When they met at a romance novelist convention Mark and Gray had a blistering secret affair, knowing that any future together would be impossible. Life with another man would mean suicide for Mark’s TV career, so they let each other go even though it was the last thing they wanted.
What they hadn’t counted on was Gray’s mother. Under pressure of begging and bribery Gray finds himself once again attending the convention where only a year before his heart had been broken, and facing the man who had done it.
Though Gray swore to keep his distance it’s not long until the embers of their affair are burning again and the two men are setting the hotel on fire. Perhaps this time Mark will be ready for their unconventional romance.
I liked the set up. A weekend at a romance novel writer’s convention and couple with history trying to reconnect. It’s pretty much the perfect way to bring two people together for quick sex scenes and somewhat believable promise of something more. I even liked the characters as they were initially introduced and Gray’s mother too.
The problem, however, was the inconsistency of those characterisations. Unconventional Romance is written in third person omniscient, but unfortunately it isn’t well done. Between the point of view changes the narrator’s personality seemed to change, so that whichever character was talking was the passive submissive and the other the dominant instigator. In Gray’s chapters Mark took the initiative and in Mark’s scenes Gray was the one taking control of their situation. This is why I kept forgetting who as supposed to be who. I saw the labels but I couldn’t remember which name came with the paramedic experience and long hair and which with the English accent.
And there was another thing. Whenever I had a problem with a scene, whenever I thought a character had behaved badly, I was promptly offered a convenient explanation. It was little like reading a manuscript where the writer instead of going back and fixing the scene had pasted a one line excuse-explanation for the character’s actions. Some of those justifications came too late to make a difference.
Despite all this, I didn’t hate it. As a quick read erotica it works.