Title: Three Vlog Night (Plummet to Soar #3)
Author: Z.A. Maxfield
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 4, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary, Humor
Page Count: 212 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 1 flame out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Ajax Fairchild’s online alter ego has caused him trouble before, but never like this. After multiple death threats, his loaded parents decide he needs an enforced digital vacation and the best bodyguard money can buy.
That would be Dmytro Kolisnychenko, former soldier, former hired muscle for the Ukrainian mob—until he lost his happy home life to an enemy with a homemade bomb. Now he wants only two things: to spend every precious second he can with his daughters, and to provide for them by protecting people who can’t protect themselves—even entitled little asshats like Ajax Fairchild.
But Ajax doesn’t fit into the spoiled little rich kid box as neatly as Dmytro would like. Dmytro doesn’t have time for a romantic dalliance, and Ajax is a client, albeit one with unexpected depths. With one coincidence after another driving them to the sleepy seaside town of St. Nacho’s and away from their planned safe house, they grow to trust each other and find that love follows trust. Now they must learn where the threat to Ajax is coming from and neutralize it… before it’s too late for their happily ever after.
“All happy reviews are easy; each unhappy review is difficult in its own way.” (Forgive me, Leo Tolstoy.) As a fan of Z A Maxfield, I sadly need to report that this review is a major travail.
First, the series title, Plummet to Soar, refers to a book written by Volume One’s hero – a man who falls from a helicopter and survives, greatly changing his life’s purpose. It’s use here seems to be merely passing and of almost no import. (Even learning that required reading the introductory Blurbs of the prior two novels!)
Secondly, the publication categorization of “humor,” is, at best, a humorous error. This “thriller” novel tends to plod along, loquaciously, one plot turn after another. And if the reader expects, in exchange for the time and patience committed to be rewarded with some hot, sexual interaction, be prepared to get through 2/3rds of the book to arrive, finally, at fully clothed frottage. Whoopee!
Our heroes are introduced as characters in conflict, the better to engage us in their ultimate romance. Dmytro is the most interesting character, with a complex back story that justifies his actions and mind-set. He’s cold as winter, and has obliterated any softness in himself. He has emotions, but doesn’t “play ‘show and tell’ with them.
Ajax is less explicable: a latch-key, poor little rich boy, essentially intelligent and empathetic, he is a lonely, decent person but seems to have lost purpose. While he wants a mate who is settling and serious, nonetheless, Ajax is “struck by lightening every time he met Dymytro’s gaze.”
The villains, aside from being relatively, flat stock characters, seem particularly stupid. It is hard to believe they can interfere in the fully expected HEA.
This review doesn’t need to go much further. Two men, different from each other, subject to the unexpected foibles of a thriller plot, eventually face dangers together. Once their HEA is in sight, after too many words, so is Utopia.
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