Tuesday, June 18, 2013

REVIEW: Grime and Punishment by Z.A. Maxfield

Grime and Punishment Grime and Punishment by Z.A. Maxfield
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Beyond the premise of crime scene cleaners nothing appealed to me, including the smut. I couldn’t connect with the couple. I wished both men did more to work out their personal issues instead of wallowing in guilt, pity, and all that woe-is-me crap.

Both men never really recognized that their friends with benefits did them more harm than good, that they were trying to replace true intimacy with meaningless sex. When the growing relationship between Jack and Ryan took a turn for the physical, I thought they were rushing it and repeating the same mistakes they made with their friends with benefits. (Speaking on a tangent, I did not fail to notice how gracefully the story sidestepped cheating, my biggest pet peeve, by establishing Dave and Kevin as Jack and Ryan’s respective friends with benefits instead of boyfriends as I was initially led to believe quickly after Jack and Ryan kissed in chapter 10. Noticed and was amused.)

I understood Jack’s tragic past with Nick was his private business, but when Jack got involved with Ryan, Nick’s cousin, who looked similar to Nick, he should have told Ryan as early as possible. Awfully predictable that the revelation was made the climax and against Jack’s consent. The plot strained itself to construct the revelation as that big obstacle that the couple must overcome to achieve their HEA.

On the bright side, the issue resolved itself quickly and Dave, a secondary character, was redeemed if only by a few inches. I didn’t like Dave because dude was a repressed detective and had his own issues, and I didn’t care for those issues to mix with the bucketful of others that were the couple’s. I was thankful that at the end Dave gave Jack the long-needed bitch slap of reality (figuratively of course although I would’ve been more thankful it was literally).

The only things I liked about the book was the pushy friends who were justifiably pushy and the cat that was forced upon Jack. Gabe seemed to be the only one in the bunch who was well-adjusted and Kim... well, not sure about the well-adjusted because she “referred to herself as ‘Token Chick’ and talked in the third person” (chapter 7), but I thought it was quirky and I liked it. I wished the two secondary characters had more page time. They would have livened up the wearisome somber mood the book had going.

In Conclusion

I rate Grime and Punishment 2-stars for it was okay. It was a nice read, but it was not to my taste. Had the line of communication been open and the characters not dancing with velleity, the book could have been reduced to half as a novella and better off for it.

Goodreads | Amazon

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