This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on December 8, 2013
I have come to enjoy this storyline I shall call ‘marrying under the influence’. Truly, Vegas is a dangerous place to be if you can’t hold your liquor after you’ve picked up a date for the night. At least that’s my observation after reading three romance novels with that being the case.
This is one that if I had paid close attention to the gist of the story before I picked it up; I probably wouldn’t have read it. I’m not big on cheating and this whole story is a result of a guy lying and cheating. It turned out that I wasn’t as upset by the cheating as I usually am because of what else was going on in the story and its lighter tone. I’m not saying the ends justify the means, but in this case, everyone was much happier as a result of the things his misdemeanors set in motion so I went with it and ended up enjoying the story.
Ben wakes up in his hotel room after a very debauched night on the town in Vegas and looks around with a feeling of dread on top of the hangover. As he moves about practically tripping over the used condoms and empty bottles, he realizes that not only did he cheat on his girlfriend, but he cheated on her with a man.
His best bud and co-conspirator, Lucas, tells him they’ll keep it a secret and Genevieve need never know. Lucas thinks Genevieve isn’t the woman for Ben and tells him so all the time. Ben secretly agrees on one level, but he also likes her enough to feel awful about things. He and Lucas return to NYC to their jobs for the architect firm owned by Ben’s dad and hopefully back to normal. Ben tries to pretend. Everything reminds him of Mason, the man he was with, including when he is intimate with Genevieve. This drives him to guiltily propose to Genevieve. He should be happy, but it feels all hollow and wrong. He wants to love Genevieve and she makes his dad happy and he likes her too though he admits to himself that they tend to do just fine going their separate ways with her fashion design work and his job at the firm. She doesn’t stir him to passion anymore than he seems to stir her. She redesigned his apartment suite and seems to want to do the same thing with his life. They’ve just been drifting until now.
Life gets a bit more complicated when he no sooner discovers the receipt for his marriage to Mason then Mason is standing on his doorstep. Ben wants to get rid of him even as he is secretly still attracted. Mason discovers about Genevieve and blackmails Ben into letting him stay. He will keep quiet about their marriage and pretend to be Ben’s brother if Ben will let him stay long enough to find a dancing job on Broadway. Ben has no choice if he doesn’t want his lies to catch up with him. Gen and Mason bristle around each other and Ben feels the discomfort of being stuck in the middle. He grows more and more confused about what he wants with Genevieve and with life in general since he never wanted to be an architect. Genevieve goes off to Paris for a fashion show leaving the two men alone for a week. Ben tries to deny his feelings and attraction for Mason, but the longer they spend together it gets harder to avoid and deny. A crisis comes that wakes him up and forces him to stop lying, but he might have put it off for too long now that Mason took him at his word and is gone.
I had some real issues with this story- primarily the cheating and lying, but these were balanced out with some stuff I liked too. Ben is the narrator and he was not a favorite of mine particularly from the beginning. There wasn’t a great deal to like or respect. Let’s just say he had a ton of growing to do, but fortunately he does end up growing. He got himself into the mess he was in and when I say that I mean that he sat back and let his dad dictate his career to him because he wanted to please his dad, then he let Genevieve dictate how things were going to be in their relationship and private life and then he got so drunk that he married a stranger in Vegas. He just seemed to be helpless about stuff, but then having Mason around seemed to give him a little more impetus to change. Not as much as I would have liked because he tended to avoid further communication and confrontation with his dad and Genevieve that got things sticky again. I didn’t care for Genevieve and she had her own issues, but Ben didn’t handle things well with her either. He was Mason’s hero and Mason loved him, but he just wasn’t hero material to me much of the time.
Now that being said, I did enjoy watching Ben grow a bit and experience a true relationship for the first time with Mason. Mason wouldn’t let Ben get away with his fallback behaviors of denying and lying. He forced Ben to be his true self and analyze his life. Mason is a gentle soul, but he is not afraid to go out and grab hold to what he wants and what would make him happy. He doesn’t think well of himself, but Ben was good about seeing Mason’s worth and making it clear that he did. Ben’s always had things handed to him on a silver platter, but now he has someone who needs him and needs him to take care of them. He likes that feeling and was starting to move in a good direction by the end of the book. They really are good for each other.
I enjoyed that side story with Ben’s friend Lucas too. Lucas gave it to Ben straight and that cyber dating he did with Laura just cracked me up.
So in the end, I was pleased with the overall story and would recommend it to those who enjoy lighter M/M Contemporary Romance.