Author: A.J. Pine

Worth the Wait by A.J. Pine

Worth the Wait by A.J. PineWorth the Wait by A.J. Pine
Series: Kingston Ale House, #4
Published by Entangled Publishing on January 16th 2017
Pages: 240
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two-stars

I like to think of myself as a man of pleasure…
I enjoy a good pint of ale, being in the arms of a beautiful woman, and living by my own rules. The only thing I try to avoid? Commitment. And I’ve got a three-year success rate to prove it.
I wasn’t planning on Grace—the beautiful, funny, totally off-limits massage therapist who keeps popping up in my life. She’s on a six-month mission to rid her life of toxins. No alcohol. No red meat. And, yeah, no men. I’m talking full-on man cleanse.
I know I should walk away, but I can’t…and the only way to keep her in my life is to live by her rules. I’ll need to prove to a woman who’s lost all trust in men that I’m worthy of her love. And do it all without so much as a single kiss.
The only problem? If I win, I’ll lose the one thing I swore I’d never give up. My heart.

Commitment and trust: two sticky words that I thought the story was going to be about, though there isn’t much in the blurb that hints at what would really unfold but it intrigued me enough to want to pick it up to see if it’s quirky enough to entice.

It did start out interesting, but my engagement dipped somewhat when the unnecessary drama seemed to make the story go in loops—a man cleanse, several conniving ex-es, a blackmail scheme, a deliberate wait to finish a contract—and I found that I simply couldn’t get my interest to stay up like a typical alpha male’s constant erection. For Jeremy’s non-commitment stance, I actually found Grace equally so though it’s never quite admitted out loud: the lack of commitment to her own family, to getting out of the blackmail situation she’s in to the inability to do anything but to commit to ‘Man Cleanse’ and even that’s done because of the contract signed with Jeremy’s ex. Most of the time, the push-pull, will-they-won’t-they moments that were peppered throughout the chapters ended up more frustrating than teasing because for all the slow burn, I couldn’t quite understand the connection between both the lead characters, let alone the annoying peripheral ones who came to the story primarily as cock-blockers.

In fact, sex barely enters the equation here but that’s not quite the priority for me anyhow. Essentially the story got messy, entangled and involved in a way that was…well, boring at times, to the point I started skimming. It’s probably a book more for those who follow this series though; I jumped straight into this without knowing what went on previously so that might have accounted for the lack of interest.

two-stars

The One That Got Away by A.J. Pine

The One That Got Away by A.J. PineThe One That Got Away by A.J. Pine
Series: Kingston Ale House #1
Published by Entangled Publishing on April 18th 2016
Pages: 290
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one-star

Jamie Kingston has been Brynn Chandler's best friend since middle school. Only once was their friendship tested—when Brynn gave Jamie a single kiss. Since then, they've had an unspoken agreement never to cross that line again, and she’s ready to let go of the past and move on.
But Jamie has loved Brynn for as long as he can remember, and now that he's ready to tell her, she has her sights set on someone else. Knowing this is his last chance, he asks Brynn to go on a two-week road trip. But their time alone brings old hurts to the surface, and Brynn has to decide if the one that got away lies at the end of the journey or if he's been by her side all along.

I wish I could have liked the story as much as I liked the blurb, but it all went sideways once the male protagonist (not hero, in my opinion) started finding more and more insipid excuses for his cowardice and insecurity about getting the girl he’s always wanted.


It only took ten years…and even then, it wasn’t without a circus-ring of stupid behaviour that somehow came to pushing his forever-girl to meet *another* man so she could decide whether her own feelings for the ‘hero’ were real or fabricated. If years of solid friendship isn’t a convincing factor enough, if this isn’t quite the height of hypocrisy or condescension, I wouldn’t know what is.

The emotional games played here got ridiculous to the point where I couldn’t read anymore without thinking that this guy simply didn’t deserve her.

What is love without drama at least? It’s the question this book tries to answer with much aplomb, but unfortunately, the shenanigans both the main characters fall into simply can’t convince me that a woman could possibly want someone who just can’t be forthright about his feelings unless cornered and smothered into reassurance.

one-star