Title: Fortune’s Slings and Cupid’s Arrows (Lawyers in Love #2)
Author: Ari McKay
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 8, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 82
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Successful attorneys Dane Coulter and Cal Monroe are rivals in the courtroom and friends behind the scenes. But can they be more?
Cal’s always carried a torch for Dane, but Dane is so deep in the closet, he can’t even admit that he might be gay. His father, a raging homophobe who rules the family with an iron fist, forces Dane into an engagement—to a woman. Dane goes along with it to keep the peace and protect his mother, but for Cal, it’s the last straw.
He can’t let Dane make a mistake that could ruin the rest of his life, and he only knows one surefire way to make Dane admit what’s in his heart. But confessing his feelings to his friend could backfire, driving a wedge between them. And even then, the choice must be Dane’s—to live the life his father wants, or to give up everything he has for a chance at happiness in Cal’s arms.
When he reads of his friend Dane’s engagement to Portia in the society pages, Cal knows he has to do everything he can to make sure that this is what Dane really wants.
Maybe it had been love at first sight, and Dane hadn’t wanted to tell him. Right, and maybe a winged pig would go cruising past his high-rise window any moment now. Dane was as gay as Cal was himself, even if he was in denial about it. Now it was up to Cal to convince his friend to take a stand before Dane made a mistake that would ruin his life.
Dane is very passive and basically goes along with everything his father demands. “He’d learned early in life that it was better for him to keep his head down and go along with whatever Randolph wanted.” Dane has lived his life on his tyrannical father Randolph’s terms rather than his own. He works at his father’s law firm, lives in a condo decorated to his father’s specifications, agrees to marry Portia, and has not spoken to his two sisters who are estranged from his father. But because Cal loves Dane, Cal is determined to break Dane free of his father’s influence and sets in motion a plan to ruin Randolph and his law firm.
This story didn’t work for me for a number of (relatively minor) reasons. First, I didn’t really get a sense of any chemistry between Cal and Dane and find Dane’s wishy-washy personality very frustrating, especially when much of his internal dialogue is along the lines of “Cal deserved someone who wasn’t as weak and emotionally crippled as [I] was anyway” and wanting to run off to Tahiti rather than make a decision about marrying Portia or being with Cal. Also, Dane’s father is portrayed as a control freak / psychopath and reads very much a caricature. Finally, Portia’s reaction when Dane finally makes his decision seems far too placid and uninvolved.
Fortune’s Slings and Cupid’s Arrows is an okay, so-so, quick HEA read. My rating is 3 stars because of the issues mentioned above.