REVIEW: Take Everything – Alexandra Caluen

Take Everything - Alexandra Caluen - The L.A. Stories

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Melissa, Paranormal Romance Guild

Get It On Amazon

About The Book

A second-chance M/M romance novel about trust, truth, and recovery.

It was supposed to be a one-night stand. That was kind of Richard’s specialty, because he didn’t want to get too close to anyone. He didn’t think there was anyone who could deal with his issues, or that it was even fair to ask. After six dates with Willem, he knew he was too close. And he knew it was too late, because Willem was leaving.

Willem looked around during the closing-night after-party and couldn’t see his new lover anywhere. A friend of a friend said she’d seen Richard go out already. Without coming to say goodnight, or goodbye, or even ‘good job.’ Willem never would have thought the man would simply disappear like that. But he was leaving anyway, so maybe it was just as well.

The cruise-ship gig turned out not to be the job of Willem’s dreams. He came back to L.A., and this time he was ready to call it done. Not a full-time dancer and actor anymore; now he was a yoga instructor. Maybe if he really dug in, he could build the kind of life someone would want to share. Maybe, if he were really lucky, that someone would be Richard.

Adult situations, themes, and language; 66,000 words and a happy ending.

The Review

This book is part of larger collection of stories all set in Los Angeles, as well as part of a smaller group of books called Second Acts.

I read this as a stand alone and felt very lost in the large cast of characters and the references to other, off page events, and characters. There was also a lot of detail regarding the dance schedule and performances that I honestly began to skim through to get to the scenes that focused on the main characters of Richard and Willem.

 I found the pacing slightly distracting, but I liked the two characters enough to find out what happens in the end.

Fans of ballroom dance, and readers who have read other books in the series may not have the issues that I had with the book.

The relationship between these two men and their respective back-stories was the major strength of this book, and the romance was well done.

The Reviewer

In writing this bio I am taking a rare break from reading! I always have a book on hand just in case there is time to sneak in a chapter or two. As a military spouse and a mom of two boys, it is amazing how often I am hurrying up to wait. Luckily for me I don’t have a favorite genre so I get lots of fun authors to choose from. My education was in sociology and mental health counseling, so stories with strong character development are my favorites. Happily Ever After is the best part of romance for me because real life is hard enough. 

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