Grayson Grey spends all of his time working at the Sunset and taking care of his mother who has leukemia.

He has a huge crush on Enzo Del Monte but Enzo seems to what to spend his time with the manager of the Sunset, Mike Green. Then Gray finds out that Mike is not gay, about to take Enzo for a large sum of money and is stealing from the Sunset. Gray attempts to ride to the rescue but winds up being rescued himself.

? About the Book

Author Name: A.C. Katt

Book Name: Average Gray

Series: Sunset Club (You can read it as a standalone)

Book: Five

Release Date: July 19, 2016

Publisher: MLR Press

Cover Artist: Lex Valentine

Pages or Words: 58,550

Categories: Contemporary, gay, m/m, Jersey Shore

? Excerpt

Gray put Bobby’s Heineken in front of him and shot a dark glare at Mike down the end of the bar. Bobby raised an eyebrow. Gray grunted in disgust. “All Mike wants is his money. He’s a poser.” Gray finished polishing the highball glass and held it up to the light to check for fingerprints. He placed the glass next to the others on the mirrored shelf. “He’s been trying to tap into Enzo’s wallet since he met him.”

“Why would you say that?” Bobby’s leg twitched. It always did that when he was upset. Up in everyone’s business as always, he was interested in why Gray disliked Mike.

“Because he’s straight. He’s the only bartender in the place who is and Keith and Zach don’t know.”

“Jason worked with the guy, he vouched for him.” Bobby’s leg twitched so hard he had to hold it down. Since his friend Jack married Carlo, Carlo’s extended family bonded with Jack’s adopted family. Bobby didn’t like the fact that Mike was playing games, not only with one of his husband’s customers, but with Enzo, Carlo’s cousin, who Bobby considered to be one of his own.

“When Jason told Mike that a job was available at the Sunset, he jumped at the chance. He knew how much money he could make here. Besides, Keith couldn’t have refused him the job just because he’s straight. But even though he had to know that, he lied to Keith’s face.” Gray washed another glass. “Mike would have pretended to be a Martian if that would have gotten him the job. He knew if he was gay, he’d get better tips.”

“How do you know all this, if Jason doesn’t?” Bobby’s voice switched to a lower, gruffer register and he tightened his grip on his glass.

“I’ve seen him around town with his girlfriend. When he introduced me, he said her name was Cathy, that was it, no point of reference. I saw them at the mall. I needed to pick something up for Mom. Cathy left us to go to a store when he dragged me aside and told me she was his sister. Why wouldn’t he plain introduce her as his sister? Why would he draw me aside?” Gray put the last glass on the rack with a little more force than necessary.

“Maybe his sister doesn’t know he’s gay.” Bobby’s brows drew together. At this point, his leg was banging against the rungs of the bar stool.

“Do you play tonsil hockey with your sister? I was waiting in line to get into the movies last Monday night when I saw them. My neighbor sat with my mom so I could get away for a few hours. I didn’t want to talk work so I avoided him and he didn’t see me. I sat on the other side of the theater to the back. They made out throughout the entire show. Somebody has to tell Enzo.” Gray’s fist clenched around the bar towel.

“Why don’t you tell Enzo?” Bobby asked with mistrust.

“You know damn well why.” Gray snapped the bar towel. “Enzo doesn’t know I exist. I like Enzo, a lot, and I’d love it if he noticed me, but even if I can’t have him, I can’t let Mike do him dirty. Mike needs money. He’s going to ask Enzo for a loan. He’s planning on skipping town once he gets the check.” Gray wiped at the bar furiously. “He’s been playing Enzo since day one.”

Bobby leaned over the bar, leg moving up and down like a carnival horse. “And you know this how?”

“No one pays me much attention. I’m average, nondescript, plain faced, medium height—people tend to overlook average. They see handsome, ugly, tall, short, but not average—gray. My name suits me, Grayson Grey. Mike didn’t notice I was there when he was on the phone with Cathy. He told her he’d get the money from Enzo and they’d elope to Las Vegas. He said he’s been setting Enzo up since the bachelor party and she shouldn’t worry. Enzo was chaffing at the bit and would give it to him without a question. From what I could hear, and I admit, I stood there and eavesdropped, she was pissed because he gambled away their savings.” Gray sighed and took Bobby’s empty glass off the bar. “Enzo doesn’t see me either, but I can’t let Mike do that to him.” Gray swiped at his eyes with the bar towel.

? Review

Let me start by saying, this is book five in the series, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend reading this book as a standalone. The previous characters had either a huge part in this story or they were mentioned/talked about constantly. I haven’t read the other 4 books, and at times I was at a complete loss trying to keep up with everyone. I felt the secondary characters were too present in the story.

The blurb sounded so good, and the plot was interesting, but the execution failed. The book really isn’t well-written. The first part of the story is told from the POV of a set of characters from one of the previous stories. I’m guessing the author tried to use them to set up the introduction into this newest book, but it was too much. We don’t get to the MC’s of THIS book POV’s until the 10% mark. Continually this book focuses on other people. As I said, I understand this is the fifth book in the series, but a well-written story can work the previous characters in seamlessly. That wasn’t the case with this story. The main focus should have been on Enzo and Gray, and until about 50%, it wasn’t. The first portion paid too much attention to Gray’s mother’s illness, which took over the first half of the story. If the author wanted to tell her story, then write her story, but don’t let it hijack Enzo and Gray’s story! Her prognosis and treatment options are explained in far too much detail and it was taxing to read.

These characters repeated themselves over and over. If character “X” told a story to character “Y”, then “Y” told “Z” the same story, we had to hear the whole thing repeated again. This was frustrating. Once I’ve read it, I don’t need to read it 3 or 4 more times. This becomes just page fillers after a while.

Enzo and Gray were very likable characters as were most of the secondary characters, but when we finally get the book focused on them it moves at lightning speed. There was no build-up. No romance. The author needed to take more time with them as a couple. Things moved way too fast and Enzo is there to lend a hand and help Gray in his time of need, and while I found this sweet and endearing at times, for him to ride up on his white horse to save Gray, I also found him to be a bit overbearing at other times.

This was a really good plot, but it needed to be fleshed out. Maybe others will like this book, but it wasn’t for me.

Star Rating: 2.75 rounded to 3 Stars

? Meet the Author

AC Katt was born in New York City’s Greenwich Village. She remembers sitting at the fountain in Washington Square Park listening to folk music while they passed the hat. At nine, her parents dragged her to New Jersey where she grew up, married and raised four children and became a voracious reader of romantic fiction. At one time she owned over two thousand novels, until she and her husband took themselves and the cat to New Mexico for their health and its great beauty. Now, most of AC’s books are electronic (although she still keeps six bookcases of hardcovers), so she never has to give away another book. AC is a late bloomer, however, she claims to have found her niche writing LGBT romance.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: Mary Lynn Hansel & AC Katt

Facebook Author Page:

Twitter: @ackatt

Pinterest: A.C, Katt


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