Review: Changeling (Middlehill, #1) by Barbara Geiger

Matt sells sex because he has to take care of his little brother, Sam, and, while it sucks, it’s not that much different from the abuse he'd endured that he was a teenager. He’s exhausting himself trying to keep them together and out of the greedy jaws of the foster care system. When he ‘meets’ Kevin, things start looking up. Kevin’s not the first john to give Matt the maybe this could work outside of work vibe, but Matt is surprisingly hopeful, for once.

On the other hand, it’s really not a good time to be meeting someone. He has a new "job" exchanging his services for Sam's tuition at a fancy boarding school. People who treat him badly either end up murdered or disappear. And Kevin’s just a little too perfect. He's rich, generous, and an all-round-blowjob-genie-in-a-bottle. Something’s got to be wrong with the guy.

Nothing much, really. Kevin’s only a prince of the fae. And, hey, Matt just might be Kevin's king. Uh, king? And the questions keep piling up. Why is a rich man taking a bus on a snowy December night? Why does Kevin disappear at the same bus stop where a man who had been bothering Matt is found murdered? And most importantly, why does Kevin keep acting like it’s Matt who will leave, when it’s Matt who’s the broken one?

One word for this story: confusing. Confusing sentences and dialogue, continuity issues, abrupt introductions of new plot points, and unusual things happening without explanation or reaction from the characters. Inconsistencies, contradictions, illogical conclusions...things that didn't make any was all so confusing. I was lost, wondering if I missed a few pages of world building. Because there wasn't any, and I was missing way too much information.

My interest was caught, though, so I struggled on.

We start to get bits of world building, but Matt's stubborn refusal to find out more, always avoiding the truth, and not being very forthcoming with what he did know, kept me in the dark too much. Add in some melodramatic instalove moments and I seriously considered DNF'ing the story, but I needed to know what happened!

Things got better, or I just got used to the confusion. The story still felt disjointed, with too much missing information, too many hidden motivations, but I was able to piece enough of it together to sort of figure things out. It got even better during the second half of the story, with more world building and information being shared. At 70%, Matt even started sharing more of what he knew! Still, it seemed like every other page, I was asking, "Wait, what? Why?", but I was the only one. The characters rarely asked those questions when something odd happened or was mentioned.

The last 5-10% was really good, though; things came together, and some questions were answered. I just don't know if it was worth all that confusion in the rest of the book.

So, I didn't know how to rate this.
-Fascinating characters who I didn't connect with until the last half of the story,and even then it was more of an empathetic reaction than anything else. I also needed more chemistry showing between the characters.

-Creative, but convoluted, storyline that kept me reading, but without enough information to help me understand what was going on. Too many unanswered questions.

-I don't really consider this a romance, and the mystery of Matt was irritating with all the deliberately vague hints and oblique references, and, again, Matt avoiding the truth as much as possible. It made me crazy!

-Sweet, tender, and humorous moments that made things clear for a short while, until I got lost again. 

-And last, but not least? The one scene near the end...
five I loved that so hard stars.

Yeah, I can't decide if this story was brilliant or overly ambitious and messed up. So, why 4 stars? With all my issues, this story dug it's claws into me and didn't let go. I can't explain it, but there it is.

If this review is confusing, I blame it on the story.

Side note:
I liked Kevin's thing for Matt's stomach.  Really like it.  Not sure why, but it worked for me :)

Favorite quote:
"You make me forget who I am."
"I make you remember who you are," Kevin corrected.
*previously posted on Goodreads

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