Review: The Bucket List (LoLLA #1) by Tricia Owens

When Quinn nearly dies in a skydiving incident, his life flashes before his eyes...and it's pretty boring. Even though he's moved to Las Vegas to rebel against his strict Mormon upbringing, he still hasn't done much to liven up his life. Quinn worries that he really is a dud, until a gorgeous man walks up to him and suggests an indecent proposal.

Gabriel has had a lot of sex. He's fantastic at it and he's good-looking, so he never lacks for people willing to jump into bed with him. But after a rough break-up, he's determined to make hooking up a secondary priority. It's too bad that when he first sees Quinn and his heart goes pitter-patter, Gabriel's first instinct is to make a bet with Quinn involving sex.

With one spin of the roulette wheel, Gabriel and Quinn embark on a series of sexually adventurous dares, each more exciting than the last. But what happens when one of them pushes for something more? This is book one of the LoLLA series, standalone novellas featuring lots of love/sex, low angst, and a Happily Ever After ending. Perfect for when you want a quick dose of happiness!

I am a bit twisted as to how I feel about this. I liked the opening of Quinn having a near death experience while skydiving to kick his butt to stop living in fear and take chances. I think we’ve all had something happen where we want to try to really live like that but Quinn was all talk - to himself - and no action. When he is working one night at the Lucky Strike Casino, a hot guy aka Gabriel walks in, places a bet at the Roulette table and makes a bet with Quinn. The bet? He wins and he gets to blow Quinn. From there, the place your bet for money and place you bet for sex continues between Quinn and Gabriel. Sounds kinda hot yeah? Not so much.

For me what makes it not hot is how Quinn reacts every time. Sure, it’s normal to do something way out of your comfort zone and then feel weird about it but the shame and confusion coming off Quinn would take me out of the sexy. IF shame was Quinn’s kink I could get on board but I never got that at all. He kept trying these things, even going so far to leave with Gabriel who is still a stranger and do something he didn’t ask for (his friend send the text to Gabriel asking for something and then deleted it so Quinn goes in blind), all for the chance to cross something off his bucket list. The hopeless romantic in me wants to think that at the primal soul lever, Quinn was connected to Gabriel enough to trust him but I can’t even go there. Again, his actions after told me a different story.

At half way through the book we get Gabriel’s POV which was odd but I hoped he could freshen up the story a bit. What we find is he is used to doing the sexy sex deal as it’s his go to but it leaves him empty. We also find out that Gabriel really likes Quinn and even though they lives in separate states, he wants to get to know Quinn. But Quinn, is so freaking odd about it all and keeps blowing Gabriel off which was turning me off and me just wanting the book to be over.

Once they finally get on with the more than sex, I was beyond ready to move on, so it felt anti-climactic to me.

The story had promise but I couldn't feel an ounce of chemistry between the men and while I liked Gabriel, Quinn bugged the hell out of me.

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