I have been waiting with bated breaths for the release of this book and author Ella Frank doesn’t disappoint.
Good Intentions the second book in her Intentions duet, is an intriguing mix of delectable romance and low buzz sensuality. Ella Frank’s novels are mostly characterized by highly explicit scenes that would definitely heighten your senses. Good Intentions however, is an exception to this rule. Don’t get me wrong, this novel has sensual scenes to depict the intimacy between the main characters. But the book has a marked difference that sets it apart from Ella Frank’s forbidden rustic style. Good Intentions takes you on a journey as our sweet couple make efforts to understand each other. There is no unnecessary angst or drama, which elevates the reading experience. I have nothing against angst, but once in a while I do prefer reading books that focus more on developing the relationship between the main characters; rather than driving a wedge between them. Marcus St. James and Gabriel Romero make a formidable couple, despite the differences in their social stature and significant age gap. These variables indirectly juxtapose and help to bridge the divide between them. Ella Frank certainly loves her Chicago universe, so we have recurrent cameos of characters from her “Temptation”, “Confession” and “Prime Time” series. If you haven’t read those books, I highly recommend reading them as well. Without further ado, let’s review this novel!
Gabriel Romero made me hungry for things I’d never wanted, and starved of the things I didn’t think I’d ever need. Until now… Until him…
I was never the man who believed in love, romance, or happily ever afters. I was married to my work, and happy to be that way. Until one night, not too long ago, when an audacious young man lied his way into my life and showed me what I’d been missing.
Bold and sexy, with a face that could melt through the iciest of exteriors, Gabriel Romero is the one factor I never saw coming. There are so many reasons we shouldn’t work—my age, his, our career goals in life—and yet we are drawn together by a passion for music, and each other, that neither of us can deny.
I’ve always been the one to think things through, to follow my head instead of my heart. But if I don’t open myself to what’s possible, instead of thinking of all the ways this seems impossible, I might miss out on the best thing that has ever happened to me.
So I’m taking a chance, and laying myself at his mercy, opening my heart with nothing but good intentions. Only time will tell if Gabriel Romero decides to let me back in.
Marcus’s hesitation to keep Gabe in the loop about his future decisions leads to a major misunderstanding. To atone for his mistake and gain Gabe’s trust, Marcus decides to stay with Gabe at his apartment. Leaving behind his high society lifestyle, Marcus bends to Gabe’s every whim and desire. As they slowly grow closer and learn more about each other, both reach a point where they are pulled into different directions by lucrative career choices. While Gabe struggles with his own feelings and indecision to support Marcus’s ambitions; Marcus does some fervent soul-searching. Both are aiming to be a part of each other’s lives, without giving up on their dreams and ambitions. But will their delicate relationship stand the test of time? Will Marcus choose Gabe over his dreams, or they will fall apart?
MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK
If you are an obsessive fan of Ella Frank’s books like I’m, you would inadvertently notice the difference between Good Intentions and her previous MM Romances. Temptation, Confession and Prime Time series exhibit her usual sensual style, reckoning high sexual tension between the main characters. Good Intentions does not!
Maybe that’s what sets this book apart from the previous works. Ella Frank leans onto a sweeter basic version, where we have characters from two different worlds. Marcus and Gabe are nothing alike; their upbringing, societal status, qualifications, experiences have a widespread divide. The book succinctly dissects these differences to bring them closer, as they bridge the distance. You are inevitably drawn to their easy banter and flirtatious anecdotes. Gabe makes Marcus feel alive; while Marcus gives Gabe an odd sense of security.
Good Intentions picks up from the nail-biting cliffhanger in the first book. Only it isn’t as tragic as I thought it would be. I was worried that Marcus’s inability to commit might tear them apart. But obviously Marcus is unlike most men. Absolutely appreciate a man who has the courage to accept his mistakes and make amends. Marcus knows what he wants and once he decides on something, he is rather confident in winning his man back! It was amusing watching him adjust his rather exuberant lifestyle to Gabe’s makeshift abode. These two make such an intriguing couple, that words fail to express their compatibility.
We get to delve deeper into their world, as Marcus is introduced to the parental units. I was a little surprised with the premise, but Macus doesn’t fret or panic. Unlike most characters, Magnus never suffers from nervousness or insecurities. His confidence is rather impressive and I enjoyed watching him interact with Gabe’s parents. Similarly, Gabe’s interactions with Abby (Marcus’s sister) are sweet and entirely adorable. Strangely enough, their variant personalities bring them closer, as they seek to understand each other’s dreams and ambitions.
The book majorly focuses on the changing dynamics of their relationship, as they try to reconcile their career choices with their evolving feelings. Gabe receives a lucrative offer at a music academy in Chicago which he can’t possibly refuse. Magnus on the other hand is being scouted by popular news channel heads in other major cities. Both are left in a bind; Gabe doesn’t want Marcus to give up on his ambitions because of their relationship. Marcus on the other hand faces the most important question in his life-
“Are his dreams and ambitions more important than Gabe? Can he have both at the same time?”
Marcus and Gabe’s dynamics certainly represent a more mature phase of healthy relationships. Although they do dance around the issue of their career choices; it’s mostly because they are nervous about hurting the other person. They are immensely supportive of each other. It isn’t easy to make undue demands to your partner, when you are in the early stages of your relationship. Their hesitation is understandable. I love how Ella Frank uses this arc to dive deeper into their emotions and gives us a satisfactory ending. The book certainly doesn’t suffer from angst or undue sadness. Gabe is a delectable minx full of sarcasm and high on life. Certainly someone who brings colors and joy to Marcus’s rather lackluster life!
If you are a fan of Ella Frank’s novels, then this book should definitely be on your reading list. It is a choice you won’t regret!
Rating- 4.5 out of 5