by Scott & Scott, contemporary (2007)
Loose Id, $6.99, ISBN 978-1-59632-572-2
This book was previously self-published back in 2005 by the authors who go by Scott & Scott. These guys like to call their works "Romentics" although I've no idea whether they have trademarked that word. I also have no idea whether this current edition contains any revision, though. Spare Parts is a gay romance but this one unfortunately has a premise that is pretty stupid from the get go.
Dan manages a successful chain of garages. No, that's not stupid, of course, although living in the same town as his ex-boyfriend turned enemy who also happens to run a competing garage, thus giving Dan plenty of opportunity to moan about how sad he is, may qualify as such. He hooks up with Trent, thinking that Trent is a hooker. Now this is the part that is quite stupid - Trent isn't a hooker, but he decides to let Dan believe that he is for a reason that makes my eyes roll upwards, and this leads to some drama when Dan's enemy starts spreading rumors about Dan's morals and such.
Dan and Trent pretty much hit the sack too soon after they first meet and the authors spend too much time with the sex scenes than scenes of emotional bonding to convince me that Dan and Trent are any way in love. I do believe that those two are in love though - with their own unhappiness. Dan, especially, seems to be able to find all kind of reasons, small or big, to play the blues. The poor fellow's personality seems to consist only of 50% gay and 50% emo, because the authors define Dan only as such. Gay and blue. It may be interesting, that combination, if it isn't such an overused cliché.
The authors in the early parts of the story repeat Dan's issues with his former boyfriend so often that I wonder whether I will be quizzed at the end of the story. The authors are also guilty of very obvious information dumping especially in the early parts of the story.
All in all, Spare Parts comes off like a very contrived tale. The conflicts feel forced and manufactured, with the characters often finding ways to make their own lives as miserable as possible. If new readers are hoping to get introduced to the whole Romentics thing, I'd suggest they try a different book by these authors. Their Loose-Id debut, Razor Burn, is better than this one so that may be a better book to start with. This one just isn't up to snuff.
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