Title: Breaking the Habit
Author: JP Bowie
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Characters: Mike Peterson, Larry Bertoli
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Mike Peterson is determined to break the gambling habit that resulted in two failed marriages, no money, no job, plus almost getting himself and his brother killed when loan sharks came looking for their money. In addition, he’s recently been having some doubts about his own sexuality. When his gay brother suggests he get in touch with an old friend, recently out police officer Larry Bertoli, Mike is at first leery of the idea, and their first meeting isn’t exactly ideal.
They decide to meet again and this time more of what they are and what they could mean to one another is revealed during their time together. They begin a tentative friendship that graduates to a first, fumbling attempt at romance. Can they find the secure relationship they both want, or will Mike’s addiction and lack of self-esteem hinder what could possibly be salvation for both men?
There was one thing that struck me as I was reading Breaking the Habit by JP Bowie. As much fun and craziness Dumping Las Vegas was, the second book Breaking the Habit was a slow, sexy burn. I really liked this contrast between the two books. In my opinion, it show how diverse Mr. Bowie’s writing really is. Although I know I’m in for a treat when I read his books, it’s great when the author writes something quite different than he had previously before.
I have to admit that Breaking the Habit is my favorite book between the two. I’m actually quite shocked by this because I admit I wasn’t completely sold on Mike in the first one. It was because of him that his brother, Jerry went through so much hell, so I didn’t know if I would end up really liking him in the end. Well, guess what? I totally did! Mike ended up truly working hard at overcoming his gambling addiction, as well as, trying to get his life back on track. He ended up being a very likeable and wonderfully flawed hero and I loved him.
I enjoyed the journey Mike goes through as he gets his life back in order. He’s trying to find a full-time job, goes to counseling and for the first time is starting to realize that he’s pushed aside his attraction to men practically all of his life. When he reunites with Larry there is a slow burn of attraction and respect that flows between them. Mike has to come to terms with his sexuality and it doesn’t happen overnight. I also liked that Larry didn’t pressure him. They talk. They begin to get to know one another and there is a friendship that forms between them before they fall into a sexual relationship.
But…when the do have sex…whew! There is an erotic chemistry between them that really sparked off the written page! I ended up loving this couple. They go through some issues, but in the end it was very easy to root for their happy ending and hope that everything turns out great for them in the end.
Breaking the Habit is a thought provoking romance with characters who live and breathe off of the written page. I loved this book and it’s a very easy book to recommend. Mark and Larry are truly a special couple who will live in your heart and mind long after the book is over. In all honesty, I hated to see it come to an end, but what a sweet and happy ending it was!! Loved it!
Although Breaking the Habit could be easily read as a stand-alone book in this series, I recommend reading the books in series order. You’ll definitely love Jerry’s story and you’ll also see how much Mark’s character truly develops over time.
The books in series order are:
Dumping Las Vegas
Breaking the Habit
Reviewed By: Gabbi