REVIEW: The Assignment by Evangeline Anderson

The Assignment by Evangeline Anderson (Loose-ID)Man Love. My first. Maybe my last. I just know that I couldn’t have a surfeit of these types of books on a daily basis. Or any erotica that’s m/m,m/f, f/f or whatever. If it entertains, I’ll read it but erotica these days, compose very little of my reading diet. Moving on. I bought this book because the buzz surrounding it has been pretty positive. Here is the description for your perusal:

Detective Nicolas Valenti has never had feelings for a man that go beyond friendship. But now he’s in love with his partner Sean O’Brien. There’s just one problem–Sean is straight. Isn’t he?

The Assignment was just average for this reader. I had some serious issues with Valenti’s partner, Sean O’Brien, claiming his heterosexuality while he was undercover with Nicholas. The problem? I just didn’t believe it. See, the Assignment requires the two men to work undercover together and pretend to be lovers in order for them to take down a dangerous criminal who happens to frequent gay clubs, bars or whatever. The problem arises when Nicholas Valenti starts having some real, serious feelings for his partner, Sean. I really liked Nicholas and I could understand his feelings for Sean since they’d been friends for years and were close. Thus, I had no problem with his character or the way he was written. I felt sorry for him and I wanted him to have his happy ending.

The biggest problem of this story for me was the way Sean O’Brian’s character was written.  The author wants the reader to believe Sean’s sexual exploration was nothing for him to think about twice. He did all the kissing, groping, feely stuff with another guy that would make one think twice that he was straight. However, we see Nicholas really grappling with his sexuality and his feelings while  we see Sean  all out flaming. Rather than be perceived as a full blooded heterosexual male as the author would like the reader to do,  Sean comes across as a man who lived his life in the closet and was finally let loose. I would never believe that he was straight. Never. Sorry. Just couldn’t. As the envelope was pushed further and further, Sean’s response was always: it’s ok, it’s for the job. Yeah, right. Tell that to someone else. I just accepted that Nicholas fell in love with Sean but never thought himself as gay. Sean just acted gay from the start. 

All in all, this book was about average for me, C. Take heart. Others did enjoy it. I just didn’t think it was all that great. It wasn’t all bad. I liked the writing. The story was somewhat entertaining. Characterizations were decent. The author’s voice has a nice flow to it. Would I read anything else by her? Probably not.

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About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Grade C Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to REVIEW: The Assignment by Evangeline Anderson

  1. Jorrie Spencer says:

    Not that I want to push a subgenre on anyone, but my fave m/m romances (off the top of my head) are JL Langley’s Without Reservations, Ally Blue’s Willow Bend and Stephanie’s Vaughan’s Crossing the Line. I just really enjoyed the characters in these books, and the romance.

    I haven’t read Evangeline Anderson.

  2. Rosario says:

    Wow, Keishon, we really saw this one from different perspectives! I do totally agree that it would be completely unbelievable for Sean to be straight, but where we differ is that I didn’t think Anderson wanted to make us think he was. The way I saw it, Sean was doing all he could to show Nicholas that he was gay, gay, gay. Well, different strokes, I guess!

    And for Jorrie: I loved the Vaughan book you mention, so I’ll be definitely checking out the other two you mention.

  3. Karen Scott says:

    I dont mind Man love, but I usually prefer there to be at least one female interest. I’ve not been able to read a purely M/M romance yet, and probably wont.

    I read an F/F about eighteen months ago, and was so scarred by the experience, that I wont be dipping my nose in that pool again.

  4. Jorrie Spencer says:

    Cool, Rosario. I actually bought Vaughan’s books because of your reviews 🙂 So I’ll be curious to hear what you think.

  5. Avid Reader says:

    Hi Rosario, there just wasn’t any acknowlegement from Sean or maybe I read that character completely wrong. So, as I’m to understand it, Sean was already gay it was just Nicholas who was confused?

  6. Rosario says:

    My interpretation (heavy emphasis on *interpretation* here), is that before they developed feelings for each other, they both had been heterosexual. And then, what happened during this book was that both had mostly accepted their feelings for the other to themselves, but were not completely sure the other was feeling the same. So, while Sean wasn’t quite ready to come out and say to Valenti that he was gay and hot for him (just in case he was reading Valenti completely wrong), he was otherwise doing all he could to show him.

  7. Avid Reader says:

    [quote comment=”5055″]My interpretation (heavy emphasis on *interpretation* here), is that before they developed feelings for each other, they both had been heterosexual. And then, what happened during this book was that both had mostly accepted their feelings for the other to themselves, but were not completely sure the other was feeling the same. So, while Sean wasn’t quite ready to come out and say to Valenti that he was gay and hot for him (just in case he was reading Valenti completely wrong), he was otherwise doing all he could to show him.[/quote]

    Hmmmm. I just thought the author would have did better to have readers know Sean’s thoughts. Sean really wasn’t as fleshed out as Nicholas (to me). I don’t think we got much of Sean’s POV, now that I think about it. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book., Rosario.

    Jorrie, I’ll keep those titles in mind when I’m in the mood for something different 🙂 Thanks, ladies.

  8. Teddy Pig says:

    Don’t feel too bad, I am gay and a man and kept wondering why Nicholas let Sean do all those things in bed with him. I mean they were not even friggin drunk, COME ON!

    I just totally lost my ability to any of it.

  9. Charlene says:

    I couldn’t stand this book.

    It contained every single slash fanfic cliche in existence ca. 1998. Every one of them, including ye olde (and I mean olde) fuck or die scenario. I wanted to transport the author back eight years and point out that reinventing the wheel was hardly necessary.

    And come on: the protagonist is worrying about whether his partner is really interested in him while said partner has the protagonist’s dick in his mouth! Please. And a club named the RamJack? What’s next – the CockOff?

  10. mary says:

    I have read some m/m romance online, but this was my first in print. I think the characters were equally well written, and they just had different personalities. Valenti is a quiet character, in general, and that is why he was not portrayed as strongly as O’Brian. He needed the added support of thought, while his partner was already loud and outgoing. It was also mentioned at the beginning that he went into things full force, and that is probably one of the reasons he was more ‘flamboyant’ and ‘out’ than Valenti. It was a time when BOTH of them got to show their attraction to each other. There was also the fact that Sean hadn’t realized his feelings as early as Nick, and he was just exploring them as new feelings. I don’t think there was anything wrong with this book, and I can’t wait until she releases ‘Heart and Soul’ in paperback.

  11. mary says:

    You should read her books. They are great, in my opinion:)

  12. mary says:

    @Charlene:
    If you don’t like the book, don’t comment and try to ruin it for everyone else.

  13. mary says:

    The only problem I had with it was that it was too short. It could have been longer. I loved the story and the characters. In my opinion, O’Brian had more personality than Valenti. They were both good characters, though.

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