“A guy that sped all over the city trying to save people’s lives, couldn’t possibly be a complete monster.”
In a word: Don’t read the thing. Just… don’t. I cannot stand this book, and that might just be a ‘me’ thing though, because it got a lot of good reviews on Goodreads. I didn’t like it when I read it the first time, but when I tried to reread it I pretty much had to force myself, and then I gave up after a few pages. I hate the characters, I’m not completely in love with the writing, and the story itself sounds like something I’d probably like if it were written differently than it was here. What makes me dislike it even more is the fact that this book had potential, there were some parts that I enjoyed and there were some parts that I was genuinely invested in. But in the end I just didn’t like it and could not make myself read it again.
THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS
DNF: So this isn’t technically a DNF since I did actually read it a few months ago. I was gonna read it again for the blog but just couldn’t make myself do it. After a few pages (that I had to force myself to get through) I just gave up. I skimmed through it a bit, and remember enough from my first read-through, but I’m sure I’ve forgotten some things. Either way, I didn’t like the book, and I remember why and that’s enough. No point in forcing myself to read something I don’t want to.
The Couple: Our two romantic leads are Levi Goode and Jake Freeman; and I hate both of them. Levi is an event planner for the rich and famous citizens of Wilde City, though he himself isn’t all that well off. He owns the building he works in and lives in an apartment above his offices, and he also takes care of his elderly mother. He’s a bit of a mama’s boy, really. He’s also annoying and whiny. And I also kinda got the impression that he’s like an effeminate stereotype of some sort? It’s weird. Jake’s a paramedic, and he’s working-class now but he was raised in a rich family. He’s estranged from his parents (who are snobby rich people and he’s probably better off without them anyway), but he’s still on good terms with his sister and her husband. Jake pissed me off so much in this. He’s been with his boyfriend for quite a while (9 years, I think) and their relationship is starting to fizzle out and then there’s no hope for it after he meets and falls for Levi. The thing there though is that Jake seems to want to have his cake and eat it too. He doesn’t want to break up with his current boyfriend, but he still wants to be with Levi. He’s quite selfish and doesn’t seem to think much of the feelings of the people around him. He doesn’t come off as whiny as Levi, but that’s probably because the book is told mostly through Levi’s (third person) point of view, and he thinks the sun shines out of Jake’s arse most of the time. I’ll give Levi some credit though, he’s got some good morals, even if he is a little uppity about them.
The Boyfriend: Jake’s boyfriend’s name is Victor, and he doesn’t show up much. He mostly exists in the background as the one reason why Levi can’t be with Jake. There really isn’t much to Victor (not that I can remember from my first read, anyway, he didn’t leave much of an impression). He’s a real snob; he can’t understand why Jake does the work he does (paramedic) and would rather him be a CEO, something that would be more respectable in his eyes. I really don’t know how they managed to stay together for so long, you get the sense that they don’t really fit well together. They’re both kind of arseholes, so maybe they just bond over that. And here’s an extra note: apparently Victor has cheated on Jake in the past, and he does actually get a little pissed off when he eventually finds out the Jake has fallen in love with someone else. Ho ho… too bad I don’t really care.
The Side Characters: This book has a fair few side characters. They really aren’t all that more likable than our two mains. The first one we meet is Valerie, Levi’s crude, shameless assistant and apparent only friend. I think her main purpose in the story was to be gross and annoying, that’s all I really remember her doing. Then there is Levi’s mother Ruby, who is a former showgirl and who is fairly entertaining. I wouldn’t read a whole book about her, but this book wouldn’t have suffered much with more of her. She’s actually how Levi and Jake first meet. Then there is Jake’s sister Julia and her husband Greg, who are clients of Levi’s so they show up a bit during the party preparations. They don’t really have personalities. Levi also gets another employee, named Angelo, at some point. He doesn’t really do much other than be attractive and Levi tries to use him to make Jake jealous at one point. There’s Victor, of course, and Jake and Julia’s parents show up for a scene or two. There are a few other people who are in and out of the story, but don’t ultimately contribute to much. The side characters don’t really add much either, they’re really just other people to get annoyed with. Except for Ruby, she’s fairly funny.
