Regret Me Not, by Amy Lane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 4, 2017
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Pierce Atwater used to think he was a knight in shining armor, but then his life fell to crap. Now he has no job, no wife, no life—and is so full of self-pity he can’t even be decent to the one family member he’s still speaking to. He heads for Florida, where he’s got a month to pull his head out of his ass before he ruins his little sister’s Christmas.
Harold Justice Lombard the Fifth is at his own crossroads—he can keep being Hal, massage therapist in training, flamboyant and irrepressible to the bones, or he can let his parents rule his life. Hal takes one look at Pierce and decides they’re fellow unicorns out to make the world a better place. Pierce can’t reject Hal’s overtures of friendship, in spite of his misgivings about being too old and too pissed off to make a good friend.
As they experience everything from existential Looney Tunes to eternal trips to Target, Pierce becomes more dependent on Hal’s optimism to get him through the day. When Hal starts getting him through the nights too, Pierce must look inside for the knight he used to be—before Christmas becomes a doomsday deadline of heartbreak instead of a celebration of love.
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Content Warning for: Homophobic parents (not really involved in the story).
This was an okay book, but had a lot of things that ended up annoying me or just straight-up boring me.
What really dragged down the book right from the start was that they spent most of their time doing domestic things together. It was mostly them shopping or working out to rehab Pierce’s injuries. It felt like they had been in a relationship for a while, not a new one, but they weren’t even dating yet when this started so it was just kind of weird. This was friendship or long-term relationship behavior, so Hal kind of ended up in a caretaker position.
Another issue that I had was that Hal was portrayed as being super old, but he was only 32. Yeah he was injured, but you’d think he was 72 and on his way off the Earth given the way he was written. Hal was 23 and there was an age gap but Hal was super mature (maybe unrealistically so) for his age, so to me it wasn’t that big of a deal. However, it was a big part of the story and they kept talking about it and talking around it until they just fell into a relationship. This dragged the book down for me and, combined with the caretaker aspect, totally killed their chemistry for me.
What exacerbated the slow pace of the book was the fact that there weren’t many secondary characters. We got a few of them on the phone, but it was kind of a one-sided conversation. Otherwise they were only part of the story when Hal or Pierce talked about them. Once again this made the book super one dimensional and boring because the plot was largely driven by Hal and Pierce shopping, working out, or talking about people.
I don’t fully understand why Pierce had an ex wife. She became this random subplot added to give Pierce and Hal something to talk about to build intimacy. She didn’t become a total villain, but we only heard Pierce’s version of her so it was pretty much him telling Hal what his ex-wife did. Then Hal told Pierce what his parents did and how homophobic they were. A lot of tell and no show was going on in this book and it became a list instead of something natural and organic.
This isn’t really that big of a deal to most people but cutesy nicknames are starting to really be a book deal breaker for me. Hunny or sweetheart or whatever is fine, but it’s starting to become a focus of a lot of books and to be honest it’s getting annoying. This time Hal was a unicorn and that was fine. Unicorn can be his cutesy name that doesn’t bother me, but what bothered me was the constant explanation of why he was a unicorn. It also undermined Pierce’s hesitancy to start a relationship with someone younger than him. He’s younger, but then Pierce kept calling him this super cutesy dootsy nickname? Hmm no thanks.
The bottom line is that I wasn’t sold on their relationship, and I did not feel the passion between them.
Amy Lane has two kids who are mostly grown, two kids who aren’t, three cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and gay romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.