We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Genre: M/M Contemporary
In a fit of drunken playfulness, Hannah and her friend Marilyn decide to create a profile on a gay dating site so that they could view the profiles of men who had signed up. They spot a profile for a gorgeous man named Brandon who also seemed sweet, honest, and sincere in his desire for more than a one-night-stand. Later that night, Hannah decides to write to Brandon and when he responds asking for a picture, she sends a photo of her gay, handsome, and promiscuous brother, Nate.
One thing leads to another and suddenly Hannah, in her guise as Nate, has made a date to meet Brandon. Upon advice from Marilyn, Hannah confesses to Nate and asks him to meet the guy so that he can let him down gently. She doesn't simply want to hit the delete key on Nate's (her) profile. But she also wants to know what's going on so she sneaks into the bar where the two will be meeting and observes their encounter. She's unhappy to see that Nate and Brandon seem to be hitting it off. And the reality is that they are. Nate is astounded when he meets Brandon and the two enjoy a very pleasant evening and some limited sexual activity when they go back to Brandon's apartment.
And this is where it gets more bizarre—Hannah is not content with what she's done, and she doesn't even know if her motive is to help or hinder Nate, but she writes to Brandon and rhapsodizes about their night together. She makes one slipup but when Brandon reads it, he doesn't pursue it with questioning, rather he looks forward to more time with Nate. That night, after dinner, Nate gets sick and though they spend the night together, it's because Nate is too ill to go home. Not knowing this, Hannah sends another email telling Brandon how wonderful the sex was. Finally, Brandon confronts Nate and when he finds out about the deception, he kicks Nate out. At this point in the story, I wanted to slap Hannah upside the head. What an interfering bitch. Why Nate forgave her, I can't imagine.
The men eventually start to see each other again, but then another truth comes out—one that makes Brandon doubt Nate's veracity and makes him feel that Nate can't be trusted. Honesty is one of the virtues Brandon most admires in a man, and he's not finding it in Nate. What happens during this time, and what is concurrently happening with Hannah kept me on the edge of my seat.
I usually only listen to audiobooks in the car or while I'm on a walk, but I had to keep turning this back on. On the one hand, I was fascinated by how much I was repulsed by Hannah and her shenanigans, but on the other hand, I was rooting for these two guys to clear the air and get back together. I also enjoyed the mention of male/male romance and the authors in the genre with which we are familiar. Without giving away more of the storyline, I can say that reading M/M romance was an underlying theme in the story, and I liked the way the author included some favorites. Personally, I think he should have included Seattle-based author, Rick R. Reed, in his list of favorites, but then maybe I'm prejudiced. *wink*
If you are looking for a sweet, contemporary romance with a different twist, this one may hit the spot for you. I know it did for me. I enjoyed both the story and the narration by John Solo who did a great job and gave us two different voices for the MCs, something that I really appreciate. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this in audiobook format as a preferred choice.