Book Review – Unrequited by Abigail Roux
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 10, 2009)
About the book:
“Vic Bronsen has a problem. He’s stuck in a rut, uninspired by his job, and in love with a man who has no clue.
Thinking a change of scenery and company will do his aching heart some good, he goes off on a road trip with his best friend, only to find that the answers to his problems may have been right there in front of him all along.”
Abigail Roux writes a sweet and romantic love story about how sometimes, people can be so blind that they can’t see what’s right in front of them.
Prosecutor Vic Bronsen has been stuck in a frustratingly ‘unrequited’ five-year relationship with the ‘love of his life’ Owen Montgomery. Five years indeed is a long time to be in love with someone who is otherwise a nice guy, except for the part about treating you as his semi-regular ‘booty-call’ or ‘fuck-buddy’.
In a last-ditch effort to metaphorically wash Owen out of his hair, Vic joins his best friend Shane Simpson on a 4-week sight-seeing trip along the Outer Banks in North Carolina, finally ending up at Shane’s beach house on the coast. We get to tag along as the two men see the sights, enjoy each other’s company, and here’s the romance part – we get to watch as Vic slowly opens his eyes, smells the roses and realizes that Shane isn’t just his bestfriend. Maybe he’s more than that.
Vic is a sympathetic character, and any woman or man who’s ever carried the torch for someone can totally understand where he’s coming from. And I wanted him to just be happy and find the special connection he’d been looking for. And so much the better if he finds it in his best friend, right? But is Shane ‘Mr second best’ or ‘the One’?
I actually enjoyed the sightseeing trips that Vic and Shane took – I’ve never been to North Carolina myself so I enjoyed seeing the tourist spots via Vic and Shane’s eyes. The problem is that, given how short the novel is (it’s really a novella), even though I enjoyed the scenic detour, it also made the story drag and took time out from more important things – like telling me just who Shane is for example. Unfortunately, Ms Roux didn’t quite succeed in fully fleshing him out as a character to me. I blame the shortness of the novel for that – Ms Roux could have extended the book maybe, spent more time in character development since she already spent so much time on just explaining the scenery. How about the people? We know next to nothing about the men personally, aside from their jobs and basic details. And when Ms Roux brings in another complication to the story, ie. Owen back to mix, the whole resolution just becomes too rushed for me to fully enjoy. Honestly, this book needed an extra 100-200 pages that it was missing to tell the whole story.
Don’t get me wrong though, Ms Roux has an easy reading writing style, and she does get the romance part down pat. The hot scenes are hot indeed, and overall, I was left pretty satisfied in the romantic resolution. Even if you’re already a fan of Ms Roux’ collaborations with Madeleine Urban, don’t hesitate in checking this book out. She’s pretty good on her own, maybe she just needs more confidence in producing a longer product?
Check out Unrequited and help support Abigail Roux.