauley’s narration, but I didn’t this time around. It was mainly two things:
The first is technical – there were numerous audio quality issues when the sound kept fading in and out, which were pretty annoying throughout.
The second is a personal thing – I would have preferred the character voices Pauley uses for Beau and Maverick be switched. It’s a weird personal thing, but I feel like that would have absolutely made it better. But, like I said, that’s a personal issue and has nothing to do with how Pauley performs. He performs well.
But in the end, I didn’t like the story, and it would have taken platinum level narration to get me over that. There was just so much I hated in this.
However, because I don’t like to ruin everybody’s good time just because I didn’t like something, I’m going to put my rant under spoiler tags. Feel free to dismiss it all and enjoy the story for yourself.
Here’s what the blurb doesn’t tell you:
When Maverick Mitchell was twelve years old his parents were killed in an accident. His only living biological relative was a beloved grandmother, Mimi, who lived on Rabbit Island in South Carolina. Mav had spent most of his summers with his grandmother and loved her deeply.
When Mimi was approached to take custody of Maverick she refused, without a word or explanation to him why, and never contacted him again.
With no other family to take him in, Maverick then ended up in foster care for almost three years. After spending time at a LGBT center, he met the Marians. Luckily, when Mav was going to be moved into a group home, he was instead adopted by the Marians when he was fifteen. He finished growing up surrounded by eight loving siblings, two loving parents, and a crazy, but loving, aunt. He became a veterinarian and owns a business with his mother and sister in the Bay Area.
He never again heard from Mimi or anyone connected to her until he was contacted that she had died of ALS leaving Mav her heir, and a request is made for him to attend her funeral and meet with her attorney regarding her estate.
He intends to fly in to South Carolina for the funeral, meet with attorney to clear up the will, and eventually put Mimi’s estate up for sale so he can return home to San Francisco and to his business and loving family.
When he gets to Rabbit Island he reunites with his best childhood friend, Beau Talmadge, who is at he funeral greeting everyone and playing host.
We get Beau’s POV about how hard it’s been these last month’s of Mimi’s illness and hospice care and he’s been the one to shoulder the responsibility of taking care of Mimi. We also get his absolute joy that Maverick has returned and will therefore also shoulder the burden.
Beau speaks at the funeral about how wonderful Mimi was, how she took care of so many, how she was a pillar of the community, and oh, how she so very much loved her grandson and talked about him all the time and how very, very much she missed him.
*record scratch* Excuse me, what?
When Maverick informs Beau that he will be selling the estate and returning to his home and family in San Francisco, Beau, and his BFF, Maggie decide to emotionally manipulate Maverick in the hopes of getting him to change his mind.
Things I had a difficult, or impossible, time believing:
1. The reasoning behind Mimi’s abandonment of Maverick. Frankly, I was angry before then at the manipulation, etc. that was happening – but when Mav finally finds the letter – that Mimi couldn’t have even bothered leaving with the lawyer – (sort of) explaining why she did what she did? That ruined the story in a final way for me. It didn’t matter after that the ending was good, or anything else, the story was ruined for me.
Seriously, you have more than ten million dollars in cash investments, not to mention the millions the estate and land, etc. bring to the party. You couldn’t have accepted custody and just sent Mav to boarding schools? Found a friend on the island who would be willing to take him in until he was eighteen if the ALS did kill you?
I call BULLSHIT. Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit!
2. Beau lived in Mimi’s house, he’d cared for and manages her estate and land holdings (and has for many years), and, in the last few years in particular, he took care of Mimi and obviously loved her very much. Yet she left him nothing? Nothing at all?
I mean, I already thought Mimi was one of the worst people on the planet, so I guess this shouldn’t be surprising, yet I still found myself gobsmacked by this.
3. Beau who was in love with his best friend Maverick for years before he disappeared never asked Mimi about him? He has no idea that Mimi had refused to take Maverick in until Maverick informs him of it after the funeral. I’m sorry, what? This is the guy you’ve pined over for more than a decade, and you didn’t push for details over the years? You’re fingers weren’t broken – what was wrong with you tracking him down and calling Maverick yourself to tell him about his grandmother’s failing health and talk to him about what was happening?
4. The Maggie side character and the whole manipulation of Maverick.
3. Beau’s deliberate sabotage of the attempts to view/inspect/appraise the estate. And how Maverick just lets him get away with it without saying a word. It’s all, “Well, he’s just sad because this was his home too – hey let’s bone some more!”
I seriously cannot even with so much of this story.
There were some good things about the story, they just couldn’t mitigate the rest for me. But as they say, there’s a hat for every head and I seem to be in the minority with my dislike of the story, perhaps you may find it to your liking. Good luck and bless your hearts!