Family Unit
by ZA Maxfield, contemporary (2009)
Loose Id, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-60737-495-4

There is some interesting discussion online about the cover of ZA Maxfield's Family Unit. I personally don't think it's that bad a cover, honestly. Maybe it's because I'm of that certain age - ahem - where I wish men that age will work to look as halfway decent as the guys on the cover art, heh.

Logan "Crazy Soldier Guy" Wilde is a retired marine who doesn't like changes disrupting his routine. His neighbor Richard "Rick, Not Dick" Hunter makes blueberry pancakes and takes care of the grandkids. Guess who is the top. Okay, so the story opens with the two of them making unhappy faces at each other when Logan confronts Rick's grandson for trying to sneak around Logan's place, but it is not long before they are inspecting each other's body up close and personal.

This is the first story by ZA Maxfield that I have read and I think I can get used to the author's upbeat prose, easy and natural dialogs, and sense of humor. However, one thing that really jars me out of the story here is how the author portrays her heroes. None of them are over the age of fifty, and yet here they are, squinting at labels on condoms and generally acting like really old codgers. It gets to the point where I actually looked up the author's website on Google to try to discover how old the author is, because I am starting to wonder whether the author is some talented but sheltered young lady who believes that everyone over 40 has one foot in the grave.

On one hand, I want to applaud the author for showing the less graceful aspects of dating and sex in a humorous manner. After all, not everyone can have wonderful dates that end with multiple orgasms every other day. But the comedy routine involving the awkward side of dating for these two men would seem more natural if the author had increased the ages of her characters to, say, fifty-five and above.

Still, perhaps this is just a matter of me being too familiar with some elements of the subject matter for my own good. All things considered, Family Unit is a pretty good read. If only she had actually allowed the characters to be old as she made them out to be, sigh.

Rating: 77

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