[BOOKS] ✫ The Long Way Home ✭ Z.A. Maxfield – Pandora-jewelry.co
Despite being a serial killer mystery with some potentially emotional sub plots, IMO this book is of a lighthearted romp The banter between the MCs is one of the best things about it Their interactions with the secondary characters are also often fun The guys relationship progresses fast, and becomes solid fairly early in the book, although lingering insecurity on Kevin s part threatens to undermine them It felt as though their being together fell into place a bit easily, given what each of the MC s was dealing with view spoiler Well, easily other than the final separation which showed a surprisingly self absorbed decision on Kevin s part hide spoiler 2.5A GR friend recently pointed out the tendency readers have to react negatively when a book disappoints us the better the author, the sharper the disappointment, and the unforgiving our reaction I myself tend to be harder on books that tantalize me with a plotline or set of characters I really, really like and then don t deliver the way I think they should, as opposed to books that don t disappoint me because I never had much in the way of expectations for them Not to mention those books which get a high rating for the modest feat of surprising me by not totally sucking Z A Maxfield is one of my top three or four M M authors, and I really liked the whole psychic set up of this and had high hopes for the two leads So I was triply bummed when the book didn t deliver to my specifications My biggest issue was the mellow pacing, which might have worked for some stories, but for a book that focuses on a serial murderer of young boys, I wanted to slap the Kindle and yell quit fooling around and do your psychic stuff on the next box already So much of the storyline is focused on the developing romance that everything to do with solving the mystery continually takes a back burner conversations are delayed, Kevin s psychic investigations are performed at a glacial place, information is withheld for reasons that never seem adequate these kinds of narrative delays take place over and over again Instead we get repeated scenes of the characters cooking and eating meals together, chatting, resolving old family crises, even jogging and shopping for clothes And while I liked both main characters, their relationship was mostly sweet, without the kind of dynamic intensity and edge that would have carried the plot I think this was one of those times where a Mary Calmes like take charge Alpha was what was needed, but Connor was not aggressive enough, and Kevin was not vulnerable enough for that dynamic to really feel convincing The result was that I ended up interested in the mystery plot, which was never treated with the urgency I thought it deserved Big Spoiler view spoiler It didn t help that most readers will guess the bad guy the moment he appears at the 50% mark But despite his fitting everything we know of the killer so far, and then helpfully providing our detectives with piece after piece of information that further implicates him, Connor and Kevin still nurse only vague suspicions It makes no sense except to stretch out the story and give yet time to the developing relationship the effect for me was one of extreme frustration and led to rampant skimming of the second half hide spoiler When Young Boys Go Missing, Psychic Kevin Quinn Is Called In To Help The Police Department Quinn S Partner Is Connor Dougal, A Newer Detective On The Force, And A Skeptic When It Comes To Psychic Abilities That Is Until Strange Things Happen To Kevin When He Touches Objects Belonging To The Missing Kids Even Disturbing Is The Way Kevin Can Participate In Conner S Dreams Conner S Past Is Tied To The Current Case Than Anyone Realizes And It S Only By Lancing The Pain Of The Past There Is A Hope For The Future 4.5After all these years I still love the shit out of this book Let me give you a timeline I first read this book when my little one was a newborn, he s 9 now and very close to 10yrs The story has always been a winner for me and Z.A Maxfield has produced some of my fave stories of all time I love her writing style and her characters There s always charm and heat in her stories and I ll forever remain a fan I m a little sentimental when it comes to ZAM book.Kevin Quinn happens to be one of my fave characters and there is just something about him that I ve always loved and adored The plot is a little heavy because like all things dealing with children it makes my heart hurt but as I said the writing is charming and goofy and you ll just smile through it all.The Narration 5 Pants OffThis is my first J.F Harding narration and it will not be my last After Michael Ferraiuolo he s my next favourite Superb job for me This book was great It was actually very very funny and had me laughing out loud a number of times Especially Kevin and Connor s warped sense of humor There were so many one liners in this book that I didnt stop reading until I finished it at 3am Its a good thing I dont work today The chemistry between the H H was slow to build, but once it did, what a chemistry it was The plot was fantastic children missing and a psychic former police detective called in to help Did I mention the love story was fantastic This book is very sad at times, and very very funny at others I highly recommend it and think this might be a great