Title ~ Against Reason
Author ~ Scarlet Blackwell
Publisher ~ Samhain Publishing
Genre ~ M/M Romance
Release date ~ 18th February 2014
Rating ~ 3 Stars
He lost his heart once. Is it too damaged for love to find it again?
In the five years since the love of his life abandoned him at the altar, Jake Morgan hasn’t left his house. The locals in this small, English town have dubbed him “Mr. Havisham”, but he’s too preoccupied wrestling his demons to care about Dickensian comparisons.
Forced to admit he’s losing the battle to keep up his large estate alone, he reluctantly places an advert for help. The striking young man who answers his call shakes him to the core.
When Darius answers the ad for the position at the mysterious mansion, the bitter, lonely master of the house tugs at his heartstrings. Setting aside his own run of bad luck, Darius batters at Jake’s emotional walls with kindness and determination that defy all attempts to drive him away.
Just as tendrils of new love begin to intertwine, though, a terrible voice from the past intrudes. And threatens to drive Jake back into the shadows where Darius can never reach him.
Scarlet Blackwell has the ability to capture her readers from the very start and keep them reading late into the night. I was curious if Against Reason could keep up with the author’s earlier books.
The cover intrigued me and the novel starts out strong and interesting. It pulled me into the complex world of two men, one hurt and withdrawn, the other patient and stubborn.
First there is Jake. After his lover has left him on their wedding day five years ago he is personally closed up, a lonely figure, not very good with people and zero social skills. He comes across as cold, but there is a vulnerability to him that we catch an odd glimpse of. He truly thinks he’s lost every right for love and happiness, and suffering from compulsion neuroses he lives a solitary life in a mysterious mansion, which only fuels the gossip in the small town he lives in.
Darius, who lost his job and needs money badly, starts doing the housework for Jake and falls deeply for the sad, taciturn, sometimes even rude man, who imputes Darius with base motives for his willingness to help. He even suspects Darius of faking the attraction he feels for Jake.
Darius has his hands full proving otherwise and there are many fights and misunderstandings between these two men, but when they are together the sparks fly and it becomes explosive and passionate. It is far from easy for Darius, mostly because of how Jake treats him, but also because he has no control over how he feels for Jake. However, Darius is one stubborn guy who won’t take no as an answer, but Jake’s former lover suddenly showing up doesn’t help their situation…
I loved the idea of the story but the writing and editing just couldn't quite convince me. There were too many short, clipped sentences beginning with the same word over and over again, which I found distracting making me lose my flow. On top of that the storyline just left me unsatisfied with too many questions remaining unanswered. Where does Darius come from? Why is he struggling with his jobs? Why is he strangely clingy all of a sudden after starting quite strong and not taking shit from Jake? Why does Jake’s former lover come back all of the sudden? Nothing is really explained!
Eventually the guys get their well deserved HFN, but the book ended far too abruptly for me, I missed an epilogue, that could have rounded up the story nicely. I would have liked it to go further, to show them living together as a functional, happy unit in one of those ‘six months later’ epilogues.
Overall, Against Reasons manages to be both irritating and enjoyable, but lacks the gleeful awesomeness of Scarlet Blackwell’s Inferno. I’m sure though that many readers will enjoy the book… maybe it was just the wrong story at the wrong time for me.