Book Review: Hearsay by Taylor V. Donovan

Hearsay by Taylor V. DonovanTitle: Hearsay
Series: Bylaws, Book 1
Author: Taylor V. Donovan
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Steamy
Source: review copy provided by author
Published: May 28, 2014 (self-published)

Senior associate attorney Derrick Swain wants it all: a loving husband, a fulfilling career, and a couple of kids. After years of hard work he's on the fast track to a promotion. He’s also met the man of his dreams. A week of daily lunch meetings in Central Park provides the perfect setting to get to know him better, and Derrick thinks it won’t be long before they take the next step and go on a date. But instead of asking him out, the object of his affection stops showing up without explanation, leaving him to wonder what went wrong.

As part owner of one of the most prestigious law firms in New York City, Roman Bradford knows that professional success isn’t the be all end all. Although he’s been lucky in life, true love has eluded him for the most part. One too many failed relationships have caused him to be leery of trying again, until he meets a man that can only be described as temptation personified. A few conversations is all it takes for Roman to start believing things will be different this time around. It doesn’t matter that they are boss and employee, or that he’s feeling too much, too fast. Not when he can see the same emotions in Derrick’s eyes. Then life turns on a dime, and Roman has no option but to let his chance at happiness go.

A battle of wills ensues when a life-altering case brings them together a year later. Roman wants to do the right thing by not letting anything happen between them, and Derrick is determined to prove they’re meant to be together. Evidence will be presented and final arguments will be made. Will they be able to come to an agreement, or will they opt to have their potential relationship dismissed?

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: Not the book for me though I did appreciate the emotional connection between the leads.

The Set Up: Roman is the part owner of a prestigious law firm and he’s long been attracted Derrick, a young attorney in the firm. But Roman has a secret that prevents him from asking Derrick on a date. Derrick wants the career, husband and kids—and he wants them with Roman. Derrick won’t accept Roman pushing him away but Roman’s secret may destroy them both.

Why I Read This Book: I adore this author’s other books and was giddy to read this one.

What I Liked: Roman and Derrick have a palpable emotional draw to each other. Their mutual longing and desire to build a life together really resonated with me.

I also liked the brief glimpse into Roman’s business partner’s life. There is absolutely a story there and I want to read it!

What I Didn’t Like: Roman’s “secret” won’t be much of a secret from readers but it takes most of the book for Derrick to learn it. This tension felt unbelievably manufactured to me and I wanted the reveal to happen much sooner so we could get to how the couple would make it work. To be fair, this is book one in the series so I think the author is keeping the how of the relationship for the next books in the series. In doing this I felt the relationship lacked resolution that I wanted desperately. Roman and Derrick had the emotional connection that I wanted but they didn’t have the sexual connection or the life connection that I was looking for.

I have to also mention that Derrick seemed more immature than his age or experience would lead me to think. He is almost making partner, has lived a full life with family and friends but he talks about fairy tales and babies and whimpers and needs cuddles. This felt like a jarring dichotomy in his character that I just never connected with.

IMO: Maybe I’ll love Hearsay as part of a series where I get the full relationship of Roman and Derrick but as is I didn’t love this book at all.

J9’s Rating:
2 Frogs

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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


  1. Ouch. I'll add this to my "don't read until all the books in the series are out" list. :)

  2. I'm going to go check out the authors other books, and keep this one in mind.


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