Title: Two-Man Advantage
Author: Toni Aleo
Length: 290 Pages
At a Glance: Although this book wasn’t a match for me, there are a lot of raving reviews about it out there, so it looks like I’m in the minority.
Reviewed By: Ky
Blurb: Wells Lemiere knew the moment he saw Matty Haverbrooke, he had to have him. Matty was quiet, he was talented, he was beautiful, and Wells couldn’t stay away.
As the youngest and most talented son of the NHL Commissioner, Matty had found the burden of family expectations almost too heavy to carry on even his broad shoulders. He had no intention of getting involved in a relationship with Wells. But the heart he’d given up for dead had other ideas.
Their affair was intense and overwhelming, but when Matty couldn’t bring himself to come out and admit he wanted a public future with the man he loved, Wells had no choice but to honor his vow to live openly…and leave Matty behind.
But then he learns Wells is marrying another, and Matty knows he can’t let that happen. Can he throw down his gloves and embrace his future with both hands? Or will he pull the door to his closet shut once more?
Review: Two Man Advantage is this author’s first M/M story. It was actually a very good effort and an enjoyable read, but it was way too romantic and corny for me. The drama was often too much and some of the characters’ reactions were unbelievable.
I liked the blurb, and don’t even let me get started on this cover! It won me over from the start. The idea of the plot was very interesting, but something in the execution wasn’t what I had hoped for. I wasn’t able to connect with the MCs for the majority of the book, and at times, I didn’t even like them all that much. Some of their notions frustrated me, and I completely disagreed with a lot of their actions.
I like sport romances, and if the sport is hockey, then even better, so I was sold on the story from the moment I saw it was about hockey players. In the end, though, I don’t think this story falls under that category. There is talk about Wells and Matty being professional athletes, but the events took place during the off-season, and there wasn’t even one scene on the ice. The result of that was them being hockey players was like saying they had short hair—just a detail about them but not important enough to have a big part in the story. I was disappointed because I was expecting something else, but it wasn’t that big of an issue.
The way Wells behaved toward his ex-fiancé after he got back together with Matty was just awful. He obviously didn’t love him, but at least he could have treated him with some respect. He could have shown, just for a second, that he cared a bit for him, or at least liked him. I would have even settled for tolerated him.
There are a lot of characters from other books, which I haven’t read, making appearances here, and even more of them are just mentioned, but I didn’t have a problem following the story. It can stand by itself just fine.
There are a lot of “I love yous” in this book, between the MCs and between them and their family or friends. I lost count. They said it so many times that it lost its meaning. Another thing I didn’t like was the MCs constantly thinking of the other as “the guy” or “the dude”—”constantly” being the operative word. It created distance between them; that’s not how you think of the person you want to be with; that’s the way you think about someone who frustrates you or who you don’t know all that well. I don’t know if I’m explaining it right; if you’ve read the story, you probably know what I’m talking about.
The book is basically Matty’s coming out story. There are a lot of books with this trope, and I like it most of the time. Here, though, Wells gave Matty an ultimatum. He kept pushing him to come out to his family and friends, and got angry or frustrated with him when he backed out for whatever reason. For me, it wasn’t a case of Matty being unable to make up his mind and going back and forth; it was a case of Wells pushing him and having a one-track mind. He wanted to live openly with his boyfriend, and wanted it to happen yesterday. That’s understandable, of course; that’s not the point. My issue was with the way he went about making this a reality. I disliked Wells a great deal for this behavior. He was supposed to be supportive and patient, be there for Matty and give him courage. The biggest issue for me in this story was exactly that: Wells’s behavior towards Matty’s coming out. I couldn’t get past that.
Obviously, this wasn’t a match for me, but don’t let my review discourage you from reading this book. There are a lot of raving reviews about it out there, so it looks like I’m in the minority. I’ll rate with 3 stars even though it turned out that it wasn’t for me, because it’s a story from an author new to the M/M genre, and I always like it when I see someone taking a chance at something different.
You can buy Two-Man Advantage here:
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