Monday, March 21, 2011

Swiftly Dusted: Mini-review of He Said, He Said by Jamie Craig

Author: Jamie Craig
Title: Aquarius: He Said, He Said
Series: Boys of the Zodiac, #11 (no reading order required, this one is a standalone)
Publisher: Amber Allure
Date: January 30, 2011
Word/page count: 51k words / 144 pages

Backblurb/Goodreads link | author's website | buy link

Genre & keywords:
M/M, Contemporary Romance, Fatherhood

Synopsis in short:
On the surface, the only thing single dads Peter and Aaron have in common are their eight-year-old loner sons. They develop - reluctantly at first - a friendship thanks to the friendship of their sons, Morgan and Sammy.

Setting: A modern city, probably San Francisco (Fisherman's Warf is mentioned). The men first meet in a city park where they take their kids to play. Other settings where the events take place are their apartments and other sites in the city.

POV: First person narrators, alternating between Peter and Aaron's point of view per chapter. Both have their own, distinct voice.

H/H & characterization: Peter is a divorced single dad and has to deal with his ex-wife and seeing his son Morgan only every other weekend. I felt for him and his difficulties with finding a serious partner. Aaron on the other hand is a single dad because his wife died. After her death his life only exists of his work and his son Sammy who has health problems. His loneliness was saddening and I was glad for him that he met Peter. At first Peter and Aaron don't like each other very much, but then a platonic friendship blooms after which they gradually grow into a more physical relationship. The slow build-up is nice and makes for a believable emotional connection. The author does a good job 'showing' instead of 'telling' who the heroes are, what they feel and think.

Empathy level: Thanks to the alternation first person perspectives and the excellent characterization you get a very good insight in the heroes’ feelings, thoughts and doubts. This made it very easy to empathize with them, and also with their sons to a certain level.

Heat level: The sex scenes were scorching and plenty, although it took the guys a while to get there. I really liked it that they didn't jump into bed from the start. I also felt the growing emotional connection through all the physical hotness. 2.5 out of 3 flames.

Angst level: There was a bit of a misunderstanding about what both men were expecting from the sexual arrangement they had, which made my heart squeeze a bit, especially for Peter. 1 maybe 1.5 out of 3 hankies.

Overall entertainment level: From the first to the last page this was a greatly entertaining story. The men were not only fun to observe together but also in interaction with their sons. The little guys were as engaging and lifelike as their adult cast members. Kids and romances are not always a good combination, but here it was a great addition. So, yes, overall a very enjoyable read.

Final judgment:  
4.5 out of 5 stars


  1. I have a few of these zodiac books, I wonder if I have this one? I'll have to check. I do like the authors though and this sounds interesting. I'll definitely keep it in mind.

  2. @Tam: It's definitely worth checking your tbr, Tam. This was a good one. :)

  3. I really enjoyed this one. Wonderful review, Janna! :)

  4. @Lily: Me too, Lily! Thanks, I tried a different review format (again!), lol.

  5. I really enjoyed this book... and I liked having both perspectives. It was very nicely written. Great review!

  6. I think this is on my "to read sometime" list. :)

    Actually, I think there are a couple of the Zodiac books that aren't quite standalone - I can't remember which two, though... :(

  7. @Mariana: I agree, having both perspectives was great. Glad you enjoyed this one too. :)

    @Chris: Lol, how many different to-read lists do you actually have, Chris? ;)
    Oh, I better change that standalone part a bit then, thanks!

  8. Angst level, lol

    Ok, I am getting sleepy, the little things make me giggle now

  9. I'v got one or two of this series as well, even started in one that began with a charity auction but for some reason the introduction between hero and hero irked me. So I set it aside for a moment to pick it up in the future.

    I have these moments more often lately where I start in a book and for some reason I don't finish it *sigh* Probably a temporarily Leontine quirk *wink*

    This one however...I heart the single dad's. They just make me go *aaawwhhh* and *wow* and *zing* and then back to *aawwwhhh* LOL

    It must be the overdose on sunshine, but I feel good today ;)

  10. @Blodeuedd: *g*

    @Leontine: There are different authors who wrote the books in this series. I don't think I've read one of the other books yet... but this one was really an *aawwhh*, *wow*, *zing* and *aawwhh* kinda book, lol!

    @orannia: Me too! :)


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