Successful attorneys Dane Coulter and Cal Monroe are rivals in the courtroom and friends behind the scenes. But can they be more?
Cal’s always carried a torch for Dane, but Dane is so deep in the closet, he can’t even admit that he might be gay. His father, a raging homophobe who rules the family with an iron fist, forces Dane into an engagement—to a woman. Dane goes along with it to keep the peace and protect his mother, but for Cal, it’s the last straw.
He can’t let Dane make a mistake that could ruin the rest of his life, and he only knows one surefire way to make Dane admit what’s in his heart. But confessing his feelings to his friend could backfire, driving a wedge between them. And even then, the choice must be Dane’s—to live the life his father wants, or to give up everything he has for a chance at happiness in Cal’s arms.
Greetings, everyone! Ari here, the red-haired half of Ari McKay. I’d like to thank Two Chicks Obsessed for having me here on the blog today to promote our re-release of Fortune’s Slings and Cupid’s Arrows, book two in the Lawyers in Love trilogy!
Even though this is a re-release, we wanted to bring attention to the story because we have rewritten it almost completely from its original form. We were never completely satisfied with the original story, but it took some time and distance — as well as some growth as writers — for us to be able to put our fingers on exactly what it was that didn’t sit right with us. It’s always interesting as a writer to look back at early works and see how we’ve changed and evolved over time. When Dreamspinner offered us the chance to revisit our Lawyers in Love stories, it seemed like fate was stepping in to tell us that we needed to give Cal and Dane’s story new life, to fix what we’d sensed was wrong but had never been able to fully identify. We tossed around several ideas, but it was McKay who was able to finally pinpoint the moment in the story where things started to go wrong. It turns out that when we shifted one of the first scenes from Cal’s POV to Dane’s, everything just sort of fell into place the way it should have from the first.
At it’s heart, this is a story about lawyer Dane Coulter finding the strength to break free of the mold his father has forced him into and begin to live life on his own terms. But it’s also about Cal Monroe, who is in love with Dane, and the strength Cal has to find within himself to take a step back and give Dane room grow at his own pace. Cal recognizes that in his own way he’s just as strong willed as Dane’s father, and he’s aware that Dane might feel that he’s stepping out of his father’s shadow and into Cal’s. When you love someone, doing the thing that is right and best for them is easy when it’s also what you want to do; it says a lot about a person, I think, if they can do what’s right for the person they love, even if they know they might end up with a broken heart in the end.
I don’t want to give away too much, especially since the story is a novella rather than a novel, but both McKay and I hope that if you like stories about someone breaking free of the bonds of obligation and making their own path, you’ll find Dane and Cal’s journey to be worth your time.
The premise for Fortune’s Slings and Cupid’s Arrows roped me in. Dane’s the rich kid whose daddy controls his life. Cal’s the man who’s in love with him, determined to help keep Dane from making a huge mistake.
Now, before I get into everything, let me say this was an enjoyable book. There was nothing that made me think about putting it down. Unfortunately, I did wind up eye rolling a fair bit. The scenario felt forced. The dialogue, at times, too over the top to be believed.
But, Cal did what he set out to do. Not because he waged war against Dane’s dad (which he did), but because Dane realized he couldn’t go through with a marriage out of obligation.
At this point, I still would’ve given the book 3.5 pieces of candy. But then…
The whole book felt like this huge build up, like there should’ve been a massive conflict with dear old dad. But it never happened. Once Dane goes after what he wants, we jump forward in time and they all live happily ever after.
I suppose, that’s the whole point of reading a romance, but in the end, I had more questions than answers. I was left wanting more, not because I was so in love with Dane and Cal, but because the story felt unfinished.
3 pieces of candy
Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.
Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.
McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.
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