way to get into the m m genre if you haven t read one before Loved it xo I cannot stand Connor Really Why would he not give poor Kevin the chance at someone who might truly love him I did not know how to rate this book, I honestly think I might have been a bit generous The rating might change but my opinions are the same I loved Kevin he was such a good character to read and I had a lot of sympathy for him throughout the book His special gift was one of the main parts of the story and his relationship with Connor was secondary to me anyway I don t have animals I d like to get another dog someday Look, Dad, this thing with Connor, he s well, I m sure he s sincere but he s new to all this And I know he s still in love with Andrew Schilling, he s never gotten over that It may be that we re just for now, you know I m the first gay man he s been close to since Andrew I m probably the first opportunity he s had to explore that side of himself I don t want you to hold it against him if it doesn t work out I figure I ll just go back to Kevin saw his dad s eyes widen and turned just in time to meet a fist squarely with his jaw It dropped him like a rock onto his dad s kitchen floor.As much as I hate to admit it I hated Connor and as a couple I was not rooting for him and Kevin He was so hung up on his dead first love that it sickened me I know some people don t mind books like that, I on the other hand hate books like that.When Connor was going on about how the first love was the love of his life It was horrible and I wished he and Kevin had not ended up together to be honest It was so hard to connect with a relationship when Connor was comparing Kevin to the dead guy the whole time Kevin was right to be jealous to be honest not everybody has that shoved in their face when they love someone I thought that it would be better to wait and see if Andrew was still the love of your life I mean look Connor, it was pretty clear that I needed you a lot than you needed me What Well I mean look at me I was a wreck I was fainting, sick, crying, falling overboard I had not a shred of control over my emotions, not the faintest idea how to survive in a place with a lot of people around That doesn t mean you need me, that means you need Robbie Without you there would have been no Robbie Without you there would have been no reconciliation with my pop, no Christmas dinner with family, no keys to mom s car, no faith from anyone, no respect, no trust Without you I d still be crazy Kevin the fake, psychic clown, hiding in Wyoming, scared to stick my nose out the door, content to be with my dog I could have cried when they got back together Connor will never really be able to let his ex go, its sad that he could break Kevin s heart because of it You may ask why I gave this book 2 stars I liked Kevin He was a good character for me I just wanted to slap him in the end.I know a lot of people love this book but I could not connect with it on a personal level Maybe I am being harsh but my opinions of this book were as I stated above I have decided 1.5 stars is for me I re read it and hated it Sigh, it was just not the book for me To be honest I like my MC s not to annoy me about an ex or a dead lover for the entire story So that has finished me I am afraid Me neither I can t help how I felt about Andrew, but he s dead I don t know what would have happened There s no choice to be made here, I want only you He stroked the side of Kevin s face gently I hope that s enough for you, because I don t have a clue what else I could say. TW death of a pet, discussion of abduction and murder of children, ableism, homophobia, domestic violence, abduction, violence attempted murder torture, murder So if you follow me on GR, you may have noticed I did a lot of status updates while reading this one That s what happens when I m bored, unfortunately I had several issues with this book, so let s get the good out of the way first.I liked the idea of this book much better than its execution I liked Kevin and Connor for the most part They were far from perfect characters and they both had issues to work through I liked that the author explored what happens when someone first becomes psychic and how they adapt or don t adapt to that And even though it was super obvious who the villain was the second he walked onto the page, up to then, it was an interesting case that connected to Connor s past somehow Of course, if Kevin had just once shaken this man s hand, he would ve figured it out who the perp was way sooner and the book could ve been 50 pages shorter.Which leads me to my first issue I m going to limit myself to my three biggest issues, and from this point on, it s safe to say that spoilers abound.1 The editing, or complete lack thereofThis is just sloppy There are incomplete sentences There are missing words, and not just the inconsequential article or preposition here or there, but important words that denote action or emotion or even who is supposed to be speaking The scenes jump around One minute, Kevin is sitting down to eat breakfast There s a couple of lines of dialogue, then Kevin is getting up to wash his dirty dishes Um when did he eat In another scene, Connor is waiting for an ambulance for Kevin There s a line about how he didn t want to let go of Kevin s hand Note that this line comes immediately after Connor had been to the door I had to go back and