Willow by Lee Brazil is a gay romance between an older Cade Lawson and a younger Willow Shaw. Cade is best friends with Willow’s father and there’s almost 20 years difference in their ages. If that’s not a big enough obstacle, Willow thinks his father hates him for being gay. Willow also has problems with focusing–too much external stimulation and he freezes and can’t make a decision.
On the surface, this sounds like the ingredients for a great story. Unfortunately, the only things Cade and Willow have in common are family history. Cade and Willow’s relationship devolves from one of hero-worship and puppy love to out-and-out hostility. When Cade makes an effort to break through to Willow, the novel skirts around BDSM with blindfolds and handcuffs but doesn’t really get into the lifestyle. That’s the problem with Willow, the novel lacks focus.
The characters also don’t engender much affinity. I at least want to like the main characters in a romance novel. Instead, I found myself wondering why Cade is wasting time with someone as young and inexperienced, while also trying to figure out just what Willow finds so fascinating about Cade. At the same, the ending was a major disappointment. The story just comes to an abrupt halt, leaving many issues unresolved. If Willow is part of a new series, it’s off to a very rocky start. I have too many questions and not enough ambition to seek the answers in a sequel.
Reviewed for Blackravens Reviews
Publisher: Breathless Press
Image courtesy: Breathless Press