Published July 8th 2013
Matt Sullivan understands labels: law student, athlete, heterosexual. He has goals: graduate and begin his career in law. One fateful night, Matt tags along with his gay roommate to a dance club and everything changes. Matt finds himself attracted to the most beautiful man he’s ever seen. All labels go flying out the window.
Aaron Mendez doesn’t believe in labels, and he’s leery of straight curious men. He makes it clear that he’ll hide his fabulous light for no one. While Aaron can’t deny the attraction between him and Matt, he is reluctant to start anything with someone who is still dealing with what this new label means—especially when that someone has a girlfriend.
‘Better Than Good’ is a lovely little story; an instant attraction, a slowly blooming romance, and a bit of sexual self-discovery. Matt is a pretty straightforward guy, starting to come to terms with the fact he may be bisexual, helped along by the beautiful man he finds himself dancing with in a club one night. Aaron is an exciting, energetic, out and proud gay man who’s trying to find someone he can think about settling down with.
As much as I liked the premise of this book, the execution of it didn’t really float my boat. The writing felt a bit stilted, very much “this happened and then this happened”. I was constantly aware of it instead of being drawn into the story. It’s not what I was expecting, given that the ‘Leaning Into Stories’ series by Lane Hayes that I’ve read previously was beautifully written.
The story felt rather confused at times. At the beginning of the book, Matt was feeling like he should be freaked out by the fact he’s attracted to Aaron, like it’s this completely new thing to him. But right after that, out of nowhere we find out that Matt has had sex with another man before and didn’t get that freaked out by it, and he’s also been attracted to other men in the past, so the messages got a bit conflicted.
I also found that the characters felt younger than they really were. Maybe it was just the references to being in college, but the whole thing felt more like a New Adult novel to me. I got the impression I was reading about a couple of guys in their early twenties, but Matt is actually 24 and Aaron 28, and when I found out it totally threw me off.
So this book was a mixed bag for me. It wasn’t the most comfortable read, but I did like the story and the characters. Especially Aaron as he was so vibrant. I liked the romantic side of Matt with his music and his serenading Aaron to win him back. I actually found myself more intrigued by Aaron’s friends Jay and Peter, so I like that the next book in the series is their story.
‘Better Than Good’ was sweet, but not really a winner for me.