Tag-Team Review: Mulligans by Charlie David

Chase never had many friends, but at college, he meets and forms close ties with straight jock Tyler Davidson—a connection he fears he’ll lose if he tells Tyler he’s gay. Keeping his sexuality secret becomes harder for Chase as he joins Tyler and his family at their idyllic lake house for the summer. It grows more and more difficult for Chase to avoid Tyler’s attempts to set him up with girls, and he’s tired of making excuses. Chase is ready to embrace the man he is, but he’s afraid of what it will cost him.

The Davidsons seem like the perfect family, but Chase soon realizes there’s trouble in paradise. Tyler’s dad, Nathan, has done everything to make a good life for his wife and children—including suppressing his sexuality and denying his needs for years. But like Chase, Nathan is growing weary of living a lie. What begins as an offer of support from Chase grows into an unexpected attraction that will have profound effects on everyone. Chase and the Davidsons are about to learn that there’s no such thing as a perfect family, but that perfection isn’t a requirement for friendship and love.

1st Edition published by Palari Publishing LLp, 2010.

Fantasy Living and Lorix tag teamed the Mulligans!

I haven’t seen the film, so I pretty much went off the blurb. I had a preconceived idea of what this was about but was surprised where it ended up. I’m not sure if I liked the ending because it wasn’t what I expected, but then I also liked it because I didn’t expect it.

Chase is in college and has been invited to his best-friend, Tyler’s, family vacation home for the summer. There he meets Tyler’s family, the Davidson’s. Mum is Stacey, Dad is Nathan, and little sister is Birdy.

Chase hasn’t come out to Tyler yet, but notices something about Nathan that tweaks is intuition. What starts as a supportive ear, turns into something more, and has messy consequences.

This story was a mixed bag. I enjoyed it, and read it from start to finish without any other form of entertainment interruptions. I was eager to see where it went, and fascinated by the layers of hidden thought within the story.

Stacey was by far my favourite Davidson. Learning about her was really enjoyable, and I’m glad that her perspective was a big part of the narrative.

There is a fair amount of drama in this story, but I wasn’t overwhelmed by it. I did feel a bit sad for everyone, but there was the attempts at forgiveness and extending a hand in friendship that kept the story lighter than it could have been.

The attraction between Chase and Nathan is convincing. I can see why Nathan got caught up with the fantasy of what life might have been like if he had come out twenty years ago. The challenges that he faces as a father and family man, while ignoring a vital part of himself, showed that he was human and someone who cared deeply for his family. The flawed part of the man became more apparent as the story progressed, but he never turned into the villain.

Chase seemed equally swept up in fantasy. One that wasn’t really conscious, but once prodded became something big and beyond anything his younger mind was capable of truly processing. I worried for him, because being that young always magnifies tortured feelings and can potentially turn them into something more damaging. I’m glad he seemed to be level headed enough to get a handle on reality, rather than slip into something darker.

The story flowed well. The golf angle was fun, and different. Not something I would have considered as a good plot filler, but it worked. The writing was tight, and editing was solid.

Overall the story was good, and the plot worked. The key points were clear, and the story was brought to a natural conclusion. It wasn’t neat, or wrapped up in a pretty ending. It was entirely believable, and it didn’t feel tacky, cheap, or fetishised. I’d recommend this for something serious but not heavy. This has romantic content, but it is not a romance. It’s a story about mistakes, with consequences, and working on forgiveness.

A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

***Maybe a little spoilerish, so don't read if you like a full surprise.***

Gah, What can I say... I liked this story but the ending left me wanting. Not because it was bad, I just wanted different so I felt unsatisfied... discontented... something along those lines. I guess I wanted the sunshine and rainbows ending and that didn't happen exactly as I would have like it too. Doesn't mean this was a bad story though. On the contrary this is a book full of great characters and a plot that works well. 

Though I have not seen the film on which this book is based, I felt like I was reading a film. We were introduced to several characters viewpoints, a similar tact used in films, for me personally i would have liked it to be all in the POV of the two MC's. That is a personal preference though, it doesn't reflect the quality of the writing.

Chase and Nathan fascinated me. I loved how things developed between them, it felt very real. Want and regret and decisions made in lust. Neither were bad men and it easy to see how sometimes good people make 'bad' choices, inadvertently hurting those they love and care for the most.

I had mixed feelings about Stacey - and not just because she called her daughter Birdy...

Joking aside, I think she is probably an important character in the film, it can't be just about Chase and Nathan when one is the father of the other's best friend; I felt adding her POV into the book was unnecessary though. It just didn't sit right for me. I wanted to  know about Chase and Nathan and I wanted everything from their POV. I wanted the reactions of the other characters, especially Stacey and Tyler, I wanted as filtered through their eyes and feelings only. Again, this is a personal preference.

All in all a well written book that didn't always feel quite right to me, but this reflects more on me than the book itself.

A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.

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Dreamspinner Press


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