Review: Reckless Hope, by j. leigh bailey (Rating: 3/5)

bailey-reckless-hopeReckless Hope, by j. leigh bailey (Letting Go, Book Two)
Publisher: Carina Press/Harlequin (August 24, 2015)
Page Count: 193 pages
Genre: Gay (M/M) Romance

Rating: 3/5

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* I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review. *

Sebastian is the wild child in a family of rich snobs. He’ll never live up to his dead brother’s legacy, so why bother? Micah’s got too much going on for a relationship. He works two jobs to support his mother and sister, and Sebastian is a (sexy, reckless) distraction that would only derail his carefully scheduled life. Rich boy who likes to party meets poor boy who’s too responsible to have fun. Opposites attract.

That’s really what this book boils down to. Bailey is a good writer, and she managed to take this tired plot and make it stand out from the crowd, but in the end it just boiled down to ‘good’ and not the ‘great’ that it had potential to be.

The relationship between Sebastian and Micah starts off as physical, a way for them to let off tension. Both of them recognize that they’re too different to work as a couple, both emotionally and socially, but Micah sees it as convenient and Sebastian is intrigued by the boy who keeps turning him down.

bailey-reckless-quoteescapeSebastian is an immature, spoiled brat with too much money and no responsibility. I actually disliked him a lot for the first half of the book. But then Micah slowly begins to influence Sebastian, helping him find something meaningful to care about. And likewise, Sebastian helps teach Micah how to unwind and enjoy life.

bailey-reckless-quotesympathizeThe biggest issue though was pacing. This is a short novel, and there was a LOT thrown in; instead of focusing on the relationship and evolving characters, Bailey focuses too much on what’s happening around the boys. When Sebastian proclaims, “I love you”, I honestly blinked in surprise, because I couldn’t figure out when the heck he’d had time to develop those feelings. It was too quick, too unrealistic.

I enjoyed the book, though it wasn’t something I’d want to re-read. But it had the potential to be exceptional, and it was disappointing to see the novel end with that potential unmet.

Note: You do not need to read the first book (Nobody’s Hero) in order to read this one. It’s a stand-alone plot with no recurring characters. (Read my review of Nobody’s Hero.)

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