Reviews

Back Piece by L.A. Witt

litloulou's review against another edition

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3.0

3.5 stars This was cute. Only real angst was the coming out aspect and that wasn't my favorite conflict I guess. They were sweet and a nice couple, lots of good dialogue and not a total insta love so that all was really good for me.

loishojmark's review against another edition

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3.0

''But at some point, after you’ve been building walls around yourself for a while, it stops being protection and becomes a tomb. No one’s getting in and you’re not getting out. And I mean, you’ve been through hell and back, and I know you think you came out weak and damaged, but you didn’t.''

So, this is an actionless book. Nothing really happens. They just talk, have sex, tattoo, talk some more, sex some more and tattoo again... Over and over and over again. There's no plot or action, nothing really happens... beside talking, sexing, and tattooing. It is borderline boring. Of course there's the '26-year-old-virgin-living-in-the-closet-because-of-über-homophobic-religious-parents-plot' and the '30-something-guy-having-anorexia/bulimia-mainly-because-of-shithead-ex-boyfriend-plot' and that's okay interesting, but something about the execution made it rather boring. It just seemed like a retelling - even the sex scenes.
But it's not all bad. There is some good things... just won't be able to pin it at this moment. Wait! A good thing, was the Navy and the co-workers reactions towards homosexuality. The trees doesn't grow into heaven, but it created an interesting dichotomy between the conform, conservative military and the likewise religion. I guess one of them, can change...

haletostilinski1's review against another edition

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4.0

3.5 stars

I truly enjoyed this book, so I hated to have to take off half a star when I really do feel like this deserves 4 full stars.

But it felt like there was something missing from this story that I, personally, rarely get from L.A. Witt stories. Not only did the sex rarely simmer and make me feel something (I was like, what, no this feels perfunctory and Witt's sex scenes never feel that way, AND it was sex scenes with a virgin, someone who has never experienced it before and was very eager, and yet I didn't FEEL anything with a lot of the scenes) but it didn't feel like a lot happened.

I know for a fact Witt can take two "ordinary" people in the "ordinary" world and make a hell of an interesting story - but there just wasn't a lot happening with this story outside the romance. And believe you, me, generally all I want is the romance, or actually, I want to get to the romance in romance novels and want to get past the friend scenes or family scenes a lot of the time...but really, those type of scenes help set up characters outside of the two MC's, and Witt has done it before, but kinda fell short in this one. I liked the other secondary characters, but they didn't feel very present throughout the book, kinda in the periphery. And while part of me loved that, a part of me was frustrated because then we got a scene around 75% of Shane spouting, what to me, felt like bullshit about Daniel (who hadn't even met yet), I didn't quite understand his motivation. Yeah, he cares for his brother a lot and wants to protect him, but...it didn't feel like that to me. Idk, it pissed me off.

Anyway, I just feel like the secondary characters could have been a little more present, and then they would have felt a little more rounded and like full characters.

But overall, aside from these little annoyances, I did enjoy this. I did really like Colin and Daniel together, and Colin was so sweet to Daniel - they were sweet to each other. And I loved the complexity of both their characters, how they weren't able to get over sucky emotions and thoughts that ate away them easily - because as much as we tell ourselves we're gonna do better or be better or love ourselves, it's a lot harder than it seems. And those thoughts always creep in, no matter how much you don't let them consume you. Colin is always going to have those demons eating away at him, but he doesn't let them take over him like he had before (even though he came close several times in this book. It just showed how human he is
Spoilerand also he has an eating disorder, and he battles it throughout the book
)

I also did find a few of the sex scenes hot (like at the end and this scene of them in a motel...DAmN. You just gotta read it).

And the ending was both a happy ending and happy-for-now. They're in a good place, but it is also pretty clear, hey, we're getting a second book, and it will probably focus on these two (and if not, then that ending will become a "that's it?" more than a "okay, just gotta wait for more" ending.)

