Release Day Review by Rafa: Tribute Act, by Joanna Chambers

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Tribute Act, by Joanna Chambers
Series: Porthkennack, Book 8
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: January 15, 2017

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

summary

Nathan Bridges hadn’t intended to settle down in his hometown of Porthkennack—he just ended up staying after saving the family business from ruin. The truth is, Nathan can’t stop himself from stepping in when problems arise. He’s a fixer, the man everyone turns to. But even fixers can’t solve everything.

When Nathan’s sister needs an organ transplant, it’s his stepbrother, Mack, who the family turns to as Rosie’s only potential living donor. Nathan’s curiosity about the stepbrother he’s never met turns to shock when he realises that Mack is his latest—and hottest ever—one-night stand.

Nathan and Mack agree to forget their single night together, but that’s easier said than done. When Mack moves in to Nathan’s place to recuperate after surgery, it’s not just the sexual tension between them that keeps growing. Against all the odds, and despite Mack’s wariness of intimacy, the two men grow close enough that Nathan begins to wonder what it would take to mend the rift that’s kept Mack and his father estranged for over a decade . . . and whether Mack might consider staying with Nathan in Porthkennack for good.

tropes-tags

M/M Pairing
Gay Characters
Contemporary
Small Town
Family
Close Proximity
Hurt/Comfort
One Night Stand
Stepbrothers

I thought Tribute Act had great bones but I can’t say I connected with the story on a particularly deep level. Nathan and Mack were both likeable characters but I just didn’t feel like I got to know them – particularly Mack, as we were only privy to Nathan’s somewhat predictable POV. Despite this, Tribute Act made for an easy, feel-good read and I enjoyed many things about it.

I thought it was refreshing to have a male MC with body image issues in Nathan, something I don’t often come across in the genre . It obviously affected his confidence and self-esteem during his more vulnerable moments in a way that was very relatable. It was subtly done and I liked that it gave his character some added depth without it defining him or the story.

The stepbrother element didn’t bother me at all but I must say I wasn’t too convinced about Nathan and Mack as a long-term couple either. I could easily picture them getting attached, and the setting was certainly ideal for a lot of sexual tension but I didn’t really feel any sparks between them. I thought that them being related (although not by blood) also muddied the waters a lot considering the present circumstances surrounding their sister and Mack’s past history with their dad. I felt that too many factors were at play when it came to Mack’s decision to stay or go – rightfully so – but which in turn diluted the romance factor for me even further.

Now, while I thought the romance was somewhat lacking, I loved how central the family element became and in the end that actually made the story for me. I was intrigued by the dad’s backstory and I liked the way the author connected his past music career with the present. I didn’t look up the featured song to see if it was real or fictional, but I thought it was a sweet and poignant touch nevertheless. Having read a handful of books in this series, this was only the second book that featured a more touristy side of the little seaside town, so I enjoyed seeing that side of Porthkennack as well through the family’s little ice cream shop.

All in all, Tribute Act didn’t blow me away but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It’s not the book I would recommend if you’re looking to check out the series, but it’s still a solid addition to the Porthkennack universe.

more-from-author

Joanna Chambers always wanted to write. In between studying, finding a proper grown up job, getting married and having kids, she spent many hours staring at blank sheets of paper and chewing pens. That changed when she rediscovered her love of romance and found her muse. Joanna’s muse likes red wine, coffee and won’t let Joanna clean the house or watch television.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

You can purchase Tribute Act from:

Riptide Publishing | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble

Or add it to Goodreads

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

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One thought on “Release Day Review by Rafa: Tribute Act, by Joanna Chambers

  1. I had the same general feeling – a nice, easy read but I didn’t feel connected to the romance. It also took me awhile to get into it. I had trouble with how Nathan thought he knew what Mack needed better than Mack did – I dislike that in fictional characters and IRL. I didn’t really see what it was specifically about Mack that Nathan was falling for – it seemed more like he was falling for being needed. And the imbalance in power made me slightly uneasy – Mack was very vulnerable and dependent at first. Once they started sleeping together and the relationship became more reciprocal and once Mack started calling Nathan on his fixer bs, I liked them better as a couple. But I also didn’t buy the hea epilogue – I don’t see them lasting.

    This was my first Porthkennack novel. What’s a better place to start the series?

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