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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Expected more, was a bit disappointed.

    Going Dutch is James Gregor's first novel; therefore, I am generous with my rating of three stars. I fell in love with the premise of this book from the synopsis, but unfortunately for me, it fell short. Some will say that this book was well written and I will agree to a certain extent. My problem with Mr. Gregor's writing was that at times it seemed forced. I felt that he was trying to use every unusual word he could from his vast vocabulary. However, it became stilted and tedious, and I found myself skimming to get past the third person haranguing. The story in and of itself is a good one; gay millennials trying to survive the modern online dating scene to find "the one." The problem for me was; there was not one main character I liked. Richard, our protagonist, is a thirty-something gay man pursuing his doctorate in medieval Italian literature, who has a severe case of writer's block. I found him to be shallow, self-centered, whiney, and insipid character with no redeeming qualities.  Anne is a straight, affluent, wickedly astute doctoral student in medieval literature. Anne pursues Richard, knowing that he is gay, and does not return her feelings. Richard is in love with Patrick, a long-time friend, and fellow doctoral student, who does not return his romantic feelings. As readers, we are constantly subjected to Richard's ramblings on how perfect Patrick is and how he is undeserving of Patrick's friendship. Throughout the book, Richard puts up with anything and everything to keep their friendship intact. As Richard becomes more and more lost, he leads Anne on and begins a romantic-like relationship with her. Richard also slyly enlists Anne's "help" with not only his writer's block but also to subsidize his pathetic financial situation. Is Richard genuinely confused about his sexuality, is he using Anne or both? You will have to make that decision. If all of that's not bad enough, he meets Blake, a successful lawyer, and starts a romantic relationship with him too. Richard is continually finding fault with both of his relationships. It seems that nothing can make this man happy. What these two seemingly intelligent people saw in Richard I have no idea.  There were a few parts of the book that I did appreciate. I enjoyed the intellectual, amusing, and suggestive banter between Patrick and Richard's friends. That only happened when I could get past Richard’s whimpering about his life and how he felt they were all judging him. Also, I liked Anne's two roommates; they were perfect and hysterical. My favorite part of the book was when the Blake, Anne, and Richard accidentally ended up going to lunch together, just priceless! In the end, I believe that only one person in this trio found what they desired. ***I kindly received this galley by way of NetGalley/publisher/author. I was not contacted, asked, or required to leave a review. I received no compensation, financial or otherwise. I have voluntarily read this book, and this review is my honest opinion .***

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