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Merge Ahead Kindle Edition
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"Merge Ahead" is a very well-written book about two real people. It is unpredictable, honest, has true-to-life characters and a love story that makes you happy. I especially enjoyed how honest the main character was about wanting to emotionally take care of his new boyfriend, while struggling with feeling like the weaker one if he was financially supported.
Highly recommended! (right up there with some of my other favorite authors like Josh Lanyon, Nick Wilgus, DC Williams, and Harper Fox)
The cover--well, I *am* one to judge a book by its cover usually because, you know, so little reading time, so many books--and this cover really doesn't do the story justice. In fact, the cover would have been a pass-without-looking-any-deeper for me if I hadn't recognized the author name--and I honestly hesitate to put this bit here, because I get that it can be a lot for an indie author to do All The Things, and kudos to ALL authors who get as far as publishing their books, especially good stories like this one... but I *am* putting this cover-critique here just in case another interested reader got this far, is skimming reviews, but still hesitant because the cover looks... like maybe not their thing?
The Merge Ahead cover really doesn’t do Ms. Chris’s writing justice, and it doesn't have any of the same feel as the story inside, IMHO. And here's how the story inside felt:
Sweet. Engrossing. Sexy. A perfectly imperfect romance with characters I really, truly loved.
Yes :-) I loved, loved, loved both characters. Both Adam and Will felt like real people who I cared about and became invested in. Not just romance-book real, but like actual people in a realistic situation and a relationship that wasn't story-book perfect, but was all the better for it. I didn't read any reviews before I started and was actually kind of surprised when I came here to leave my own and skimmed through them to find that Will's issues with his "role" in the relationship grated on some people. For me, it was one part of what made the story work. Yes, of course I wanted to shake Will a bit at times but hello, that's what makes a good story IMHO--character growth. I loved Will's care-taking nature and his personal integrity, and I thought the author did a fantastic job of showing his background and how his Latino culture informed his insecurities. Even better, I loved that being Puerto Rican wasn't all there was to him. There are still so few non-white characters in m/m romance, and it was really nice to read this one where it felt... realistic. (I keep saying that word, but it fits.) Meaning, like yes, it was part of who he was and informed his character, because that's what people's backgrounds and families *do*, but it wasn't ABOUT that, if that makes sense. It was about him falling in love with Adam and coming to terms with the dynamics of their relationship and, ultimately, (yay!) getting the promise of his HEA. Kudos to representation, Ms. Chris, and to doing it well vs. as a one-dimensional hook.
What else? Well... Adam. So, it's interesting because I realize how few m/m romances I've read with single-character POV. I'd have to say that in general I think I prefer alternating-POV? I generally like seeing the relationship unfold from both guy's perspective. It adds depth, IMHO. BUT... having said that, this book worked just fine in single POV (Will's). And actually, the fact that I *did* still get invested in and care about Adam, even though I only got to see him second-hand, just points back to really good storytelling.
What this story wasn't: a big drama-fest; an out-there, over-the-top situation set-up; full of bad boy alpha male dark issues bad boys and drammmmaaa; a non-stop f***-a-thon; chock-full of cookie cutter tropes; something I wanted to put down at 1 a.m., even though I was tired :-)
What this story was: the kind of romance that makes me believe in love happening not just in books, but in the real world, too. When I first discovered the romance genre as a teen (uh, lots and lots of years ago! hahaha!) two things hooked me hard:
(1) hot sex ;-) (and yes, I said this book isn't a non-stop f***-a-thon and it's not, but that's just because all the sex that IS in it is party of progressing the story... don't worry, fellow m/m lovers, I know how you are, and yes, you'll get your fix) ... and ...
(2) that sweet, sweet hopeful/happy feeling that a good romance leaves the reader with, like falling in love yourself (but without all the drama and morning breath and spotlight on personal insecurities).
Anyway, this book hit that #2 big time. I've got to admit, lately in my (very limited) reading time, I've been veering more toward books that aim for #1 hahaha! But this one ~happy sigh~ reminded me just how much I adore a really good love story, and just how lovely it feels to read one and walk away feeling like my heart is still smiling, even after I close my kindle.
I'm a huge sucker for romances with workplace drama, and I read most of this particular M/M in almost a couple of hours because I was so glued to it.
MERGE AHEAD follows a Latino protagonist, Will, who is a fantasy writer wrestling with his self-image of masculinity. He meets a businessman, Adam, at an airport he's immediately smitten with - and he later finds out this same businessman is the CFO for the company his work is merging with.
Their relationship starts off playful and cute with the perfect amount of sexiness, but it quickly becomes tender and honest. Will and Adam are all about communication, which I adore so much. Every time they have a fight or disagreement, they talk it out at once instead of letting negative feelings brew.
The ending scene is so memorable to me, and I get a little teary-eyed just thinking about it. This M/M definitely should go on your radar!
Also, there is a cat who is a huge part of the family. :)