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Private investigator Mackenzie Williams' newest client is everything he's looking for in a guy--charming, beautiful, intelligent, and successful....
Quent Jackson has followed Jason Spade's every move in business and in poker since their first day as college freshmen. Eight years later, when Jace finally decides Quent is the one man he can't live without, he sees no reason for that to change.
But as much as Jace believes that poker is life, no one gave Quent the same playbook. After their first passionate night, the real game of love and trust begins, and Jace has been playing alone too long to make teaching the rules easy. Jace only speaks two languages: one of them is sex, and the other one is poker. Between the two, he needs to find a way to convince himself to take a chance on love - and Quent to take a chance on him. It's a lucky thing they're good at reading the odds, because they're playing for keeps, and this is one high-stakes relationship that's definitely worth the gamble.
I’m a fan of Amy’s writing style and have thoroughly enjoyed the stories I’ve read of hers so far. In fact, I’ve actually listened to most of them rather than reading them. For me, Beneath the Stain, The Locker Room, and Chase in Shadow particularly stand out as superb pieces of gay romance literature; all high on the angst scale and with memorable characters.
Gomez Pugh is also one of my favourite narrators. I adore his voice and the terrific way he performs every story I’ve listened to. His husky voice for Quent is low and growly, and so, so sexy. His pace and technique are spot on here and added to my enjoyment of the story.
I love stories that show the slow build of a relationship and Amy’s stories always work wonders with this. Jace and Quent are two very different personalities, but they gel together wonderfully. It’s a friends to lovers story. The guys have been friends for the best part of eight years and at the beginning of this story that changes to something more. So, most of the story focuses on them learning to be in a relationship as they continue to work with each other and spend time with their friends. Their connection is possessive and intense, with the chemistry sizzling between them. It’s out and out hot and steamy with lots and lots of sex scenes. The sex in the stationery cupboard/print room was smoking. There’s also some lovely, slightly angsty moments as they forge their way along the relationship pathway. I especially like how needy Jace becomes and the effect the fear of losing Quent has on him. Gah! I love these deep and raw emotional scenes. By the end of the story, I could see these guys still being together when they are in the eighties. Partners for life and forever. And Quent is such a considerate and caring partner.
So, the story is mostly about them dealing with something that is new and different for them both. They grow as a couple and sort out their problems. There’s no major miscommunication or fall outs. I love how Jace’s character changes and adapts with regard to his feelings and responses to Quent over the course of the story. Yes, things happen to these guys, but there’s no overriding conflict apart from their budding relationship. But I suppose that’s true to life for most couples.
The interaction with the friends at their poker games and colleagues at work added humour and helped to lighten the story. I enjoyed the funny banter between the MCs and loved the way they came out to these two groups of people.
The idea of poker/card metaphors was a clever one, but due to frequent use they lost their effect after a while. Yes, they were gambling men and the game dominated their life and conversations as it seemed to help them communicate their feelings, and eventually even they make fun of their 'life is poker' meme. They certainly made good use of the poker table and the sexy card games!
It became clear as I listened that each section of the story was part of a serialized project. The novel comes across as long scenes joined together to create an overall story. Beneath the Stain also started out in a similar fashion and each of the seven separately published parts were eventually joined as one to make a novel. I think this results in detailed and well developed sections of the story and works well for Amy’s writing style.
As always, the writing is excellent and the dialogue absorbing and realistic. Gambling Men is different from most of the other Amy Lane books I’ve read. The intensity of the connection between the MCs is the main focus of the story and this is what I love most. I enjoyed listening to this story and will definitely listen again.
Review also published on Gay Book Reviews.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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Quent and Jason have been best friends since their college days. They are partners in every way except romantically, until one day Jace realizes that the one person he cannot live without is the one person who’s been living side-by-side with him all along.<br/><br/>Once they start their romantic relationship, Quent puts it all on the line, ready to have the life he’s always wanted with Jace. Jace quickly goes all in and the story chronicles their relationship through all it’s initial stages, rocky moments, mega-hot sexy times, and loving, romantic moments.<br/><br/>I really liked that Gambling Men is less angst-filled than most of Lane’s other stories. The characters enjoy real growth in the story without being put through any terrible wringers. I loved the side characters and the way Quent and Jace burn up the sheets. Finally, I absolutely loved and adored Gomez Pugh’s narration.<br/><br/>Gomez Pugh has never once let me down - he always gives an excellent performance that keeps me riveted. <br/><br/>There were two things that kept this from being a full knock-it-out-of-the-park story for me though. The overuse of all the gambling metaphors (I get it, okay? It’s “Gambling Men”, but come on…) and, ultimately, I kind of felt like it went on just a smidgeon too long.<br/><br/>Ultimately though, the story is a sweet, low angst, lovely romance with SUPER HOT sex and fabulous narration.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Jace has two loves in his life. Gambling and his best friend, Quinton. They have been friends since college, walk, roommates for a while, started their own business and did almost everything together. They play Raquetball, walk, work and go to monthly gambling where Jace most always wins.
