Custom Ride by KA Mitchell

Why I read it:  I was shocked (SHOCKED!) to realise that I had not read this early KA Mitchell book and rectified that error after a round of shopping in the recent ARe sale.
What it’s about:  (from Goodreads)  A stint in the Air Force left Ryan MacRae with a bitter memory of life in the closet. Jeff Allstein is a mechanic who has too much to lose if his private life becomes public. The heat of their attraction boils over on a stormy summer night, but satisfying that need only makes them both crave more.Their searing connection makes it hard for Ryan to understand the road blocks Jeff continually puts down. Ryan will have to buckle up if he’s going to find love at the end of his custom ride.

What worked for me (and what didn’t): Oh there was so much to love about this one.  It is one of KA Mitchell’s earlier works, first published in 2007 so it could have been of lesser quality but I didn’t find that at all.  Two hot men? Check. Hot sex? Check? An interesting story, a believable conflict? Check.  Yes, the story had a lot of sex in it, as is standard for a KAM novel, but it also has a story.  Jeff shares custody of his daughter with her mother (a real piece of work) and can’t risk coming out openly because it might lead to him losing his daughter.  The connection between the 2 men was palpable and it was really only the custody issue threatening their relationship.  I’ve no doubt that it is a very real concern for people in Jeff’s position (sadly).  I loved that Jeff’s priority was his little girl.  The problem for me came when the book ended suddenly.  I felt I’d only just got the first part of the story.
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*mild spoilers* 
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Yes, they had decided to be together but they were hiding their relationship because of Psycho Val. It felt like Part 1 but there was no Part 2.  It was a HFN ending but I really wanted a HEA.  Mainly because I really enjoyed reading about these characters and I wanted to find out what happened.  I wanted to witness what happened.  With rare exception, I love KA Mitchell books, so when I get to read a new (to me) one, I want to spend time doing it.  It wasn’t even an hour *cries* and my experience was over. *cries more*
There are no doubt other things wrong and right with the story, but the main issue was its abrupt and premature end.  I needed moar!
What else? I immediately read Custom Christmas which I believe was a freebie I picked up ages ago but hadn’t read because I like to read in order.  This story gave me the ending I wanted but as it was only 10 pages long, there was still a large gap in the middle.  Reading about Ryan, Jeff and Anna’s journey to the HEA from the end of Custom Ride to the beginning of Custom Christmas would have made me a very happy girl. Seeing it summarised in a few sentences was just not as satisfiying. I did however find out what Ryan did for a living, something that was strangely absent in the main story.

Favourite Quote: 

“You rode over?  I thought it was supposed to rain tonight.”

“It’s going to clear up by morning, and I didn’t plan on being done before then.”

Rowr.


Grade: B-

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