REVIEW: Take Everything – Alexandra Caluen

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

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Gaylot

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.

When Richard and Willem picked each other up at the dance studio, it was supposed to be a one-night stand. Richard 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 for the cruise-ship job.

There was no way Willem was extending the cruise contract. Which meant it was time to change his life once he was back on land. Time to stop the endless round of auditions, put that yoga certification to work, and start building a steady life. A life he could share with someone. Maybe even with Richard, the person he couldn’t seem to forget.

Their next meeting was not precisely by chance; Willem knew Richard would be at the nightclub. Inviting him to a wedding was an impulse. But by the end of that date, they both knew they wanted to try again. This time they’d take it slow. They’d tell more of the truth. They’d dance together, using that common language to say things they were still afraid to say. 

After all that, maybe they’d be ready to take each other on forever.

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 a bit lost in the large cast of characters and the references to other, off page events. There was also a lot of detail regarding the dance schedule and performances. I skimmed through these 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 continue.

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

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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