Quinton has always loved Jace. Finally one night on a bet they end up together and begins dating.
This is a very sweet story of two men that have loved each other but were afraid to say so to the other. The story is mainly about the progression of their relationship and coming out to friends and family. It's a sweet story that has scorching sex scenes. Lots of them. It has lots of gambling analogy and metaphors. That was one of my biggest problems with the story was there was just so many. Almost everything they said or did was related to gambling. In my opinion, it was just a little overboard. Having said that, the main idea of the story and the romance was excellent.
This is my first book narrated by Gomez Pugh. I think he did a wonderful job. His voice is great, his enunciation is clear and i loved his take on the sex scenes. I do wish there had been a bit more difference in Quint and Jace's voice but the story was written well enough it was pretty clear who was talking and when.
If you like sweet romance, friends to lovers,gambling and some very hot man sex you should take a gamble on this. I bet you will like it.
*I received a copy for an honest review*
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Story Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 4.25 of 5 Stars
This was a hard one for me to review because I am usually such a huge fan of Amy Lane light. But this one was just……meh. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Jace and Quent were good characters, both with flaws and both in need of growth, Jace way more than Quent. And their relationship was very satisfying in that both men were perfect for each other and the ending was all hearts and roses. But that was just it, things were just too perfect for me. I wanted more of their history before they knew every little thing about each other. I wanted more struggle instead of Quent just always giving Jace exactly what he wanted after the token “misunderstanding/miscommunication.” Things just happened and moved forward and were enjoyable, but other than Jace finding his perfect match to show him he is worthy of love, this story felt like there was no goal in mind. It was slow and full of sex and odd poker/life metaphors but the rest was not enough to make this one of what I would refer to as Amy Lane’s best works.
If you are a die hard Amy fan, you will love this one. The narration was wonderful. Even though this was not my favorite of her works, I enjoyed listening and will visit this one again.
I love Gomez Pugh as a narrator for Amy Lane light. His voice is wonderful and his execution of this story was spot on. He really brought these characters, their story, and their emotions to life. He greatly enhanced my enjoyment of Gambling Men.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Quent is the low key, “grinder” type who has been following Jace since they met in college. He might have had feelings for him but would never have acknowledged them without some sort of hint from Jace first.
Jace is the “shark” type. Intense, driven, focused, seemingly without feeling – except where Quent is concerned. He can’t admit his feelings unless he’s assured of the results.
One day – seemingly out of the blue – Jace hits on Quent and suddenly their relationship has changed from friend to lover.
Though Quent has never been with a man, and Jace has never been in a relationship, they embark fearlessly on one – together.
First – this is my all time FAVORITE Amy book. I love these boys and have re-read this book over and over and over.
What I loved about this book is the sideways “non”-conversations that the boys have with one another. They manage to navigate their relationship with a series of poker metaphors and pointed looks. It’s hysterical. The sex is phenomenal – neither is inhibited and Jace is so growly then cuddly – it’s a perfect blend.
Quent is both the social follower but their emotional leader in the relationship. Jace has so much to learn about expressing himself but when he does it just tears your heart out and makes you want to hug him.
I also LOVED Jace’s family – Mike and Jefferson were such great role-models and I loved their life lessons through poker.
In relative Amy terms – there is almost no angst in this book – but there is lots of deep emotional bonding and lovely relationship building and some fantastic “newbie” sex to be explored. Not to mention that it is hysterical.
If you haven’t read this wonderful book by Amy Lane I highly recommend it.
6 of 5 stars
OMG – I have waited literally FOREVER for this to become an audiobook. I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED! Gomez Pugh is an amazing narrator and he does SUCH a great job with this. He didn’t sound like the boys do in my head, but he’s wonderful nonetheless. I adored listening to this and would highly recommend this to EVERYONE!!
6 of 5 grateful it finally came to audio stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful