Coasting, by Yvonne Trent
Series: States of Love, Mississippi
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 23, 2017
What happens when you need something but don’t know what it is? Why not look in a place you never heard of?
Out and proud elementary school teacher Cal Hamilton thought he was happy in Philadelphia, but after a breakup, he steps back to reassess his life and discovers something is missing. He gets in his car and drives south with no idea what he hopes to find. The flip of a coin leads him to a small town in Mississippi—practically a different world from the city where he grew up.
Police officer Billy Labarre keeps his sexuality mostly to himself, but he knows just what he needs to fill the hole in his quiet small-town life: the right man. Unfortunately attitudes toward gay men still leave a lot to be desired in the rural South, and it’s hard to meet someone. It’s not likely his perfect match is just going to show up out of the blue….
States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht
Welp, I tried. I tried for three days but I just couldn’t get into this book. It was mainly because of the amateurish writing but also because of insta-love and lack of actual substance. Let’s put it this way: if there were ever an example of me and an author not clicking, it’s this book.
I get that since this is a novella the story will be moving at a faster pace, but Cal barely even knows Billy’s name before he’s considering making serious life changes like staying in the town that he’s only just discovered, with Billy who he just met, like, five minutes ago. Their first date which happens within the first 24-hours that they’ve known each other feels more like a Grindr hookup with hiking and pizza, and yet they’re supposedly having feelings of love for one another. I spent too much time questioning why the author made certain decisions which hindered my ability to lose myself in the story.
I may have been able to overlook some of these things but I just couldn’t get on board with the writing style. There were too many superfluous details and not enough effort put into Cal and Billy’s actual story. This book only has 100+ pages so maybe instead of telling me the specifics of a character throwing a piece of trash into a receptacle, spend that time creating more dialogue that will make me believe that these two should be together. Make me fall in love with how in love they are with each other. These details were also written in a way that made me feel like the author felt she needed to spell everything out for the reader to get it. Have a little faith that I’m smart enough to figure out what you’re trying to say. I don’t need you to hold my hand the whole way.
By 50% I was so frustrated with trying to find something I liked that I finally said enough is enough and put the book down for good. I truly felt that if there wasn’t anything worth holding onto by this point then it wasn’t worth it for me to stick around until the end. I wouldn’t recommend this one.
Yvonne Trent is a retired RN whose career was spent mainly in VA or military hospitals. She has been writing for most of her adult life and has a small collection of poems, some of which were written for her two daughters when they were young. She likes animals but is not too fond of pets, saying that there are some days she doesn’t even want to take care of herself. Despite this, she was Mom to a crazy yellow lab, a beagle with seizures, and a deaf cat. When she discovered M/M fanfiction, she was hooked and wrote her first story in that genre in 2001.
Yvonne has no social media presence but you may contact her through her author page here.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.