Title: Lovers & Fighters
Author Name & Publisher: Nash Summers (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: September 27, 2015 – 127 pgs
Scott Halleck and Julian Reeves are polar opposites in almost every way. Scott, a modern arts curator at a museum in Chicago, relishes the finer things in life. Julian is a strange photographer whose hair color changes as frequently as his mood. As far as Scott can see, Julian is an erratic know-it-all who lives his life one day to the next. To Julian, Scott is an uptight, too-coiffed perfectionist.
As the two men continue to run into each other, their dislike grows, but beneath that animosity, a fire is beginning to spark. Scott is baffled when he realizes he is falling for Julian, a man who burns hotter than a wildfire. Scott will have to decide, for the first time in his life, if he’ll let the flames take over.
I really wanted to love this. I felt like I should love this – but it just didn’t work for me.
I think the main problem is that I I just didn’t like the characters as much as I should have. Scott seemed incredibly pretentious. He complained about his parents’ judgemental snobbery, but even by the end of the book he was still complimenting his own taste and opinions.
And Julien was just immature. And self-destructive. I didn’t like him. The tortured artist with his many jobs just failed to capture my interest. For a romance to work, I have to enjoy both characters. I have to want them to find happiness. And I didn’t wish either of these two characters any happiness at all.
Addictions and domestic abuse are two problems that don’t resolve immediately. I felt like the author used all sorts of flowery, emotive prose to make me believe that love alone could defeat such serious problems and any hangover baggage in a couple of weeks.
This book isn’t badly written and aside from a lack of realism, I’m struggling to find flaws. All I come back to is personal preference. I just didn’t enjoy either main character. As narrator, Scott’s constant self-promotion was grating rather than ingratiating. As love interest, Julien was weak and a little insipid.
I have a feeling that this might be a Marmite book. I’m pretty sure other readers will really enjoy the story but it just wasn’t for me.
Nash Summers rarely has any idea what she’s doing. But, when she likes to pretend, she pretends by writing stories at the pace of drying paint. And if that wasn’t exhilarating enough, Nash enjoys absolute silence, general politeness, and waiting her turn in line.
Needless to say—she’s a genuine hellraiser.