Publisher: NineStar Press
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Publication Date: January 7, 2019
Length: 76800 words
Reviewed by Sammy
John only went into the cafe to have a brew and wait out the storm. He didn’t expect to find love at the same time.
And it really is love at first sight. Chris is like nobody John’s ever known, and John is caught from the start. All he wants, from that very first touch, is to never let go. But John is badly burned from his last relationship and in no fit state to try again. When Chris asks him out, he ought to say no.
But what if he says yes instead?
It pains me to write this review primarily because I am a huge fan of this author but Tea by Matthew J. Metzger had what I felt were some serious plot holes and a lot of unanswered questions. Let me unpack those assertions after I give you a brief synopsis of the overall novel.
John is suffering from PTSD due to a truly vicious and awful ex who lied the entire time he was dating John. Although it has been nine months since the guy nearly destroyed John’s life the emotional and mental impact lingers and causes both anxiety and panic attacks but more importantly it has left John seriously doubting whether or not he actually is the guy that he was declared to be before the eyes of the world. John is a gentle giant clocking in at several inches over six feet and as broad as a barn, he touts lots of tattoos and is more than intimidating. Hence he’s never really had a problem with being out socially but continues to hide his sexuality at work and on the playing field. Then he meets Chris and all that begins to change.
Chris has lots of issue himself—more physical than other wise including being blind. But the kind and melodic voice that apologizes after accidentally dumping tea all over the place lures Chris in and makes him more than curious as to the owner. So begins a very passionate yet restrained courtship with each man laying ground rules and also divulging deep seated issues they never wanted to share with anyone before.
I really loved John—he was so very wounded and scared and yet brave beyond all measure. He put his heart and soul into wooing Chris and took nearly every unexpected development (read secret) with a calm and loving response. I felt his story arc was the best of the two and his move toward healing and peace of mind most realistic. Chris, on the other hand never really changed. He was dealing with some pretty big issues but, unlike John, didn’t see the need for counseling or for even acknowledging that the things than plagued him were, in fact, things that he could cope with had he someone to help and guide him—someone professional. Despite that I still liked how these two men interacted for the most part and understood some of the nuances in their relationship that Mr. Metzger decide to run with in order to sharply reveal the trauma both had suffered.
No it was not the characters or even the story line that made me hesitant about this book. It was, in fact, the amount of on-page sex and the overly descriptive quality to the same that had me rather flummoxed. Don’t get me wrong I love a sex scene as much as the next person but the premise of this relationship and their actions in the bedroom seemed so out of character for the way this author normally writes. Plus, once you read the story I think you will agree that I’m really unsure as to how John could just go with the flow and not stop to question where they were headed in the bedroom given his past sexual history. I wish I could say more about this because it really left me with a ton of questions but to do so would be to give away precious secrets that are integral to the novel. Suffice it to say that I have read much of this author’s work and this is the first time where I felt not everything rang true or was plausible.
The real question is was there enough here to want to read more about John and Chris? The answer for me is yes—I know the skill and expertise of this author and his fantastic ability to weave a story that is real and compelling. Therefore, I will most certainly pick up the sequel to Tea and give this couple a second chance.
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