reread the previous two pages in that scene There is no mention of Connor ever taking Kevin s hand prior to that line These are just a few examples, and that s just the first 25% of the book.On top of that, the book gets repetitive fast Connor wakes up and goes for a run Kevin makes breakfast Connor comes back They eat They shower They do a lot of showering in this book It s an obsession of theirs I m blaming the drought on them Connor takes Kevin to a crime scene, then they go back to his place and Kevin does his psychic thing and something goes wrong Lather, rinse, repeat As such, the plot just sort of plods along and feels like it never really gets anywhere They keep saying they need to hurry up and catch the killer, but it takes Kevin several days to through all the evidence boxes this way There s also this weird thing where Connor is constantly said to have just turned gay despite it being revealed very early on that he was in a same sex relationship in high school and having all kinds of normal sex with this person But he s suddenly new to it and never slept with another guy before Um how so And while I won t categorize this as insta sex or insta love they don t have sex or fall in love upon first seeing other the love does come on very suddenly and out of nowhere There is no chemistry at all between the leads, and I can t tell if this comes back to the editing issues or if it s a case of too much telling and not enough showing I just didn t feel it, and I started skipping their sex scenes nearly all of which happen in the shower about halfway through I also would not recommend zip tying someone to a shower head unless you ve got the money to pay for the repairs when that shower head inevitably gets yanked from the wall Just don t do it There are plenty other, safer, less expensive things you can zip tie someone to IJS The shoes are a good idea though Less slippery that way And for those of you who hate baby Kevin calls Connor pretty baby Repeatedly Yuck.2 BDSM extra lite vs domestic violenceThis one is confusing because I have no idea what the author is trying to do here or why certain scenes are included or written the way they are.First of all, yes, Kevin, you need a safe word If someone tells you that you don t need a safe word, you should run the other direction.Second of all, we know that Kevin is seeing into Connor s dreams and knows what Andrew meant to Connor He also knows that Connor was in a relationship with a woman named Cheryl Kevin has expressed nothing but support of Connor s situation Then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, he decides to complain about Connor always talking about Andrew and Cheryl and how he doesn t want to hear about the other people in Connor s life After he slaps Connor Who then slaps him back And instead of discussing this, they go back to talking as if nothing happened It was a very strange, disjointed scene, and I m not sure why it was even included Was it an attempt to get some conflict into the text Was it supposed to be hot Third of all, during one of Kevin s endless discussions about how Connor is so new to this and Kevin wants to give him space to figure it all out by going home to Wyoming when the case is over, Connor comes up and punches him in the face, then takes off This is never discussed between them Connor has a brief thought about getting anger management classes, but this is never mentioned again Kevin doesn t even think to make this a condition of returning to Connor s home Then again, it s also not a condition for Kevin leaving Connor s home Instead, Kevin has this lovely little conversation with James, a former friends with benefits Kevin is the first speaker James is the second Right So what if one day, just for the hell of it or because I get really, really mad I hauled off and kicked my dog across the room What do you think she d do then She d wait a while and come back and lick your hand, because she s a dog And you will love her all the for it and it will make you a better person First, James is a veterinarian He needs to have his license taken away Second, you just compared Kevin to a dog Third, are you trying to say that an abused person should go back to their abuser because love is blind and conquers all, and it helps the abuser be a better person Are you serious Kevin, you have terrible friends Immediately after this heartfelt scene of warm and cozies, Connor shows up unannounced to take Kevin home ahhhh, how romantic and proceeds to wonder if he should whip Kevin into submission for ignoring him for so many months Um please work out your domestic violence issues before getting back into your BDSM extra lite lifestyle, guys Please These are very non mixey things.I m just really baffled what the author s intentions here were If it was to highlight that there is a difference between BDSM and domestic abuse, she gets no points for it because the DV is barely addressed and in no way resolved 3 AbleismI put these in my status updates on GR as I was reading Connor had started the rumor that his friend has post traumatic stress disorder so no one would think he brought a crackhead to a family outing He d giving just the right touch of rolled eyes and made an allusion to the World Trade Center attack of September eleventh.And this one It s the eye and the psychic thing Don t get me wrong, Quinn I m trying to work through it here, but