Title: Worth Waiting For (Heart of the South #1)
Author: Wendy Qualls
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Release Date: August 15th 2017
Genre(s): M/M OFY Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 304 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 1.5 stars out of 5
A small-town in the Deep South isn’t where most gay men would choose to go looking for love. But open hearts will find a way…
Growing up in the Bible Belt, Paul Dunham learned from a young age to hide his sexuality. Now he’s teaching psychology at a conservative college in Georgia—and still hiding who he really is. If Paul hopes to get tenure, he needs to keep his desires on the down-low. But when an old college crush shows up on campus—looking more gorgeous than ever—Paul’s long-suppressed urges are just too big for one little closet to hold…
Brandon Mercer has come a long way since his freshman year fumblings with Paul. Now he’s confident, accomplished, proudly out—and the sexiest IT consultant Paul’s ever seen. When Brandon asks Paul to grab some coffee and catch up, it leads to a steamy reunion that puts their first night of passion to shame. But when Paul’s longtime crush turns into a full-time romance, he receives an anonymous email threatening to expose their secret to the world. If Paul stays with Brandon, his teaching career is over. Yet if he caves under pressure, he risks losing the one true love he’s been waiting for…
I was really keen on reading this from the blurb. I was hoping for a great “Out For You” story about a second chance love and reconnecting with first love…and I sort of got it?
Told from the single POV of deeply closeted Paul, his very carefully ordered life is thrown upside down when his college freshman crush, Brandon, is hired as an IT Security consultant for the college and Paul is ordered to work with him. Brandon immediately comes on to Paul and offers a no-strings-attached affair, which Paul eventually agrees to and doesn’t because Paul is the king of mixed signals. He doesn’t really know what he wants or how to communicate anything and Brandon is left to constantly encourage or push Paul to ask for what he wants.
There’s a secondary plot involving a cyber crime mystery that I wished were more interesting than it turned out to be. It had a good premise, but fell apart for me in the follow through.
While the story has some positive elements, along with some nice passion and dirty talk once Paul lets down his guard, the writing is not what I’d hoped it would be, the plot was clunky and obvious without the benefit of being sweet enough to overlook it, and I just didn’t enjoy it.
The final nail in the coffin for me was the formatting of the copy I received. Now, by no means is this the book’s fault, but when a reader is struggling with elements of a story that might not be working for them, the last thing you want to do is make it difficult for them to actually read the story.
I received a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for review. When you request a book it gives you (usually) two choices to download the book: in this case I chose between “Send To Kindle – Protected PDF” or “Download Protected PDF”. I actually used the Send To Kindle feature first, which should have been properly formatted by either the author or publisher BECAUSE THEY KNEW IT WAS GOING TO A KINDLE. Instead it showed up with horrible formatting problems. For example:
You walked in
and you were
wearing this T-shirt that— I don’t even
know what it was abouttheshirt, honestly, butitfityoureallywell.AndIhadabitofasilent freak-out
middle of everybody
Then, when I went back to NG and I tried to download the PDF, I couldn’t even open it. I found out later I would have to download a special program (because even though it’s a “PDF” it won’t open in Adobe PDF Reader) and then a Calibre plug-in just to open it. WTF?
Anyway, it made an already not-so-enjoyable read much, much worse and put me completely off.