Review: Crossroads, by Riley Hart (Rating: 2.5/5)

Cover Artist: X-Potion Designs

Cover Artist: X-Potion Designs

Crossroads, by Riley Hart
Publisher: Self-Published (July 28, 2015)
Page Count: 241 pages
Genre: Gay (M/M) Romance

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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Summary: Nick Fuller has just divorced the woman he’s been with since age seventeen, and moved into a duplex on his own. He’s surprised to find that he shares a backyard with his neighbor, Bryce. He’s more surprised by how quickly the two of them become friends.

Bryce Tanner is happy to help his neighbor Nick get back out into the world, and to help him meet some women. But he quickly realizes that the feelings he has for Nick don’t stop at just friendship. The only problem? Both of them are straight, and have never wanted another guy… until now.

My Thoughts: I wanted so badly to like this book. Having read another book by Riley Hart in the past and enjoyed it, I had high hopes for this novel, which seemed like a fun gay-for-you plot. Cliche, yes, but that can usually be ignored if a story is well-written and has interesting characters. This novel, frankly, had neither.

Nick is the straight boy who married his high school sweetheart. He’s only ever been with one person, and she cheated on him because he worked too hard (to give her the life she wanted). Bryce is the playboy extraordinaire, never settling down, and of course he has a tragic past that made him really think about what life means. Add in two meddling mothers who were more annoying and manipulative than they needed to be, and you had a bunch of boring, flat characters.

The language was also incredibly repetitive. The sex scenes were probably very hot to some people, but I found my eyes glazing over at the schoolboy lingo and the phrases that were used way too often.

“Be careful or you’re going to give me a hard-on” (ePub page 107)
“You’re going to give me a hard-on before we get started” (page 109)

Add in the schoolboy maturity that both men displayed (and really, they’re thirty-year-old men, not teenagers) and I just couldn’t find the sex scenes anything other than eyeroll-worthy. Throwing a temper tantrum because your boyfriend can’t fuck you with his massive dick is not endearing!

The only redeeming factors were the little characterizations that got referenced occasionally: Nick’s desire to take care of people and feed them, and Bryce’s love of fixing up old motorcycles. I would have liked to see more overlap with this, as a way to develop characterizations… Nick teaching Bryce how to cook, and Bryce teaching Nick all of the parts on the bike and what they do. Instead, the only bonding shown between the men was sexual, or relating to them coming out to their families.

Definitely not what I was hoping for when I purchased a book by Riley Hart.

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