Dreamspinner Press, Jacob Z. Flores

“When Love Takes Over,” It Makes For A Great Summer Read

“The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring.” ― Oscar Wilde



I am going to preface this review by saying I love Jacob Flores!! I have yet to read a book he has written that I haven’t just adored. I have been looking forward to reading this book since Jacob starting teasing us about it during a Dreamspinner chat on Facebook. No surprise here, but Jacob has done it again.

This story starts with Zach being unceremoniously dumped by his boyfriend of three years, Ben. Ben gives no reason for the split, but Zach decides why. Zach sees himself as a bumbling klutz with no fashion sense. Don’t forget, he is also a fair skinned ginger with too much body hair, and according to Ben those are not good traits to have. He has been told his whole life just how wrong he is, first by his father and then by Ben. Zach always seemed to pick the wrong hotels, the wrong clothes and the wrong activities. Basically, he is just wrong. So when Ben dumps Zach he does the first spontaneous thing he has done in years. He books a trip to Provincetown.

Once in P-town Zach finds out that Gary and Quinn, his landlords for the week, are the best guides for the uninitiated in P-town. On Gary’s advice, Zach takes a walk down the main drag and is in awe of the freedom, easiness and just plain joy on everyone’s face. He has never seen a place so free. Eventually the crowds start to be a little much for him, so Zach ducks into a leather shop; besides, he could use a new belt. Turns out it isn’t that kind of leather shop. Shocked by all the fetish wear but too embarrassed to run out of the store. Zach browses around the store and O.M.G. he sees the most beautiful man ever created. Of course this brings out the clumsy and Zach knocks over a huge display of lube and leather. The gorgeous man helps him clean up his mess, and this is how Zach meets Van.

Van Pierce, or Hart Throb as his fans know him, sees this beautiful man walk in the store and tries to act as if he does this every day. The man is a hot mess. A blue and white striped shirt two sizes too big and cami cargo shorts that are so much too big they look more like capris added with his gorgeous red hair that looks like it hasn’t seen a brush in days. Van is smitten. He can tell this man is not used to P-town and might just be the most innocent thing Van has seen in ages. He helps the poor sod clean up his mess and introduces himself. This is how Van met Zach.

Van Pierce is a tall, handsome self assured man. That is mostly because he has created the Hart Throb persona that he uses for his work in porn. He has had his heart broken in some of the worst ways possible, so he protects his heart the only way he knows how. No relationships, no dates and no letting anyone in again. That seems to be working great for him until Zach comes on the scene. Zach reawakens something Van thought died a long time ago—hope.

This book is like an insider’s travel guide on how to spend a week in P-town. First for Zach a makeover top to bottom, no pun intended. lol. Then he gets his first trip to the Tea Dance, and boy does he get initiated. The only problem is Van sees this initiation and he believes Zach isn’t who he thought he was. This leads to Van getting a case of the bitchies and his best friend makes him take the day off and just relax to try to cheer up. It turns out Gary, Quinn, and Zach show up at Tea and Zach finally gets up his courage to approach Van. After the two men clear up a few misunderstandings between them they start a weekend long non-date together.

Both Van and Zach are experiencing feelings that they haven’t felt in ages. Their thoughts of this is too soon, but we live so far apart, and our lives are too different, lead them in the wrong direction. Zach basically breaks Van’s heart and after he puts his head on straight, Van breaks Zach’s right back. It will take every friend they have, a manuscript and a whole lot of luck to get to a HEA, but somehow these two manage it.

I personally have never been to P-town, but I feel like I have experienced it through Jacob’s writing. The drag shows, the underwear parties, the shopping and the joyous freedom to just be. The freedom to be who you are, to be happy and to be something maybe you never knew you wanted to be. Jacob has a way of writing that puts you in the story and just won’t let go. I can see the crowded sidewalks in my mind, and, boy, could I picture the Tea Dance :swoon:. I feel as though I experienced P-town through these two men and I can’t wait for my next trip.

With summer almost over you should rush out and spend what little time you have left with Van, Zach and the gang. It will be well worth your while.

Reviewed by: Jackie

You can buy When Love Takes Over here:

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