Tipping the Balance (CalPac Crew Novel, #2) - Christopher Koehler Whereas Rocking the Boat was stunted and rough, Tipping the Balance was most of the time an easier and smoother read even with the more than average editing misses.

Brad and Drew, who we meet in Rocking the Boat, are two very different people. While Drew is an out and proud, sophisticated and sometimes prissy, gay man, Brad is a straight, laid back slob. They don't have much in common except their love for renovation and construction. They make an extraordinary team when it comes to Drew creating layouts for how buildings will be and Brad knowing how those layouts will be built. The relationship they have is, in a sense, abnormal and frustrating. Their issues solely revolving around the fact Brad is not gay. Technically, he's so far in the closet he didn't even realize he's attracted to men until Drew strolled in.

One of the most appealing things about this book is Brad's struggle with being gay. Some might call this gay for you and some, like me, will not. You have to read the book to see why I don't think it's GFY but as it stands the struggle is still the same. Brad is completely broken up about being gay especially since he grew up with homophobic construction workers. He stresses it to the point it threatens his relationship with Drew. He over thinks all the aspects of it and once he makes a step in the right direction, something happens that makes him think again and he takes four steps back. It's a long and painful struggle for both of them and takes something serious for Brad to finally break free of his struggle. The struggle lasts the whole book, it's an all-consuming thing.

However, Drew and Brad make a seriously cute couple. Brad is a gentle giant, a 'big lug' and Drew is forceful but softens where ever Brad is concerned. Their love for each other is huge and even with Brad thinking he's messed things up with Drew, it never stops Brad from trying to make all of Drew's dreams come true. It's extremely sweet. Another thing I loved, is the description about things. The process of the construction, layouts, designs. I was eating it all up.

While I enjoyed Brad's struggle and self-loathing, towards the end, I was frustrated with him. He was simple-minded about Drew and took things way out of proportion when it came to a fight. Actually, both Drew and Brad were complete idiots when it came to their relationship but Brad more so than Drew after all Drew was in the hospital, how much could he have done to get Brad back?.

At the end, I felt like it was a bit too rushed. I was hoping to get more of Drew and Brad after they resolved their issues and see how they are holding up but it just ended. There was also this one part with Brad and the firefighter captain that I absolutely hated. I felt it was pointless to put it in the book because we already knew Brad loved Drew and that he was gay. So, him having sex with the captain didn't really prove anything besides the fact, which Brad already knew, that he loved Drew.

Aside from that, I really loved the book. It was just as capitivating and interesting as the prequel was. I enjoyed seeing Drew and Brad get their own HEA. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing who's book comes next. Recommended.