4-star,  Delicious smut,  Entertaining,  M/M,  Romance

Ellis Harper’s Shot in the Dark by K. Sterling

I loved this story. I devoured it in only two sittings because the plot was just too delicious for words.

Synopsis: Ellis is a closeted guy who hooks up – anonymously and in the dark – with a guy during a wedding he’s invited to as his friend’s date. His best friend, Alli, who’s newly pregnant and might have blurted out that Ellis was the father of her child. To say things spiral from there is an understatement. Ellis can’t forget about the hot mystery man, and they decide to continue seeing each other even after the wedding weekend is over. But meeting in the dark and keeping their identities from each other might not be such a good idea when feelings start to develop. Especially when – officially – Ellis is soon to become a father.  

But first off. The author specifically asks readers to avoid spoilers when reviewing, which I totally respect. However, I just want to say that I knew who the mystery man was going in, after all, I had picked up this book after a recommendation on this exact trope. And my enjoyment of the read wasn’t the least bit diminished by already knowing. So, even if you know in advance, you don’t have to worry about being bored. This is still awesomely juicy and engaging.

Anyway. This story is over-the-top and excessive. I mean, even considering the clandestine meetings in the dark, the thing with pretending to be his best friend’s baby-daddy is taking the plot way, way too far. But that same thing is also what makes this read so great. Sure, it’s unlikely. But it’s done in a way to maximize the frustration, anticipation and angst. So you see. Awesome.

I can’t complain about the sexytimes either. Harper’s booty-calls were hot AF and I do so prefer explicit and dirty nookie. So that was a win.

The story is mostly told through Ellis’ POV, but not entirely. And I liked that. It’s always interesting to broaden the perspective.

I had a bit of trouble accepting Ellis being so closeted. I mean, he came out to his friends during college, but he still had trouble calling himself gay, even when he hung out with those same friends. However, I do think his fear of coming out to his parents were valid and understandable.

This book could have been a 5-star. The storytelling surely warrants it. But to me, the writing itself put me off a bit. Throughout the read, I kept having to re-read sentences several times before comprehending the meaning. And sure, English isn’t my first language, but that’s still unusual for me. Also, the pacing was quite uneven in a somewhat strange way. There could be page after page of drawn out texting between Ellis and his hook-up, texting that could be repetitive and without bringing the story forward. Then there were really pivotal or dramatic events covered by only a few sentences.

So those things lowers my rating to a 4-star. But I still highly recommend this book!

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I'm a Swedish book nerd reading mostly steamy English romance novels. And since there is so much good stuff out there, and so much shitty stuff too. I just want to give credit where it's due (and diss the rest).