Book Review – Irresistible by Andrew J. Peters


Publisher: NineStar Press
Pages: 231
Characters: Brendan/Cal
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Comedy

Blurb:
Brendan Thackeray-Prentiss is an Ivy League-educated trust-funder who Gotham Magazine named the most eligible gay bachelor in New York City. He lives for finding his soulmate, but after walking in on his boyfriend of three transcendent months soaping up in the shower with an older female publicist, he’s on a steady diet of scotch, benzodiazepines, and compulsive yoga. Men are completely off the menu.

Callisthenes Panagopoulos has a problem most guys dream of. With the body and face of a European soccer heartthrob, the vigorous blond hair of a Mormon missionary, and a smile that makes traffic cops stuff their ticket books back in their utility belts, he’s irresistible to everyone. But being a constant guy-magnet comes with its discontents, like an ex-boyfriend who tried to drive his Smart car through Cal’s front door. It makes him wonder if he’s been cursed when it comes to love.

When Brendan and Cal meet, the attraction is meteoric, and they go from date to mates at the speed of time-lapse photography. But to stay together, they’ll have to overcome Cal’s jealous BFF, Romanian mobsters, hermit widowers, and a dictatorship on the brink of revolution during a dream wedding in the Greek isles that becomes a madcap odyssey.

A gay romantic comedy of errors based on Chariton’s Callirhoe, the world’s oldest extant romance novel.

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Review

The story this plays homage to is described as high melodrama, unrealistic and even ludicrous. I thought the author did a great job in writing a story which is all of that, and more. Irresistible sets the parody tone right from the beginning, while the plot is still a feasible boy meets boy, and they fall in love. Instantly.

I liked Derek and Cal’s easy friendship at the beginning of the story, although I thought Brendan needed a big landslide of reality and to seriously get a life. The characters are all likeable—even Derek as his attitude is so over the top—and nothing is simple. I enjoyed all the pop culture references and rolled my eyes—in a good way—when one of the characters references being sent far away, and of course it was to New Zealand!

I spent a lot of the story thinking: seriously? And wow, another trope. But that’s the fun of it. It’s full of tropes piled on tropes, and unlikely coincidences. The more unlikely, the more likely it is to happen. A simple seeming romance soon escalates into high farcical drama with mobsters, a revolution complete with gun fire, and everyone—and I mean everyone—falls for Cal.

I thought the author uses POV well, with each change of perspective giving a very different view of characters. The descriptions are great, and I loved the scene where Cal is trying to speak Greek and totally failing at it. The translation of what he’s really saying was hilarious.

I recommend Irresistible to readers who enjoy a romantic comedy with likeable characters and a crazy over-the-top plot that isn’t meant to be taken seriously. 4 out of 5 stars.

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About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning. In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher and a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts other authors, reviews for the GLBTQ Historical Site “Our Story” and Top2Bottom Reviews, and writes monthly blog posts for Authors Speak and Love Bytes. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions four times and reached the finals three times in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at https://annebarwell.wordpress.com
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