Title: Paris A to Z
Series: Coda Books, Book 5
Author: Marie Sexton
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy from publisher
Published: April 2011 by Dreamspinner Press
Zach Mitchell and his lover Angelo Green are headed to Paris (along with their Coda friends Matt and Jared) to attend Jon and Cole's wedding. Matt will have to face Jared's former lover, and Angelo will have to spend an entire week with Zach's ex-boyfriend. Between Matt's jealousy and Angelo's temper, Zach thinks they'll be lucky to get through the week without one of the grooms being punched. But Zach soon realizes he should worry less about Angelo and more about himself. Facing the bittersweet memories of his past and his own guilt over breaking Jon's heart is harder than expected, but Zach will have to find a way to leave his past behind if he's to have any hope of the future he wants with Angelo.
Reviewed By: J9
In a Nutshell: This isn’t always a comfortable read but with such nuanced characters and realistic, heartfelt romances, it’s well worth the emotional investment.
The Set Up: Zach and Angelo, along with their friends Matt and Jared, are invited to Paris for Jon and Cole’s wedding. Matt will have to face his jealousy that Jared and Cole were once lovers while Zach has to face Angelo’s jealousy of his past with Jon. But while Zach is so worried about Angelo he isn’t prepared for his own guilt and bittersweet feelings toward Jon.
Why I Read this Book: I’ve loved this series with the unique romances and I felt like this book would be the closure on all the relationships I was waiting for.
What I Liked: I like that both Zach and Angelo’s relationship and Matt and Jared’s have a metamorphosis. Zach and Angelo’s is clearly the primary but I almost enjoyed Matt and Jared’s best. Matt has such a visceral jealousy about Jared’s sexual history with Cole that it is extremely satisfying to read how this alters. This scene between Matt and Jared is blow-your-socks-off sexy but also intensely emotional which is the best combination in erotic romance, in my opinion. Zach and Angelo’s romance also changes a bit here. Angelo opens up to Zach about future goals and I love that.
What I Also Liked: The best thing about this book though is that the men all come to an understanding of why they’re with the men they’re with. It wasn’t an easy journey for any of the couples but in this book it feels like all three couples come to acceptance of why they’re with their partner. The relationship closure I thought was slightly missing from the previous books is well done here but also leaves the door open for more stories. Since I’m a series fan this is the perfect balance of relationship closure and future possibilities.
What I Didn’t Like: I will be honest that I walk a fine line in romance. I want realism but not too much (such a reading prima donna here!) In real life I intellectually know we feel attraction to people we aren’t partnered with but in romance I’m not sure I want that much realism. But even this is handled so well between Zach and Jon that I can’t complain too much.
IMO: I don’t think non-series readers will understand the emotional intensity of these established romances but series fans like me will adore this novella.