Note: This ARC was provided by Signal Boost Promotions in exchange for an honest review.
What It Looks Like lives up to its title. What looks like a regular M/M romance is actually an exceptionally conceived and well-written story about twenty-one-year-old Eli Bell and his complicated relationships with his family and with the man he loves, Rob Hawkes. There's a twist in the story that knocks everything out of whatever convenient and conventional perch its on and re-orders it all, giving a fresh and creative dimension and complexity to what was otherwise a seemingly simple story of Eli's family not approving of his relationship with Rob because of Rob's criminal past and the fact that Eli's father just happens to be a law enforcement officer. Thought-provoking and quietly riveting, this was a book that showed what a gifted author Matthew J. Metzger happens to be and why this book won't be my last Metzger-penned read.
It isn't easy being the only son of a police chief inspector and be in a relationship with a known felon who's spent time in prison but Eli Bell makes do. His family doesn't approve of Rob Hawkes and Rob doesn't exactly have anything nice to say about Eli's parents either, and Eli's caught in the middle and it isn't getting any easier to pretend as if everything is good in his world. His parents think Rob is a terrible influence on their son and Rob isn't going out of his way to show them just how wrong they are in their impression of him. Those Eli expects to understand of his choices are the ones that struggle to be supportive, and the thug could very well turn out to be his greatest advocate. With almost everyone thinking Rob controls Eli, they may end up rather surprised when they learn that it's not what it looks like.
This is the kind of book where you don't want to go into too much detail, lest you spoil it for everyone else who has yet to experience what an awesome read this is. I wavered between giving this five-plus stars and five stars because there's no denying how original the story was and how the author's impeccable writing was one of the best things about it. However, there were moments that I found myself frustrated with Eli and his treatment of Rob, especially at one particular point in the story. But see, that's the thing with this book--it evokes such a myriad of reactions, both in terms of thoughts and emotions, and that's part and parcel of why I loved it as much as I did. Even with the occasional temptation to give Eli a shake or two, What It Looks Like was an overall incredible read and one I'd readily recommend. I'm giving this five stars. ♥
Release Date: 20 August 2016
Date Read: 20 August 2016
Learn more about Matthew J. Metzger.
Purchase What It Looks Like on Amazon.