Amelia C. GormleyInertia (Impulse #1)Smashwords (self published), July 19, 2012 | 182 pages
Author’s website | Goodreads | Buy book here
Quiet, down-to-earth Detroit handyman Derrick Chance has had enough loss for a lifetime and he has no intention of ever risking his heart again. Living alone in the old house his grandparents left him, with only his dog and a few close friends for companionship, he has written off the possibility of romance or even sex. He refuses to consider himself lonely, or wonder what he might be missing. His life is organized, predictable, and, best of all, risk-free.
Until the day he installs shelves for accountant Gavin Hayes. With his contradictory combination of confidence and self-doubt, Gavin draws Derrick in with an intensity he's never known. As undeniable as gravity, Derrick finds himself falling for Gavin in defiance of all his usual slow and methodical ways. But Gavin carries wounds of his own. Fresh from an emotionally abusive relationship that ended with a dangerous betrayal, his future is far from certain. Can Derrick choose passion over safety, and let himself believe that Gavin is worth the risk?
Genre & Keywords: M/M Romance, Contemporary, Virgin hero, Handyman, Slow relationship development, Secrets, Troublesome past, Loss, Domestic violence, Taking risks
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 1.5 out of 3 flames
In this first installment of Amelia C. Gormley’s Impulse series we witness the slow start of a friendship, and later something more romantic, between handyman Derrick and his latest client, accountant Gavin.
These guys are a bit of unusual heroes, especially Derrick who is somewhat socially awkward. He does have friends and he interacts normally with his clients and old neighbor but he’s also closing himself off from the rest of the world and living in the past, well organized but alone in his grandparents’ old house with the exception of his dog. He’s choosing to live like this; he embraces the predictability of his life because he doesn’t want to get hurt once more by losing someone he loves again.
What he doesn’t count on is the fact that the flirting of his newest client Gavin is affecting him as much as it does. He is attracted to Gavin and finds him intriguing too, since Gavin is giving him mixed signals. He soon finds out that Gavin is living with his own scars from the past.
We as readers discover Gavin’s secrets and wounds along with Derrick, since their story is told solely from Derrick’s point of view (in third person). I understand this choice, because Gavin’s contradicting behavior is a big part of the plot, and this way the revelation of his secret delivers a punch that wouldn’t have been as effective if we had learned it earlier in the story from Gavin’s POV.
On the other hand, the single POV slowed things down a bit too much for my liking, which has probably something to do with the repetitiveness of Derrick’s thoughts here and there. The single POV also made it more difficult for me to like and understand Gavin at first and to see why these two men connected. But apart from that, Derrick’s is an entertaining perspective because of his adorable awkwardness.
I liked how the relationship development between the main characters was handled. They don’t rush into sex, but gradually start to know each other better first. And even when they finally act on their lusty feelings they take things slow due to Derrick’s inexperience. Their eventual sexy scenes together are hot and truly sweet. But first their budding relationship has to weather some bad stuff too, and no matter how dramatic this stuff and Derrick’s initial reaction are, I was very content with the way the author timed and handled this issue.
As much as I liked the path to and the execution of this climax in the arc, I was rather disappointed with the wrap up of the plot. The ending came very sudden and it felt as if we were just in the middle of the story. Even though this is the first book in a trilogy I was expecting a rounded plot with its own beginning, middle and end, but this feels more like just the beginning and maybe the start of the middle of a story. I guess we’ll get the rest of that story in the second (and third) book, so I was glad I already had that waiting for me on my ereader.
Still, the choice to let the first book end at that point seems very arbitrary to me and it raises the question why not combine the whole trilogy in one extended novel instead of cutting it up in three parts. Maybe I find an answer to that question in the next installment(s) though.
Don't let it keep you from picking up this book, just make sure to have the next title at hand in time because you'll want to continue reading!