Take a Gamble by N. Wood

Take a Gamble by N. Wood
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (180 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal sex
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Cactus

Working the bar at Blackjack’s has its advantages for Isaac Anderson; free music, decent tips and all the ogling of customers his eyes can devour. When his sights land on a regular Friday night patron, Isaac likes what he sees, but there’s just something not quite right about the mysterious Caleb Miller. If he wants to discover what that is, Isaac must take a gamble, but will it pay off?

Sometimes the seemingly worst bet is actually the winner. Isaac “Neo” Anderson enjoys his bartender job, especially when he gets to watch his mysterious crush every Friday night for months. When Isaac finally gets the nerve to go talk to him, the man runs out in a flash. Isaac soon finds out that Caleb has a secret. Although Isaac is determined not to let anything get in the way of his wooing Caleb, both men must open their hearts and take a chance.

Take a Gamble is a very sweet, quick novella. It stars Caleb and Isaac as they attempt to navigate a new relationship. There’s no external drama and the only real issue is Caleb’s epilepsy. He thinks that due to his medical condition no one would want to date him. Isaac isn’t worried and even goes so far as to learn what to do during a seizure. The two men are sweet together, although I never really felt their connection or chemistry so couldn’t really buy into them as a couple. Caleb is reluctant and non-committal, even after the epilepsy reveal, and Isaac is determined to make the relationship happen at all costs.

Part of this is that I felt that the men never came out of their pre-designed molds. They felt too artificial and flat versus fully developed and articulated characters. That could be due to the shorter length as well. Although the couple never quite connected with me, I did like the various secondary characters. Isaac’s pushy female best friend is funny and not overbearing while Caleb’s supportive brother has a brief but warm appearance. I also liked that the two men went on real dates, not just food and sex. The English countryside makes a nice backdrop. Although I’ve never been there, I could picture it quite clearly from the writing and thought it was lovely.

As a novella, the story is easy and quick to read. In fact I always seem to fly through the pages whenever I picked it up. I found it more of a lighter, beachy read than something engrossing and memorable. It’s decent and may suit those readers looking for something slightly different and lighter fare.

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