10 April 2015

Just A Bit Unhealthy by Alessandra Hazard

Hey everyone,

Now I know I promised to try and stay away from the m/m romances this month as mentioned in my April TBR video, but I couldn’t resist reading the latest one in Alessandra Hazard’s Straight Guys series. Just A Bit Unhealthy is a contemporary m/m novella that follows the characters of Jared and Gabriel, who are introduced earlier in the series. Having said that this can totally be read as an stand-alone.

The book:



Gabriel DuVal, rising soccer star.

Jared Sheldon, team physician.

To the outside world, they’re just good friends. But the truth is, Gabriel isn’t entirely sure what they are to each other. 

Some call their relationship unhealthy. Some call it codependency. Gabriel calls it confusing. He knows Jared wants him – as more than a friend. He doesn’t want Jared. He’s straight, he has a girlfriend, and he loves her. But Jared is… Jared is more. Jared is his. He needs him – his touch and his strength. 

But is it enough for Jared?

My thoughts:

Having been previously introduced to Jared and Gabriel in Just A Bit Obsessed I was aware of the unusual dynamics of the relationship. Jared loves Gabriel. Gabriel needs Jared. Gabriel even loves Jared but he isn’t in love with Jared. After all he has a girlfriend, and he’s straight so he can’t be in love with Jared. Despite that Gabriel is crazy possessive of Jared. He might not want a relationship with Jared but he certainly doesn’t want anyone else having one with him either. Jared is his.

For this very reason this book will not be for everyone. If you dislike crazy jealous partners, or indecisive do-I-don’t-I stories then I would suggest you give Just A Bit Unhealthy a miss. I, however, really enjoyed Alessandra Hazard’s latest offering. Watching Gabriel and Jared try and define their relationship was fascinating. Right at the start Jared and Gabriel have an emotional connection. When either of them has a problem they are each others comfort and support.

“He didn’t know what to do.
So he did what he always did when he felt lost, or angry, or upset: he closed his eyes, burrowed closer into Jared’s side and pretended the problems didn’t exist.
He was good at that - as long as he had Jared”.

I wouldn’t describe Gabriel as a good person, he’s selfish, throws temper tantrums and arguably manipulates Jared feelings. Yet he grew on me, he had a vulnerability about him that made me understand why he needed Jared. Before his friendship with Jared, he hadn’t had anyone who loved him unconditionally. Who liked him. Does that mean I condone all of Gabriel’s actions? No of course it doesn’t. He fundamentally stops Jared from having a normal, healthy relationship. Yet at the same time Jared could have refused Gabriel’s offer. He could have stayed in the States and forgotten about Gabriel. But he doesn’t because to Jared being a part of Gabriel’s life, and the opportunity to love Gabriel is more appealing than a life without him.

“There’s no place for me in your life - actually there never was -’
‘There is.
‘Not the one I want’, Jared said quietly. he sounded tired. ‘You can’t give me what I want’.
....
‘What if I can? What if... what if I let you kiss me whenever you want?’

As a reader it was clear that Gabriel always loved Jared. It just took a while for him to transfer the emotional feelings into ones of a more sexual nature. I loved how well Alessandra Hazard balanced the angst and drama of Jared and Gabriel's sexual tension with their easy and effortless friendship. Although it takes a while for them to sort out the physical side of their relationship, emotionally they had been in one for years. Even though Gabriel has a pregnant girlfriend, and Jared dates other men they always return to one another. Is it the most healthy and accurate depiction of love? Hell no. Did I enjoy reading about two men who are incapable of staying away from each other? Hell yes!

My rating:
Happy reading everyone and see you next time!