Review: Mercy Celeste – Match Day

Author: Mercy Celeste
Reviewer: Natalie
Publisher: MJC Press
Genre: MM Contemporary

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Summary: Jilted at the altar!

Doctor Zack Sorensen planned to spend the entire ten-day luxury honeymoon cruise drunk off his ass. Why not? He paid a fortune for the tickets. Non-refundable tickets. If anyone deserved to be drunk for ten days solid it was Zack.

Brian O’Daly – brother of the runaway bride and best man – had no intention of letting his best friend spend the next ten days alone, and most likely drunk, on a ship, with no one to keep him from falling overboard.

But what exactly did one do on an accidental honeymoon? For ten days. To romantic destinations. In one bed… when one is secretly in love with one’s best friend.

Brian and Zack are about to find out.

Review: Mercy Celeste is among the earliest MM authors I ever read and I’ve greatly enjoyed so many of her books. This one’s a somewhat lighter story for her, a friends to lovers trope, with changing POV’s. Zack and Brian were friends for years, including their first year of college, after which Brian dropped out and moved away for a job. Zack went to medical school and they saw little of each other, until the wedding. Now they’re together on a ship for 10 days and Brian isn’t sure how he’ll hide his feelings for Zack. I liked many parts of this story, like when Brian admitted to Zack that he was gay and began to discuss his feelings. I could understand Zack’s confusion over what he was feeling and about his sexuality. The scenes while they were off the ship were interesting and amusing, especially the honeymooning mix-ups. Zack really struggled with Brian’s revelations and there was no instant solution, which was refreshing. Later details of the story, unfortunately, just didn’t work for me.

Zack’s utter cluelessness of his sexuality, after years of “bro-jobs”, just didn’t ring true and for supposed best friends, they didn’t share many deep thoughts with each other. The same circular, internal dialogue became repetitive and I didn’t always understand the reasons they became angry. The decision they made in Key West made no sense, considering the sudden revelations of the last few chapters and Brian’s actions were strange. The last minute explanations and appearances from Brian’s family seemed like an info dump. (They did put the funk in dysfunctional.) I really disliked the ending, as it felt abrupt and incomplete and one more thing out of place. I can’t recommend it as one of her better efforts but I would encourage reading it, as readers opinions do often differ.



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