ARC, Books

Book 512: Worth Waiting For (Heart of the South #1) – Wendy Qualls

This isn’t the first and won’t be the last time I say this, but I’m not sure what sort of literary gem the readers of Goodreads expected when they picked up this M-M romance.

I know when I requested a copy from the publisher I wasn’t expecting this to be the next National Book Award winner.* I expected a somewhat light fluffy read with a bit of drama and hoped that it would pull at my heartstrings just enough to make me get that giddy feeling of a new-found/re-discovered romance and that’s exactly what I got.

Worth Waiting For is the story of Paul, a deeply closeted academic at a conservative religious institution and Brandon, an out and proud IT professional. They met in their first year at the same school they’re now working for and had their first forays into man-on-man action (yes I giggled when I wrote that) with each other, but haven’t seen each other since then.

The biggest gripe on Goodreads has to do with Qualls’ writing. There were definitely some odd choices (WTF is “twitterpated”?  EDIT: Qualls responded – see end of post) and her characters weren’t the deepest characters to ever appear in a romance novel, but again let me repeat that last bit: ROMANCE NOVEL. Can you really hold that against someone in this genre?

I enjoyed the fact that Paul’s closeted state sort of stunted him as a person (he’s only ever been in the world of academia) and even though Brandon is in IT he’s actually the outgoing one (perhaps because he’s out and proud?!). Some of the odd/old language could be from Qualls’ attempt at setting this in the south and in the conservative religious south at this. There are pockets of the south that have their own language, their own use of words and that use old-fashioned words.

Do you know what yins means? What about the difference between yonder, down yonder and over yonder? I do because I’ve been there and done that – I can at the very least understand these because I grew up there. (Whether I choose to use the language now is a different story.)

What Quall did a good job, and most women authors of M-M romance do, was to drag out the intimacy of the two characters. The pacing was done in such a way that you got a little taste, then a little more, and then finally as the entire book comes to an end you get the full fireworks show. I really appreciated this, especially in comparison to some others where you have a full on orgy in the first chapter or two!

I also actually enjoyed the premise of the story Qualls chose to display her romance. One of my good friends (Hi C-trow!) fast forwards to the sex scenes in romance novels, and lets face it that’s why people read these. Unfortunately, in this genre, it’s less important what the package is and more about the sex scenes themselves. Some parts of Qualls packaging worked better than others, I definitely preferred the long-lost reconnection over the

I am still looking for a M-M publisher after the way Riptide treated me that has a decent catalog of contemporary works and authors. I read one from Loveswept (A Gentleman’s Position) a while ago, but haven’t seen much more that I’m interested in. Maybe Lyrical Shine will fill that gap, but I’ll wait until I read Qualls’ next book and perhaps another selection before I cast judgement on Lyrical.

Recommendation: If you’re looking for a fun and tantalizing beach read then this is a great option. Like I said in the opening I got exactly what I was looking for. Sure there were some weird choices, but the story was sound enough to make me blaze through it and wonder what Qualls will write next.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for my honest opinion, no additional goods or money were exchanged.

Opening Line: “The chair of the psychology department was a mean, small man with a bad toupee and a permanent air of smugness pervading his office.”

Closing Line: “Because while we’re on the subject of expanding the family, Paul and I have another announcement to make…” (Whited out to avoid spoilers, highlight to read.)

 

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6 thoughts on “Book 512: Worth Waiting For (Heart of the South #1) – Wendy Qualls”

    1. Haahaa yeah. She took it humorously and in stride which you have to appreciate! I also make an effort that even if I really don’t like a book or really like a book to find something they did well or could do better.

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