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susanylee

susanylee

Stripped Bare

Stripped Bare - Susan Mac Nicol Stripped Bare is another one of those stories (I feel like 1 in 5 of every M/M book out there is this story) about a man (Matthew) who lost his partner and struggles to give himself to new love. He meets the gorgeous escort/computer hacker Shane via some odd circumstances with a mutual friend and it’s instant attraction. Matt has a hard time letting go of the past but can’t help his growing affections towards Shane. There is flirtation, a physical relationship, and then an emotional commitment…all peppered in with other random story bits. Stripped Bare, if it were indeed stripped bare would actually be an interesting book. The whole computer hacker angle had potential. There are a couple great “villains”, some zany sidekicks, a friends-to-lovers storyline, and 2 hot MC’s. The problem with the book, however, was that none of this actually comes together. It’s a bunch of parts that from far away might seem like a whole, but up close, you can see all the spaces between them. And though I kept trying to stay engaged in the story in hopes that something great would come out of this potential, I more-often-than-not felt annoyed and irritated. My greatest frustrations really came with the dialogue between the 2 MC’s. What I think was supposed to be banter and flirtation, actually read as cheesy, overly done, clichés. The 2 men fought like emotional old women, constantly judging each other and nagging each other and lecturing each other. I felt like the author wanted there to be some angst and tension, but other than the fact that the 2 of them had sex ALL THE TIME, when they weren’t pawing each other (and I’m curious how many times the term “cock twitch” was used in this book…it felt like every page), they were arguing with each other. I had to ask myself, “Do these 2 even LIKE each other?” What’s to make me buy into their relationship?The entire middle of the book was slow and nothing actually happens. The story turned to focus on the relationship, which I would normally love. But, because I didn’t even like the MC’s and didn’t feel their chemistry, it felt as though I would never get to the end. Thankfully, it picks up and some curveballs are thrown into the loop. But I think I was already too far “over it” to be that interested. Everything ties up in a pretty bow in the end. One additional minor annoyance: the chapter titles. Really? It’s like broadcasting exactly what’s going to happen in that chapter. Borderline spoiler’ish. I really didn’t get those. I do think that there is an audience out there for this book. I actually would have thought I was a part of that audience…it’s right up my alley as the type of story I typically enjoy. But, maybe I’m too jaded to take to the cheesiness. Who knows? If you like the stories where they have pet names and call each other “oh lover” all the time (in normal conversation), this one could work for you. I think it was fine. I liked it ok. I did skim maybe 1/3 of it. But, there’s potential there. BARELY hanging on to 3 stars (and I keep frowning at those 3...feels generous)Reviewed for