I do think this is worth a read, because it IS enjoyable for the most part. I just think...don't expect anything amazing and "not able to put it down" worthy about this book. Enjoyable and engaging, but not up to Witt's usual standard, I think.

bfdbookblog's review against another edition

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4.0

This book checked a few boxes for me…military, ‘broken’ characters, super sweet love, tattooed guy with a questionable past and a closeted, repressed virgin.

I really liked that even though the experienced guy with a virgin is a bit overdone in books, this felt fresh. Daniel was raised by homophobic, gay-bashing ‘Christians’ and went straight into the military. Not only did he not have many opportunities to lose his virginity, he was brainwashed into thinking it was evil to be gay. Their sexual encounters are really hot and filled with emotion.

Daniel is a really sweet guy that just doesn’t know what he’s doing when it comes to relationships. He goes through quite a bit of self-discovery. He’s perfect for Colin and his reactions to everything he learns about Colin are just what Colin needs. Colin is kind of a mess but he’s surrounded himself with the people he needs to make it through his life. Although I usually like the healing process in stories, I appreciated what he’s been through and what he’s done to get to a good enough place to function in a relationship. He too is perfect for Daniel. He is patient and understanding with just about everything they do together. They truly complement each other and should last a long time.

This book was a bit long and I skimmed some. I typically don’t want to read a story with a closeted guy because the out and proud guy usually gets hurt badly and there is a lot of angst. This book is no exception and is pretty predictable in how Daniel coming out is handled.

We don’t learn really anything about the side characters so I’m guessing the subsequent books will have a lot of content also as we get to know them. I’m interested to see if a couple of these characters will get future stories or if they are just quick mentions we won’t hear from again.

Overall, a good read with a sweet romance.

piperclover's review against another edition

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emotional reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.25

This was such a good time and exactly the type of romance book I look for. I like the relationship, I like that it deals with heavy topics in a very mature and honest way, I love the battles with self-doubt and fear. I just really love all of it. The beginning was a little slow but it picked up pretty quickly.

 I appreciate that Daniel is a virgin and its not treated as a commodity or a bad thing.  It would have been nice to see a little bit more of the fall out with his parent's but it didn't hinder my enjoyment. When I got to the end of the book, I was a little jarred by the abrupt ending but I actually really like it. The lack of poetic waxing about "starting their forever" or "holding each other close and making the most of this relationship" etc was really refreshing. 

I also learned about Mount Trashmore Park in Virginia Beach so that is now a random party fact I will be sharing with everyone. 

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dreamerfreak's review against another edition

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3.0

To be quite honest, I was pretty bored with the first half of this book. There was a lot of sex and not much else going on. But after I trudged through that, I finally got to the emotional meat of the story, and that was pretty much worth it. Both MCs had pretty serious issues to work through and emotional support from each other and their friends pulled them through. Bonus points for no magic dick!

leahkarge's review

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3.0

I enjoyed the book overall, but it was a bit repetitive in places and felt like it was longer than it needed to be. Also, I didn't appreciate the fact that one of the secondary characters shames Colin for breaking up with Daniel in order to protect his own mental health and convinced him that he was creating illogical relationship boundaries.

Rep: gay MCs, male MC with an eating disorder, male survivor of abusive relationship, mentally ill MC, MC who is a former sex worker

Warnings: misogyny, ableism, eating disorder, hospitalization mention, slurs, gendered slurs, homomisia, queermisic family and religion, suicide mention, rape mention, mental illness (depression, anxiety), amisia, cissexism, mention of past abusive relationship, cheating mention, semi-public sexual activity, gaslighting

ruthiedr89's review

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tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0


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katiemulcahy122's review

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3.0

First read: 8/7/17
Second read: 2/23/22

I feel like I've read a lot by this author, so it's funny going back to this first book of hers that I ever finished. It's really solidified for me that I like her ideas and her writing, but it gets really repetitive. Like, yes, in real life we often have the same conversations about important things, but it's such a drag having to read the same thing every other chapter in a book.

I wasn't really aware of that the first time because I was still relatively new to the romance genre, so I didn't like this as much the second time, but damn do I want a bunch more tattoos now.

coconutlavender's review

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funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0