Full House by Carol Lynne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Poker Night series features a group of 6 gay men (Zac, Bobby, Trey, Angelo, Marco and Kent) who have been friends for almost 4 years and get together to play poker, drink beer and have fun every other Saturday. As the series starts, they're all single, but it's obvious that each of them is destined to find their HEA as the series progresses.
The 5th and final book in the series, Full House, is Marco and Kent's story and picks up a short time after Different Suits ended. I'd been waiting to read this book since I started the series, as it was obvious that Marco and Kent were destined to be together - I mean, all those barbs they kept throwing at each other could only mean true love, LOL -, and I'm glad to say I wasn't disappointed.
If you haven't read the previous books in the series, you might think that the romance between Marco and Kent is too sudden. That's why I highly recommend reading this series from the start, because the relationship between them doesn't start in this book. Also, you don't fully see how strained it was and how wrong Kent was about Marco if you aren't with them all along the journey.
In an interesting way, this story follows a template that's very similar to a "classic" HQ novel (with the exception that this is a M/M relationship, of course): 37-year-old, successful construction business owner Kent is 24-year-old, down-on-his-luck Marco's boss and, due to some misconceptions, treats the younger man like crap until he finally finds out how good, responsible and worthy Marco is; then, they fall in love, work their way through some conflicts and live HEA. I'm not complaining, as that template has proven to be successful through the years and I happen to like it.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book - and the whole series, for that matter - but Marco's age and background came as a surprise to me. Not a particularly nice one, as that was inconsistent with his behavior. Let me explain:
1. If he had such a hard time making ends meet and supporting his younger brothers and sister, how could he afford losing money in the bi-weekly poker nights with his friends?
2. Poker night has been going on since he was 20 years old, which means that his brother Bruno was only 13, his brother Nicky was only 11 and his sister Maria was only 6 when he left them alone at home to hang out with his friends.
That didn't make any sense, considering how responsible and protective Marco was when it came to his family. Anyway, that wasn't bad enough to ruin the book for me, because I loved everything else about it. :)
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