What Chris Wants

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16071026Title and Link: What Chris Wants (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor #4.5)
Author: Lori Foster
Publisher: Harlequin
Amazon Buy Link
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Length: 44 pages
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

A guest review by Lasha

Summary Review: It was obvious that fans of this series wanted Chris to get his HEA, I just wish the author could have jumped on board too.


THE BLURB

When the going gets tough, the tough turn to Chris Chapey. As the right-hand man to a group of take-no-prisoners mercenaries, Chris can organize a top secret rescue mission with his eyes closed. But when it comes to his personal life, Chris is the one who needs a little help.

His problem: Matt Houser. Chris can’t deny his attraction to Matt, but Matt has no idea what Chris’s job really entails and how much it means to him. Matt challenges Chris to change his life—and make a place for him in it. Can Chris risk telling him the truth?

THE REVIEW

Let me start out this review by stating I have been reading romance novels for 30+ years. I started out with Harlequin Romances and Presents and as I matured moved into the Silhouette Nocturne and Harlequin Temptation books. Those novels are where I discovered Lori Foster and her Men to the Rescue series. So, I was very excited to hear that Ms. Foster had jumped into the m/m world by writing her first novel featuring a romance between two male protagonists called What Chris Wants, which is a part of the Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor series.

Since I had not read the first four books in this series, I was happy to see that Chris’ story was self-contained, so all you really need to know if that Chris is gay, works for a hot guy named Dare, whose sort of a mercenary, and is in a casual sexual relationship with Matt.

Unfortunately, that plot doesn’t progress further in the short 44 pages of this novella. Despite fans of this series begging for Chris’ story, I did not see that Chris was really treated to his HEA. Why? Because more time is given to the previous heterosexual couples in the series and none to Matt and Chris, the main couple in this book. What Chris Wants had every bad cliche I hate in any romance novel: unlikable characters, no passion between the main couple, a Big Misunderstanding and not one, but four Mary Sue’s butting into Chris’ love life.

I wanted to like this book, I really did. I loved Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series, and Jules and Robin were my favorite pairing in them. And even if Robin and Jules’ love scenes in Ms. Brockmann’s books didn’t get the same treatment as the straight couples in her books, at least Jules and Robyn genuinely seemed to love and lust after each other. In What Chris Wants, I saw no attempt from the author to explore their relationship. We get a few brief kisses, no onscreen sex; but most importantly there is no attraction or chemistry between Chris and Matt! Nothing. Na da. Zip. I was rooting for these guys to get their happy ending, but since a lot of the book focused on the previous couples from the series and catching up with them, Chris and Matt’s love story was overlooked. Now, I don’t mind fade-to-black sex scenes, but the author has to lead up to that point with kissing, foreplay, attraction, etc., and this book had none of that. Quite frankly, I saw more chemistry between Chris and his (male) boss, Dare than I did with Matt and Chris.

And this is a shame. Why? Because I know Ms. Foster can write better than this. I’ve read her books before and know she can sizzle with the best of them. If her m/f scenes can burn up my Kindle, why should her m/m book be any different? They shouldn’t.

I have no idea if the author was told to turn it down by Harlequin or if she felt uncomfortable writing m/m love scenes, but either way, What Chris Wants suffer from a lack of a plot, pointless secondary characters interfering with the main couple, and no chemistry between the leads what-so-ever. Overall, a complete disappointment and the reason I could only give it two stars.

6 thoughts on “What Chris Wants

  1. Cryselle

    I can understand no sex if the house requires it, but no chemistry and everyone else’s love story? Where’s the fun of that? No wonder you rated low.

  2. Wave

    As we discussed Lasha, my rating would have been identical for the same reasons. There was NO STORY between Chris and Matt. Why? There’s no romance. Why? There’s no on page sex. Why? As you said in the review the only attraction was between Chris and his boss.

    If Lori Foster didn’t want to write an M/M romance she should have told her fans to shove off, because she did them, and anyone else purchasing this book, a disservice.

    I’m waiting before I buy J.R. Ward’s Lover at Last to see if she gives this book the same shoddy treatment.

    Great review Lasha. I don’t have the same background as you in Romance as I started out reading mystery and fantasy, but I have read the odd Lori Foster book and she’s better than what she served up in What Chris Wants.

  3. Susan

    Hi Lasha,
    Thanks for your review. Of course I will not be reading this book. I guess my question is: how was it even able to get 2 stars? From what you had to say and what I have read elsewhere, there just doesn’t seem to be much here that would warrant the stars. Thanks.

  4. Sirius

    Gah. I loved Susan Brockman’s Jules and Robin. – I was hoping for something here at least of that intensity. I guess not really. Thanks Lasha. Pass.

  5. Denni

    Another fan of Jules & Robin, my intro into m/m :blush: I haven’t read Lori Foster in a couple years, but agree with what’s already been said. If the author wasn’t into this pairing she shouldn’t have bothered with a half-baked attempt. Or maybe a co-authorship to do the story justice? Shared world building is very legit these days, and a different/shared author would have been better than a failed effort.

  6. Larissa

    Oh noes. That is too bad. I had hoped for more from this mainstream author.
    If she didn’t want to write m/m than don’t do so. There is no shame in that. Some things are just too hard to write for some authors. But there is nothing worse than a half baked story. I’m glad I didn’t buy this yet.

    Thanks for the insightful review!

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