So, the two reads. One was a free short story/novella that acts as a prequel (of sorts) to a MM romance I read a few weeks back for a blog tour (Hostile Takeover by Lucy Lennox) - Luca and Marcel - and the other was a YA thriller that I had high hopes for as it felt perfect for Halloween - It's Behind You by Kathryn Foxfield.
Ok, I'm not going to do my list of info, so I will say that Luca and Marcel was free on Amazon and I enjoyed their characters in Hostile Takeover, while It's Behind You was gifted to me by the UK publisher, Scholasticv, in exchange for an honest review/reaction.
With all that out of the way, let me do a quick overview of both stories.
With Luca and Marcel, this acts as a prequel (of sorts) to Lucy Lennox's MM romance, Hostile Takeover. When billionaire hotelier Luca Bernardi discovers his assistant can't come with him on an important business trip (due to her breaking her leg), he panics. Thankfully, she calls in a backup - PA to renowned venture capitalist, Marcel Abbott. Only... she was a little under the influence of heavy narcotics when she made the call and wires are definitely crossed as when Marcel turns shows up wearing sequins and a tiara (he came straight from a bachelorette party), Luca wonders if his PA might have accidentally hired him a rent boy and Marcel is confused over why Luca is acting all flustered around him?
And in It's Behind You, five teen contestants enter one of the UK scariest reality TV shows (Imagine Most Haunted on ITV2 or E4) - staying the night in a haunted location. This episode is in haunted caves where a ghost haunts who eats the hearts of lovers and suffered a cave in only a few years ago. But as the night begins, things take a turn and secrets slowly come to light. And that's when the body count begins...
I liked this books. These were fun, easy reads. I powered through Luca and Marcel within 48 hours and It's Behind You was something that slowly got me in the mood for Halloween. Both these stories had such potential.
And that's my biggest issue: both of them had potential, and yet... and yet, I'm not sure if these hit their potential.
Ok, I get Luca and Marcel is a short story so, of course, it had to move very quickly and be very insta-love, but I expected something more. And as for It's Behind You, I never felt really scared or on the edge of my seat with it. I suspected one or two of the twists, but I never felt uneasy with this - this is a thriller/horror book, but the tension never felt there for me.
What's interesting is I feel like this and yet, other book bloggers/vloggers/etc who I follow on the socials react differently. They loved the stories and can't praise them enough. Hence why this bookish community is wonderful as we all have different opinions and this is what makes reading and blogging and unique experience - no two readers are the same.
I am going to say that I am going to read these authors again. Just because these two don't work for me now, doesn't mean their other titles will. Actually, kinda excited to see if they do.