I got a copy of this story while it was priced at FREE but I definitely would have paid 99 cents for this story. I have no clue if it's part of a serialized novel or meant to be a standalone in a series of standalone stories.
I notice the last page of the ebook file has a listing of 7 different "Jem and Carlton" stories so I had to wonder. If it's a serialization, then the abrupt "ending" to this section is all right--like a chapter ending abruptly while the book goes on. If, however, this was intended to be one of seven related stories in a series, each a story unto itself, then there's an issue here that is hopefully not propagated to the other 6 stories. Any story, unless a chapter in a larger book, should always have a beginning, middle and end. There needs to be an arc. I felt this story had a fantastic lead in, a good and solid middle but then lacked an ending.
Other than that structural issue, it had a few grammar problems (see below for more) but I'd say this story is 110% entertainment. The characters are vibrant and charming. Jem is adorable and I liked him right away. The chemistry between them is good and I have no clue who Carlton is or how/why he's shown up in Jem's life but I am immediately intrigued and want to know more about these guys. I had a little issue with credibility about Jem's dysfunction (see my statuses on Goodreads for more on that - http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/721234570) but really, it was such a trivial issue to me that I don't feel it's worth detracting anything from the star rating. It was enough to jerk me out of the story--never good--but the story was already so engaging that I found it easy to move on and get back to reading. I simply couldn't wait to see where the characters were going next!
Carlton has a simply delicious edge to him without coming off as a buffoon or abusively rough around the edges. The mystery that is Carlton, hopefully, gets explained in later installments of this presumed serialization. If not, then I guess that's another gripe about this but only because I soooo enjoyed Carlton I definitely wanted to get to know him better! Who wouldn't? Roowwwrrrrrr
All in all, it's a fantastic little vignette by an author I have never read before. Now the issues. I had a few issues right from the first screen with the grammar and sentence structure. It wasn't a matter of British versus American English; it was a straightforward grammatical issue--verb tense and such. I've read a lot worse so I'm mentioning this but would only say it loses 1/2 a star for that and then, only because it was a pervasive issue throughout the entire story. Not all the time, but an outside editorial editor (i.e., "fresh eyes") could have caught these issues and fixed them. If this is a serialization that will ultimately become a novel, I'd suggest the author get all of the piece-parts to an editorial reader (could just be a free group of beta readers on Goodreads!) and have those grammatical glitches corrected before piecing the story together into a collection for sale as a novel.
I've taken another 1/2 star off because the story ends so abruptly. In fact, the story ends with the big sex scene and that is abruptly cut short (if one can actually still be abrupt after coming 3 times in short succession! LOL). It was a hawt enough sex scene and did go on for a bit but then it just felt as though I were reading and *bam* the author decided to make that the end of the book. Not quite in the middle of a sentence but it nearly felt that way. I had no sense of closure at "The End." Even if this is a serialization, I should have a sense of closure--just of the scene if not the book!
Despite the glitches, I thought Alex Jace did a great job here! I would definitely read more by this Author and I am interested in these characters enough (without qualifications) to read future stories about them. I highly recommend this story to anyone who can download and read :) It's fun, lighthearted and engaging. Get it and decide for yourself. It reads so quickly and entertains so easily, you won't regret it!
(review of free book)