The Cheating: Levi and Jake meet randomly one day when Levi’s mother Ruby has an ambulance called for her and Jake is one of the paramedics attending to her. Levi pretty much instantly falls head over heels for Jake, which works out well for him since Jake seems to really be into him. He agrees to a date at any rate. Sometime after the date it comes out that Jake is actually already in a committed relationship, and has been for the past nine or so years. It might’ve been when Levi was trying to get a second date, I think. Because Jake is a complete asshole. So basically, Levi is in love with this guy who already has a boyfriend. To make things worse, Jake just keeps leading Levi on. It’s infuriating. Levi tries to keep away from Jake (which is difficult since he’s planning Jake’s sister’s anniversary party), but Jake just keeps trying to push his way into Levi’s life. I guess it’s not ‘traditional’ infidelity where they get together in secret and have loads of sex, because Levi has morals, they mostly just dance around each other and the situation for the whole book. Levi tries to halfheartedly move on and Jake just makes the situation even worse. At one point, absolutely knowing that Levi has major romantic feelings for him, Jake suggests that they be friends. He even gives a spiel about how much he wants Levi to be in his life, but they can’t date because he’s still with Victor, so they should just hang out and be best bros and go on like they aren’t actually totally in love with each other. Because Jake is a complete asshole. Levi goes along with it at first, because he’s desperate, but he does eventually put a stop to it. But yeah, it’s not even a situation where Jake is clueless about Levi’s feelings and wants to hang out with him as a friend. He knows that Levi has feelings for him and just elects to ignore them so they can hang out as bros while he still gets to be with an actual boyfriend. It’s awful. I don’t even know why Levi likes him so much.
The Potential: One of the things that I hate most about this book was the potential it had. This could’ve been a great story. Just change a few details and it could’ve been amazing, or at least something I’d be willing to read more than once. First would be to clean up the writing (more on that later). Beyond that, tweaking the characters would help a whole hell of a lot. Like, there’s no real need to have Jake be a complete angel or anything, but making him a complete tool who spends most of his time playing with Levi’s feelings definitely isn’t going to endear him to the readers (unless that’s your thing, it certainly isn’t mine). When I first bought the book I thought it was gonna be about how Levi falls madly in love with Jake, finds out he’s taken and therefore can’t be with him, and then can’t really ignore him completely because he has to organize Jake’s sister’s party. In that scenario the angst would come from Levi silently pining from afar as the story would reach the inevitable point (in stories like these) where Jake slowly comes to realize that he is very unsatisfied with his failing long-term relationship (with a partner who has cheated on him in the past) and he finds himself falling in love with his sister’s event planner. Then there would be some angst with Jake about whether or not he should leave Victor to be with Levi. Shenanigans would happen but we’d eventually end up with Levi and Jake’s HEA. That’s not what happens here though. Levi does fall for Jake, hard and fast, but Jake mostly just leads him on throughout the story. He’s always keeping Levi at arm’s length, but he does it in ways that make it seem like Levi might have a chance at some point, but nothing ever comes of it and Jake gets to go home to his boyfriend while Levi is left on his own. Rediscovering the part where Jake whines that he still wants to be in Levi’s life but only as friends EVEN THOUGH HE KNOWS THAT LEVI IS COMPLETELY HEAD-OVER-HEELS FOR HIM made me want to scream. This book just makes me angry. It doesn’t help that there are some funny moments and heartwarming moments, so there was so much potential here for a better story. But instead, all we are left with is this pile of shite.
The Sex: I had absolutely completely forgotten that there were actually any sex scenes in this book. Yeah. That should probably tell you all you need to know on that front. I had to skim through the book to double-check that there was even something there that wasn’t a fade-to-black scene. Turns out there was. Jake finally leaves Victor to be with Levi and they have celebratory relationship-affirming sex to celebrate (after a marriage proposal BECAUSE WHY THE HELL NOT RIGHT? JESUS CHRIST!). It’s nothing really to write home about though. It’s also not all that explicit, but just barely. There are two scenes, I believe, possibly three. Pretty sure blowjobs happen at some point. The writing doesn’t make it sound too exciting though. And honestly by then I just didn’t care. I still don’t. I don’t even like these two, I don’t care about their sex life, especially seeing as it’s not particularly well-written. At least we didn’t get a historical background paragraph for the bed, or the lube or whatever, small favours. There are no sex scenes in the epilogue. At least, none that I can remember.
The Writing: Outside of a few amusing and fluffy moments, the writing here bounced between ‘meh’ and ‘annoying as fuck’. Most of the dialogue was ridiculous and a lot of it didn’t make sense considering who was doing the talking. Everyone basically talked the same, like they were all high-class people living in a different era; they were all strangely formal. Now, a lot of the characters are high-class, but then you have characters like Ruby who used to be a showgirl in Vegas (I think), and Valerie who is always crass, and Jake’s paramedic friends; all of whom have no business speaking like highly-educated high-class professors (or something). I imagine that even Jake himself would’ve changed the way he spoke since he spends most of his time working with middle-class folks and talking with them. Another thing that really stands out, and you will absolutely notice this, is the historical tangents the author likes to go on. Every so often the story grinds to a halt so that Levi (or I’m guessing it’s him, the book is written in third-person) can go on for paragraphs about the history and decoration style for most of the buildings he finds himself in. I get that he’s an event planner and decorating and symbolism are important to him, but there’s gotta be a better way to bring it up. These passages can go on for multiple pages and they are dry as fuck if you (like me) aren’t into it. They could easily be things written in text books, or historical pamphlets, or something. Frankly, they should’ve been left out altogether. Or, if they were so important to the story (HA), shortened to a few relevant sentences.
[Love Me Tomorrow was published March 11, 2015 by Wilde City Press, and is available both in print and as an ebook]