Title: Ben & Gavin (The Last Thing He Needs #2)
Author: J.H. Knight
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: October 18, 2017
Genre(s): Gay Contemporary Romance
Reviewed by: ColinJ
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
For Ben Cartwright, having a twenty-one-year-old lover comes with a lot of responsibility and a lot of worry. Mostly he worries that Gavin is tying himself down without knowing what his options really are.
Gavin has his own baggage to deal with, including old wounds from a family who disowned him when he was only a teenager.
As they struggle to meet in the middle after a short but painful breakup, Gavin’s pregnant sister lands on their doorstep and spins their world off its axis. At the heart of the chaos, though, Ben and Gavin manage to fall in love all over again. This time for all the right reasons.
The focus of the story does not move beyond the relationship of the central characters. Both are likeable with a clear softening of the older of the two as the book progresses. The other character remains largely unchanged throughout. Secondary characters are introduced and their personalities fleshed out only so far as they impact the central characters. Similarly locations are relevant only in so far as they support characteristics of the central individuals. The plot lacks complexity but remains interesting. Perhaps the most noticeable thing is that whilst potential for conflict and angst are present throughout, even where there is the risk of traumatic events the author pulls back from them. As such this is a comfortable read throughout. The writing is in the first person and alternates between the two central characters. It is unfortunate that given the rich potential of the plot lines that more was not made of the story.
The relationship between the lead characters is generally sweet and loving. Where there is the potential for misunderstanding this is dealt with pragmatically rather than emotionally. The intimacy between them is handled well and is as explicit as the needs of the situation allows. Perhaps because there is no real tension passion feels muted.
There is a steady pace to the story that matches the underlying plot. The writing is well structured and the reader would have little difficulty in absorbing what is happening. This is very much a feel good story.
Although there are a number of plot lines throughout the book each reaches some sort of conclusion by the end. If there had been more tension to any of them there would clearly be opportunity for future stories to follow on from this. However, this could just as easily be the end of this story. There is nothing that is particularly new about the plot lines developed here and is disappointing that more was not made of them. As such it remains a comfortable read.