Losing Better

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kh_losingbetter_1Title: Losing Better
Author: Katey Hawthorne
Cover Artist: P.L. Nunn
Publisher: Loose Id
Buy Link: Amazon
Genre: Science Fiction & Space Opera, Fantasy & Paranormal
Length: Novel
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

A Guest Review by jeayci

Review Summary: It took a while to warm up to the narrator, but once I decided I liked him, I ended up loving the story.

Blurb: Superpowered Special Agent Gabriel Genêt’s first solo mission: go to Hooperstown, North Carolina, find evidence that Andrew Wynne is operating as a vigilante, then bring him in. Ten years ago, Gabriel spent a summer alternately torturing and hooking up with Andrew as they tried to ignore their parents’ embarrassing affair. Of course Andrew, the big puppy dog, will be happy to see his old friend and never suspect a thing. Career-driven, cocky young Agent Genêt can hardly believe his luck.

A covert game of betrayals ensues. Things start out complicated, with Gabriel using Andrew’s open arms and attraction to him for all it’s worth. Gabriel tells himself he doesn’t reciprocate, and then that he can control it, but it’s too violent for either of them to deny. As he gets closer to the evidence he needs, a heady combination of nostalgia, genuine affection, and even understanding brings Andrew closer to him. Dangerously close, in every sense.

The stakes are much higher than just their livelihoods. Gabriel begins to fear it’ll come down to a choice between everything he’s ever believed in, wanted, and stood for–and the only love he’s ever known.

Review: It took a while for me to be sure if I liked Gabriel, and thus the story, but ultimately this turned out to be my favorite story in the series so far. Even when I was disliking Gabriel, I was still caught up in the story. Each time I had to set it down, I found myself thinking about it, eager to read more.

I liked Andrew all along, though a few things about his lifestyle and actions didn’t quite make sense to me. Still, for quite a while I was convinced he deserved someone better than Gabe. I wondered how this story could possibly work out in a way that would be satisfying as a romance. But, by the end, it was. The things I learned about the characters helped me to understand and appreciate them as a couple.

Gabriel clearly liked to think of himself as a rational, unemotional bad-ass. But, of course, how we like to think of ourselves doesn’t necessarily have much to do with how we really are. Some romance novels have me wishing that one or both characters were real (and straight, or at least bi) so I could have a HEA with them myself. This was not one of those stories; I wouldn’t want to be with either Gabriel or Andrew. But that’s okay, because by the end of the book I was delighted to see them together. I wouldn’t want to date either of them, but they worked for me as a couple.

It’s worth noting that there are a couple of M/M/M scenes, when Gabriel and Andrew have a third join them (including after they’re clearly an established couple). I found the sex hot, but I know that sort of thing may bother some people. I loved the guy they had their threesomes with, Kieran, and hope to see him get his own story soon.

The end is not necessarily HEA, but it’s a solid and humorous HFN. The title also makes sense by the end, and fits the story perfectly. Highly recommended.

12 thoughts on “Losing Better

  1. Val Kovalin

    Thanks for the review, Jess. I’m glad the main character does end up appealing to you because he sounds like a first-class jerk from the blurb. :) I haven’t read this series yet. Since this is the fourth book in the series, do you think readers can jump into this one as a standalone or is it better to read books 1-3 first?

    1. jeayci Post author

      Val, he really was a first-class jerk for a lot of the book. And even toward the end, there was a moment when I thought, “Sheesh, and just when I was beginning to like you…”

      And yet, somehow, by the end he did end up appealing to me. Mostly, though, I think his appeal was that I finally saw him as the right fit for Andrew, if that makes sense.

      You can absolutely read this as a stand-alone. If you do, please let me know what you end up thinking! :smile:

      1. Val Kovalin

        “Sheesh, and just when I was beginning to like you…”

        Ha, ha!

        I’ll think about it. Definitely I’ll let you know afterward if I go ahead and read it.

    1. jeayci Post author

      Oh, too bad! There was one very explicit m/m/m scene, the second was just alluded to. Don’t know if that makes any difference for you or not…

      1. Majken

        Not really, it just doesn’t work for me, I’m a ‘two people in the relationship’ kinda girl ( in books it’s two male people ;) )

  2. Larissa

    New katey hawthorne book! Me happy now!

    Thanks for the review!

    Yay m/m/m scenes! Love them! Double yay for adventurous characters!

    1. jeayci Post author

      Yay, Larissa, I love your enthusiasm! :hurrah: Please let me know what you think when you read it (though from the sound of it, I don’t have much concern about you enjoying it :lol: )

  3. Sirius

    You know, it really depends, I can tolerate (and often prefer) a lot of flaws in my characters, but some I really cannot tolerate. We shall see, since this book is waiting for me to be read :). Thanks for the review :)

  4. Katey

    Hey jeayci, thank you so much for checking it out and for the thoughtful review. I am so glad it was an okay read for you in spite of Gabriel being a first class jerk. (I completely agree, by the way–I apologize for him regularly.)

    And yeah, Kieran’s own book is absolutely in the pipeline. ;)

    1. jeayci Post author

      Sorry, Katey, that it took me so long to reply! But I’m glad you liked the review and delighted to hear that Kieran’s story is on the way. I’m looking forward to reading it, whenever it comes out. :bananadancer:

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