23 May 2011

Review: D.J. Manly - Last Call

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Last Call
By: D. J. Manly
Other books by D. J. Manly
Categories: Erotic Romance, Alternative (M/M or F/F), Erotica Fiction, Western/Cowboys
Word Count: 42,750
Heat Level: SEXTREME
Published By: eXtasy Books
Reviewed my own copy

Cover Summary:
Patrick’s best friend, Josh, offered to take Patrick home to spend the summer. With a job in a restaurant and free room and board with Josh’s father on the ranch, it seemed like a pleasant alternative to the city.

Patrick had been warned that there probably wouldn’t be a lot of hot young men around for the picking, but Josh never prepared him for Dakota.

Dakota was all Patrick could have wanted in a man and more. A big strong, cowboy with a smooth charm that would have melted butter, the heat between them was electric, and when the big Wyoming sky grew dark there would be no use denying the secret desires Patrick harboured for his best friend’s father.

But is passion enough when Dakota’s dark past is still very much a source of bitterness for Josh, and a young man’s best friend, falls hopelessly in love with his father?

My Review:

The story told in a nutshell:
Josh and Patrick go to Josh's hometown, Mills, to work, save their money and have some fun in their summer vacation. They're staying at Josh's home where an underlying current of past problems rear its ugly head again. On top of that Patrick starts to have feelings for Dakota, Josh's father.

My first impression after a chapter:
The story starts nicely with some banter between Patrick and Josh. Nothing that instantly grabs my attention though.

The man who is Dakota:
The rugged hot older cowboy Dakota Bailey has a past that still affects his present. He comes across as a signature man from the land and I liked his quiet, gruff demeanor. I wouldn't have objected to much more of him in this story, he was by far the most intriguing character to be found in the pages!

The younger man who is Patrick:
The exuberant sexed-up but serious Patrick has his world turn a hundred and eighty degrees when he meets and falls for Dakota. He was a nice character but he remained very two-dimensional for me. Even with a lot of attention for his character he still remained very bland. The only moment I felt him come alive was when he fought with Dakota's accuser.

The cast of family and friends:
The best friend Josh was a wonderful secondary character who added some much needed temperament to the story. He is one to banter with Patrick, he is showing his hurt in how the accusations affected him too and has a summer fling. Along with his aunt Kate they gave Last Call a small town vibe that added to the feel of the setting.

The emotional journey:
With the topic of false accusations of sexual harassment there were definitely a variety of emotions involved. Dakota, who got accused, lost all that mattered to him and Josh lost a good portion of his childhood. I didn't get in to the mind of the parties involved at that devastating time. While they did talk about it and some emotions were conveyed via the characters, I missed an intrinsic storytelling. Something that would connect me to the characters on an essential level where they would move me. I had a feeling all was told via dialogue and it created a distance in how I absorbed the story.

The sizzling sexiness:
The magnetism between Dakota and Patrick was evident from the beginning and enticing both characters in the best of ways. Yet when the moment arrived where thoughts turned in to actions I got the notion the passion between Patrick and Dakota was forcibly spiced up with some kinky attributes. Instead of having it flow naturally and just let the body chemistry do its job the author threw in a bit of bondage, nipple clamps and such but it didn't add anything to the momentum.

The romance blossoming:
This is what didn't work for me. The body language was sizzling but it went from there to instant love and the author couldn't make it believable for me. The obstacles between the men wasn't worked out or worked through very well. All it did was create some tense moments and discussions that led them in circles. There was no deepening of their feelings, just more body language between the sheets and this put me off at some point.

My synonyms for Last Call:
Easy read - interesting trope and likeable characters.

My overall reaction:
Last Call would've been a nice read weren't it for the fact it couldn't deliver completely on the romance. It remained too much on the surface of things for me to get involved or care much about the cast of characters. So in the end I remained with a sexy tale that once read was easily forgotten. 

2.5 Stars

The quotes for you to sample:

“Dak,” Patrick said, coming closer,
“Patrick, don‘t,” he said. He took off his hat, gave him a faint smile and then left Patrick standing there in the barn.
Don’t? Don’t what? Don’t say it, don’t express the mess my emotions are in, twirling around inside of me, taking my breath away? Don’t feel it? Maybe Dak was used to pushing everything deep inside, but he wasn‘t.
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  1. Well shoot, a romance really does need to bring in the romance department doesn't it? That cover is very nice though. rawl. :) Nice review Leotine.

  2. Your reaction to this is similar to my reaction to pretty much all the books I've read by this author...

  3. Not fun when a book almost delivers, and when it fails in the romance department..not good

  4. Bummer about the romance. Sounds good otherwise. I think the one Manly book that I've read in the past was lacking emotion/romance as well. Nice sex scenes though. :)

  5. That is one hot cover! I love the theme of this book, but can do without the bdsm stuff. I don't mind that in the right context, but it seems it was out of place here.

  6. @Fiction Vixen - I like the cover too....at least the model :) but what the gun in doing in his hands? It doesn't relate to the story.

    @Chris - I've got another book of this author but right now I'm not feeling compelled to pick it up!

    @Blodeuedd - it could've used more development IMO

    @Tracy - The chemistry was there and the sexing was nice but i just didn't get all the extra stuff.*sigh*

    @helyce - That's my point exactly, in the right context I goble it up like no tomorrow but in this story it didn't add anything to the physical and emotional connection between the men.


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