I think I speak for all of us when I say Ew I don t even know where to start with these PTSD is a very real mental illness that afflicts people every day You do NOT get to eye roll at them, and you certainly do not get to use the victims of 9 11 as an excuse for Kevin acting strangely You know what else would ve explained Kevin s behavior, been perfectly honest, not revealed any secrets about his psychic abilities and NOT been disrespectful to the victims of 9 11 and those who suffer PTSD Saying something like, Kevin was in a car accident a few years ago and sometimes still has symptoms That s all you had to say, Connor What grown person EYE ROLLS at people with PTSD WTF And crackhead Can we not As for that second lovely quote, that is said by a detective who is presented as someone who is FRIENDLY and SUPPORTIVE of Kevin I m at a loss for words for how harmful and foul that is, but I ll try First, in a strictly professional capacity, you don t say ew to people you work with and who are consulting on cases I won t even get into the Fed who slanders Kevin for being both gay and a freak psychic, because I will start seeing red You don t say ew to people with a physical disability, like a dead eye, or a missing limb, or facial paralysis or in whatever fashion they re being othered YOU JUST DO NOT DO THAT And you certainly can t expect for me to root for that character and the MC to become besties because she s able to get over her gross out factor to shake his hand It was this line, and many, many others besides, that convinced me all these characters are based on twelve year olds 4 I know I said top three, but I realized I had one thing that bugged me that I need to address, and it was Himself, Kevin s dad After Kevin s accident and his mother s death which are unrelated but happened around the same time , Kevin s dad said something extremely homophobic to his son and blamed him for his mother s death because he s gay Kevin then rightly decided to cut ties SIX YEARS LATER, at the time this book is taking place, Connor convinces Kevin to go to family dinner for Christmas Eve with Himself During this dinner, they reconcile, which is nice and all, don t get me wrong I think both sets of parents respond fairly well here to their sons relationship However, while Himself was berating Kevin for having the gall to believe what Himself said, it s never once brought up that Himself also had plenty of time to approach Kevin and apologize for his deplorable behavior No, instead, the narrative almost seemed to be placing the blame on Kevin for how long it was between his mom s funeral and he and his father s reconciliation Screw that.For the sake of the word count, I will stop now I still can t figure out a rating for this one, so I m leaving it unrated. About 6 mths ago I had a mass clear out on my Kindle and this got deleted There were about 4 books I regretted losing straight away and this was one of them I have since re purchased them all, having just finished rereading this I can honestly say it was worth every penny to get this fabulous story back on my Kindle, where it is now firmly fixed in my Do Not Delete section Duh It was a great read the first time round but even better the second No plot re hashes in this review but I must say that it s one of the best murder romance stories in m m lit that I ve read and honestly I ve read a lot The psychic side is skillfully written major to the story but never overwhelming it , the love between Kevin and Connor is one of the few instances of instalove that works, the murder mystery is well plotted and solid not flimsy like some others in this genre and of course the chemistry and ST between our two guys is so fantastic that the love scenes are nothing short of mouth watering This has to be a m m must have if you love this genre I defy anyone not to fall in love with Kevin and Connor who rank high in my favourite couples of all time Perfect I hate to be a thundercunt about this butTis a shame to because this book started off strong and then the fuckery snowballed until I was allThis is a murder mystery with a serial killer Kevin is a psychic and former cop His bro in law recruits him to help with the investigation because the police have got bupkis He gets paired with Connor who is wealthy, privileged and has a SECRET.I was intrigued right away by their acrimonious relationship The sniping was good and nothing gets my motor running faster than some hate fucking enemies to lovers.But then it quickly devolved into corniness then swerved into Cheeseville with a final destination of Instalove Central.I probably would ve been ok with that had the bierasure not occurred But it did and it kind of gave me Rageface.I stuck with it mostly because I wanted to see how the whodunnit came out and you know what That was the easiest culprit to identify ever which made me feel like I had wasted 8 hrs that I ll never get back Some of the sex was kinda hot but Harding s delivery of a lot of cornirrifc sexy talk was bad enough to counteract a bucket of Viagra Plus the way he punched some words was just weird.So yeah ,book. Audio 5 starsStory 4 starsThe killer was predictable but the mystery held my interest The ott insta was off putting at first but the MCs as a couple eventually grew on me The audio was flawless J.F Harding..hello so I was able to overlook the editing issues in the actual book.