Turner and Turner: One Good Turn by Amber Green
This is the second book I read by Amber Green and for the second time I have the feeling that I'm plunged in the middle of the story, with all a past behind me that I have to rebuild collecting clue here and there and a bigger future ahead of me that I'm reaching at a fast pace and I haven't the brakes.
Kendall Turner (KT) is the spoiled son of a very wealthy family; I haven't really understood if his family his old wealth or mafia style, in a way or the other, KT is the black sheep, the gay boy who tried to loose himself in alcohol and the only thing he gained was a bad experience in jail, an experience that his rich father didn't save him from since he had to learn his lesson. After that big demonstration of fatherly love, KT decided that he would be better alone and took his separate way. He is now a quite complicated young college professor, with a strange circle of friends, not exactly a perfect life, but at least it's his own life. Only that someone decides to blackmailing his family using a video in which KT plays the unaware role of porn star, and the family decide to let the matter in the hand of Turner Kendall (Turn) Scott (yes same name, reverse order), the poor cousin who entered the family when KT was still a child and became not only his father's favorite, but also the protagonist in all KT's teen wet dreams. Turn disappeared for a long period when KT was still a teenager, but now it's again inside the family, and once again the perfect son for his father, something nor KT or his brother Dean manage to be.
I believe that the instability that permeates the book is a mirror of the instability that is KT's life. KT seems unable to stay put, he is always in an hurry, probably he is running away both from his family than from himself. Neither Turn, who is maybe the only constant in KT's life, is able to stop him, and KT has the uncanny ability to always end in some trouble or dangerous situation. KT is not exactly a weak man, he is quite clever and able to collect all the clues he needs, but his inner unsteadiness causes him to put himself and the people around him in danger. Turn seems to be a nice character, but actually I have the feeling that he is not fully developed, we learn something of important about him practically at the end, and we have not enough space to fully understand it and its implication: is Turn gay? is he in love with KT?
This is only a first part of a series and due to the open ending, I believe that also the second book will focus on KT and Turn, and so probably we will have time to better understand Turn.
The Men of Smithfield: Gobsmacked
Mark and Jamie are in-live lover in a small town where everyone knows everyone. Problem is that no one had the courage to tell Mark that perfect boyfriend Jamie was cheating around and Mark finds out in the worst way, unexpected coming back home and finding Jamie screwing someone on their bed. At first Mark doesn't react but then, as in a perfect play setting in a small town, he attacks Jamie during mass in the main church ot the town... telling about washing your dirty laundry in public...
But the cheating is not the only thing that Jamie was doing to Mark, he finds out that his bank accounts are cleaned out and that they didn't pay the last months rent, and this means that Mark is also without an home thanks to dear Jamie. Among all this disaster the only rock for Mark is old friend Tony, the local cop and his first crush. Actually this is a point I didn't understand so well: apparently Mark had a crush on Tony when he was 14 years old and Tony 17. Tony obviously didn't act upon that crush since they were too young, but then, when they were both adults, and Tony was available, Mark wasn't. Worst, when Tony was in need of a friend due to some family issue, Mark instead started a relationship with cheating Jamie, a man that no one in their circle of friends seem to like. I can only think that Mark is a bit selfish, not too much mind you, but he is the type that first of all think on himself and what he wants and likes, and then, if what he wants and likes is in common with his possible partner, only then he is willing and ready for a relationship. Mark is the classical man who needs a caretaker, he is not at all the strong side of a relationship, he is not able to take reasoned decision, he tends to have emotional reactions. Tony is perfect for him, since he was young, he always takes his decision considering all the consequences, and he always puts Mark's interests in front of his own. Maybe I would like for him to be a bit more selfish (on the contrary of Mark ;-) ), and for example, interferes when Mark started a relationship with a man that was obviously wrong for him.
Anyway, as first attempt from a new author, the book is nice and easy to read. Maybe Tony should have more space to develop, but you have to consider that the book is only 140 pages long.