Review: Always Another Side by Annabelle Jacobs

Starting over at forty is hard work for landscape architect Jack Bowman. His long-term partner hurt him badly. With his self-esteem dented by the break up, trusting a new lover is going to take time.

Tyler Freeman is equally unlucky when it comes to love. Now that he’s over thirty-five, he’s tired of getting played. All he wants is someone special. How hard can it be to meet a man who’s honest, with no hidden surprises?

Being set up on a blind date might be a classic cliché, but it’s a stroke of good luck for Jack and Tyler. They have a lot in common, including previous relationships steeped in deceit, but it’s worth navigating their trust issues if it means laying those ghosts to rest.

Making it work finally seems possible—until an accidental discovery threatens their newfound happiness.

It was so refreshing to read a book about more mature MC’s who are anxious to communicate. Both Jack and Tyler have been hurt terribly by past relationships, so they already have something in common, just in very different ways. Jack was with his partner Simon for many years and the breakup and the wrong that Simon did to him still weighs heavily on him and he’s working himself slowly out of the funk he’s been in for 8 months. Tyler was heartbroken by a man he thought he loved and the way the asshole treated and tricked him shattered his self-confidence and left him gun shy to meet anyone else. Their well-meaning mutual friends set them up on a blind date under the guise of a group outing, less pressure, which they both begrudgingly agree to.

The dinner goes better than they both expected and the attraction is obvious if a little disconcerting to Jack in particular. He’s definitely not in a place to move on just yet and start a new relationship, but he can’t deny that Tyler actually makes him feel something for the first time in a long time. Tyler was the opposite, he dove into his feelings head first, heartache be damned. He’s determined to not be so ‘stupid’ this time around, but it’s hard for him to not be himself when what he wants is sitting across the table from him looking all chiseled and delicious.

The two move forward cautiously and honestly. Sometimes a little too honestly to me for a budding relationship/friendship. I loved that they put all their cards on the table, but for the first half of the book, that’s about all they did. They set realistic expectations with one another, but every get together ended up with apologies back and forth for crossing boundaries or lashing out because of the overwhelming feels. Technically they were each-others rebounds and it felt like it to me. Halfway through and I should have been able to feel more positively towards something for them but I mostly wanted to tell them to bottle up the noise and actually get to know each other beyond how they were defined by their past relationships.

The second half of the book moved forward in the direction I wanted to see. Jake let go of some of his stubborn resolutions and adopted a bit more of Tyler’s attitude without apology. This was the part where I could see a future for them, they weren’t exactly opposites, but they complemented and appreciated the others shortcomings well. Even when it came to the “shit just got real” moment, the changes that happened in the second half made it OK to wait it out while more feelings got processed.

The ending was a little too easy given the build-up. I liked it, preferred it actually after all the drama, it just didn’t balance with the pacing of the first half. I needed to be happy for them though after all they went through, especially Tyler, so I was good with it. I can see where it would be a little out of whack for some. Overall I was so happy to read about some mature characters for a change. There wasn’t angst just for the sake of it. I could believe the misgivings both characters had throughout my only niggle was with the pacing and balance. The characters were very likable and I couldn’t help but root for them through the whole story. I believed their HEA and it was well deserved for these guys.

For more information on Always Another Side, check it out over on Goodreads.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

Did you see the giveaway via the author today here?

No comments:

Post a Comment