I've been really looking forward to this novella. I really enjoyed Inertia and these installments feel less stand alone and more like segments of one big story. While Inertia mapped out how Gavin and Derrick first met and started dating, Acceleration shows how they are growing together and falling in love.
I liked it. I'm really a fan of the author's voice. But there were parts of it that didn't entirely work for me, making it a little less of a hit than book one.
So a little backstory: Derrick is a handyman/ small contractor who has been without love in his life for the past 10 years. As a young man, he had to watch everyone he loved die (or leave him) and served many years as a caretaker to family members who were ill. It was easier not to put his heart out there after that. Add to that, the fact that he had never acted on his attraction to men --and what he has with Gavin now is something he never could have imagined.
But Gavin has baggage too. He just got out of an emotionally abusive relationship with a guy who exposed him to HIV. He doesn't know if he's been infected and he is hyper-vigilant that a man will never control him again. Not a good mix when Derrick feels like he must take care of everything, especially when he loves someone. This is the major conflict that drives the story. Derrick trying to internalize everything bad in his life to protect Gavin; then Gavin viewing it as destructive and controlling and shredding him for it.
There were times I felt like Gavin was unfair. Yes, Derrick needs to open up, but Gavin's constant comparisons of him to his ex were totally over the top. I wanted to jump in the book at times and just give Derrick a hug, the poor guy has been through so much. I feel protective toward him and Gavin bothered me when I felt like he threatened to pull the plug on things if Derrick didn't change. Give the guy a chance! It's only been a few months.
My other issue is the introduction of a little D/s and pain play in the bedroom. I guess I understand it in the context of the story. Gavin has always had dominant tendencies that his ex shamed him over --and Derrick can let go of his need to take care of everything by taking a submissive role. However, I don't enjoy the BDSM subgenre or elements of it in my romance. It's merely a personal preference and I was disappointed when it popped up here. It doesn't take over the entire sexual relationship, though.
What did I like? The writing. It's very good. I feel completely swept up in these characters and their lives. I feel connected to them and their love story. There's a lot of sex here, and it's a big part of the focus. I'm thinking that is just a tool to show where these two are in their relationship and --other than the kink that's not my cuppa-- I think it's pretty hot, with attention to detail. The author is great at bringing me into the moment, both in the bedroom and in the emotional angst of the story.
I will definitely be back for Impulse. I really want these two to find a way to make it work.
Rating: I'm struggling between a B and B-. But I am going with the B, knowing many people aren't turned off by BDSM the way I am.*Book provided by author for review