ARC Review: Maelstrom by Kass Barrow

34837368Title: Maelstrom

Author: Kass Barrow

Publisher: JMS Books

Expected Publishing Date: May 13, 2017

Genre: Contemporary, MM Romance

Format: eBook

Length: 69,063 words

Rating: 2 Stars

Pre-order link: JMS Books


When Kylor Knightley, a multi-millionaire nightclub owner, is out talent-spotting at an open mic event in London’s Limehouse district, the last thing the stiff-lipped Brit expects is to fall head-over-heels for a devastatingly handsome singer ten years his junior.

Born in New York, twenty-two-year-old Eden McFadden now calls London home and has ambitions of making it big in the capital’s music scene. In the meantime, the feisty free spirit is secretly rocking it as a stripper at a gay club in Soho. But when fate brings him and Kylor together in Limehouse, it starts a chain of events that tears both of their worlds apart.

It’s going to take some serious attitude adjustment for the smart-mouthed stripper and the arrogant British gent to find common ground, but the attraction is too strong to ignore. Sometimes you have to trust in fate and see where it takes you.

♦ Personal Thought ♦

While the story had the Brit feel down pat including the stiff upper lip and dry humor, somehow it also strike me as rather pretentious. But let me clue in what I like first. The pairing is interesting actually, not only there’s an age gap but both characters came from opposite background. The chemistry between them was instant – love at first sight sort of thing – yet they didn’t jump into bed straight away; both refraining though for different reason.

That saying, I couldn’t warm up to either Eden nor Kylor. Apart from the aforementioned stiff upper lip and dry humor, Kylor was so bloody condescending. The hot and cold way he treated Eden irritated me. He’s also way too self-conscious, more like an upstart. As for Eden, I admired his resilient and that he always landed on his feet no matter the circumstances. The way he cut and run when he didn’t get what he wanted though – and after, what, a month of pinning over Kylor? – that was just beyond immature. I wish there was a scene on page – or implied – where Eden repaired the good relationship with people he let down (not only his boss, but also co-workers). That issue really didn’t sit well with me, as it felt as if the whole thing just being brushed away.

Fortunately, this book had quite a colorful side characters, such as Kylor’s friends and mother. And the last quarter of the book with the whole trying-to-patch-things-up and gaining a second chance helped to ease my mood a little. As it is Maelstrom is just an okay for me. I’m all with the general idea, but the presentation was just too flashy and brought up too many eye-rolling and head-shaking from me.

Advanced copy of this book is kindly provided by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.