Well... they can't all be winners, can they? I admit, I bought this one a while ago because the cover was just so stunning and musician/professor and an age difference - worked for me.
Except it wasn't that great.
There was absolutely no conflict in this book, all 200+ pages of it. No conflict between the main characters, no obstacle for them to overcome, no real journey at all. They meet, they are interested in each other, they fall in love, they part for a bit, they get back together and they set up housekeeping. And yes, it was all just that bland.
First off... HUGE pet peeve of mine is the use of the word smirk. Synonyms for this word include, leer, smug, simper, sneer, sly smile.,, It's not cute, it's not attractive, it's not hot - it's obnoxious, insincere and smack-inducing! Unfortunately, the younger of the two MCs does it all the time, ALL THE FREAKIN' TIME and quite frankly it didn't help his likability quotient.
So, Chris is a 23-year old drummer who drums in a band as well as for the symphony orchestra (I found myself wondering if he was inspired by the harpist from the Metallica S&M concert DVD) and he's full of energy, laughter and tattoos. The other MC is named... um... hold on.. .I have to go look it up... Robert. (And that's hysterical because it was one of the big deals, supposedly, between the two that Chris called him "Rob" and no one EVER called him that.) Rob is 32 and boy, is that ancient! ANCIENT, I tell you! Yeah... no... that's not working. This is supposed to be some kind of bone of contention between the two, but quite honestly, it's only given lip-service in the depths of Rob's mind and a few teasing little affectionate asides by Chris.
Oh, and that upbringing/cultural divide between them? Never explored. Robert's Scottishness was a big deal in the first chapter or two, it seemed and then... conveniently set aside. Just like every other set up in the book. Mention it and then sail right by it. Just like the surprising and sudden pull back when Chris has his hand down Rob's pants and about to touch his balls. OMG, NO, don't touch me there! Time passes... it happens once again and Rob confesses about his testicular cancer as a kid and how he only has one testicle. Traumatic, okay... *nodnod* But it's mentioned and Chris makes a few noises of sympathy and that's the end of that.
Chris is invited to come to one of Rob's lectures and in the end he doesn't because he feels uncomfortable. He's barely graduated high school and he doesn't want to look the fool. Rob makes a few understanding noises and that's the end of that.
The characters begin as interesting and you can see how the two would clash as these things do in relationships, but everything is a non-issue. There are no sparks. There are no misunderstandings. Never ONCE was there ever a thought as to ... how the hell are they going to work this out? They work everything out by the end of the damned page!
And then... the last couple of chapters of the book go from being told in the first person (Rob) past POV to being told in the first person (Rob) POV present. It was weird..
And the ending... the ENDING! The lines that are supposed to be final and satisfying and let you close the book with a happy sigh.... all I was doing was wondering when the hell Chris EVER had a problem with drinking tea...
This read to me like a series of vignettes that were written in a fanfic AU and then strung together to make a novel-length narrative.
I had such high hopes for this one... but sadly, it sure didn't deliver.