Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Review: Optical Illusion by Emma Jaye

Optical Illusion 
(Paint #1)
by Emma Jaye
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: September 1, 2016

Smile, wiggle, lie, apologise, and run for the hills.

That's the formula Chris has used all his life, but this time, he has something he’s never had to lose before, a family that cares. The problem is, his new brother’s very edible friend isn’t fooled by his act. If his secrets are revealed, they won’t want him and he has nowhere else to go.

Thanks to a suicide bomber, ex-military police sergeant Jase Rosewood is back in the English countryside. His plans for quiet recuperation are ruined by the effervescent, go-go dancing twink who has everyone wrapped around his little finger. Luckily for the gullible Matt, Jase can smell a liar a mile away, and Chris Bacon, if that’s even his name, stinks to high heaven. Assigned ‘Chris-sitting’ duty while Matt's on honeymoon, Jase has a week to discover what is hidden beneath the bright camouflage. It's a job, just like any other, so why does it feel so different?
Unfortunately, Jase isn’t the only one drawn to the boy who can’t stay still, but instead of wanting to reveal his true colours; they want to dull them forever.

Contains issues of physical abuse, but not between the central couple.

This story might be a bit too much to handle for some reader. There are simply too much bad things happening and too much page count. Once I overlook the long plot and the graphic abuse that happened, I find myself actually liking the story because it feels very different from the usual m/m contemporary. 

Jase is ex-military with a busted leg who returned to his hometown where his childhood crush, Matt still reside. Instead of worrying about his friendship with Matt, Jase's life is turn upside down by Matt's recently-discovered-half-brother, Chris.

This story is all about Chris. He is a extremely loud and proud twink who works as a go go dance at the local gay club. This guy is a whack job and drives everybody nuts about his ADHD and offensive innuendo. He is kinda adorable in his own way. However, behind his bravado hides a lonely child that was neglected by his family and society. 

The heroes, Jase and Chris as an individual is likable. Whether they work as a couple or not is still something I'm coming to grasp with. Jase is mature and straight laced, while Chris is like a hyperactive, immature teenage brother that often gets into trouble. Before the whole fiasco that befall Chris, there are already too much baggage to handle. But after the event, is even worst. I think it reach a point that there are simply too much. 

Jase turned into Chris's protector and sometimes I'm not sure the relationship between them feel romantic or not. It also hard for me to reconcile the fact that they hardly know each other during the short period of time before everything that went down. As for the rest of the supporting characters, there are a few of them, but mostly I feel that everyone life revolves around Chris. The guy is just magnet for trouble and attention. 

What I really like about the story is the unpredictability, the surprise, the humor and of course I like things being offensive and although knowing Jase and Chris are very different individual without much similarity, I'm still hoping that the author will sold me on their romance. 

I think some readers might find it OTT with the drama that happened with Chris. As if the poor guy haven't suffer enough, the story even end with a cliffhanger with more drama to come. Holy shit. I think I might just wanna salute the author for being so daring to write such a story. And I'm curious enough to want to read the next one.