Buyout – A Love Story, by Dev Bentham
Published by: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 8, 2017
Rating: 3 out of 5
Everyone deserves a second chance. Or do they? Sean and Martim fell in love at Harvard. Things broke apart when Martim fell into a downward spiral of addiction after his father died. Sean kicked him out but has regretted it ever since. He’s never gotten over losing Martim. But then, not many aspects of his life have lived up to his collegiate dreams.
When he’s sent to evaluate Martim’s family hotel for foreclosure, Sean is once again in the position to put Martim out on the street. In the time since they parted, Martim has pulled himself together, although both health and financial problems linger as a result of his years as an addict. Can the two men bridge the gap of distance and time to rekindle their relationship, or will they fall apart again under the burdens of guilt and disease?
Set in Lisbon, Portugal, this is the story of lovers reunited after more than a decade apart, and their second chance at romance.
Mentions of Drug Abuse
I find it incredibly difficult to review books that aren’t able to elicit a strong, emotional response. I would rather love or hate a book, rather than feel indifferent about it and unfortunately, Buyout – A Love Story falls into that latter category.
There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with the book. It’s just that it’s kind of bland, and that’s unfortunate because second chance romances should be filled with bittersweet recollections of love lost and the triumph of finding love again with the one that got away. You should be invested in the story and rooting for the MC’s to work through their past issues instead of being kinda meh about the whole thing.
Part of the problem is that I never really connected with Sean. When we meet him, he’s found out that his latest lover is cheating on him but instead of being upset, he’s already resigned himself to the fact that it’s over – all without saying a word to his lover.
“But now, as I watched him, I realized he’d already faded into the severance package category – beautiful young men with perfect bodies, who weren’t right and never would be.”
In an effort to assuage himself of the guilt of kicking Martim out of his home and his life all those years ago, he ensures all of his ex-boyfriends receive some sort of ‘severance’ in the form of a few months of rent payment whenever the relationship ends. However, Sean also works as a corporate enforcer – lending money to failing business with impossible to achieve payment terms, and selling the company out from under the owners when they can’t pay back the loan.
This dichotomy is interesting – how could someone who apparently has so much guilt over leaving his first lover essentially homeless, be so generous in his personal life and so completely cutthroat in his business dealings? I wish the book had explored that side of Sean a little further so we could see more of what motivated him to pursue such a career.
Martim seems…nice enough? To be honest, though, his aunt completely overshadows him in every way and, for some reason, was written as a far more interesting and colourful character than Martim. It was her actions that precipitated Sean’s visit to their property to review the terms of their loan and throw Sean back into Martim’s life again. While there was some apologies and forgiveness to be given on both sides, I didn’t really feel any other connection between them other than a friendship, so there was very little investment in how the relationship between them would work out.
Ultimately, this is an okay book that might be a pleasant timewaster if you’re looking for something basic. But for me, there isn’t enough of a story here for me to recommend it.
I write contemporary gay romance. My characters are flawed and damaged adult men who may not even know they’re looking for true love, but when they meet their bershert, their true love, their lives are transformed. My stories are set in the real world where gay men have gay friends, families who do or don’t accept them, personal histories they’re not necessarily proud of and a myriad of experiences that have made them who they are.
I live in Northern Wisconsin with my Boston Terrier and Chicago spouse. I’ve published short stories, poetry, newspaper articles and academic papers and have worked in nearly every profession from restaurants to retail to open-water diving and now write m/m romance out of my fascination with love, courage and gender.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.