We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Liam, a loner, math genius, and lover of just hanging out at home, agrees to a request by his friend Carl to be the emergency contact for Carl’s cousin Garrett while Carl is out of town. Garrett, a farm-raised Iowan, is in town to pursue a modeling career and it’s his first time in The Big Apple so Carl wants to be sure that if he needs anything, someone will be available to help him.
Calculating the odds that Garrett will actually contact him, Liam figures it’s no big deal so he agrees, but in this case the odds were against him because Garrett shows up at Liam’s apartment on Sunday morning with his arms loaded down with grocery bags. Garrett is planning to make dinner for Liam in thanks for being his contact. So much for Carl conveying all the necessary information. Liam is a bit peeved because he was planning to veg out and just play with his mathematical formulas by drawing elliptical and spiral designs or just nap. But he quickly gets over being upset as he starts to learn more about Garrett and finds out the two actually have a lot in common.
They have so much in common, in fact, that from that point on they are rarely apart, and before Liam knows it, Garrett has virtually moved in with him. He has reservations about his age, his personality, and how long Garrett might actually stay, though. Garrett is gorgeous and before long it’s quite evident Garrett is in demand as a model. And, after accompanying Garrett to a few parties and model assignments overseas, Liam becomes more convinced that he doesn’t belong in Garrett’s world. He never gives himself fully to the enjoyment of their time together. He tries, and a few times he comes close to being carefree, but that’s not the way he was raised, and it’s not the way his mathematical mind works. He’s convinced he’s boring and refuses to believe Garrett when he tells Liam that this work is only temporary. His real goal is to become a research librarian. He’s truly a geek at heart and enjoys nothing more than a good book. Readers are even given a sneak peek into Garrett’s organizational skills when Liam accidentally discovers a spreadsheet on Garrett’s notebook. Long story short—Liam remains clueless about his own attraction to Garrett and just doesn’t hear Garrett’s words when he talks about the future.
When Liam discovers that Garrett has been offered a role in a TV show, he starts to take steps to remove himself from Garrett’s life and break the spiral he had created in his mind that would have eventually bound them together. It may be evident at this point that this reviewer, being a typical reader, wanted to smack him upside the head more than once. It was so frustrating to listen to his thoughts! Yet, the author did such a good job in her storytelling, that I just knew that eventually we’d get to the moment when he’d smack himself. And we did! And it was so worth waiting for.
I enjoyed this story very much. One little quirk though—the two began to more or less live together right away, but it wasn’t until the second half of the book that we find out they were actually having penetrative sex. There’s very little on-page sex in the story, and very little mention of it in the first half, so it was actually hard to figure out if they were in that type of committed relationship. It might have been assumed, but sometimes I wondered if they just slept together with an occasional hand-job since the focus was so often on Liam’s self-doubt.
There’s lots of math-related terminology in this story so if you know of any math gurus who love M/M romance, this is the book for them. I enjoyed the calculated mathematical thinking because I know a lot of heavily left-brain thinkers who struggle with the abstract and have difficulty just feeling, and I could easily picture them in this role. It’s all about thinking to them—they have trouble getting out of their heads and into their hearts. And Liam fits that bill to a T. Liam is so deeply into his left brain that he even calculated distances for patterns when he was ready to decorate his Christmas tree. But, he’s also a sweet, chivalrous gentleman raised by his upper class parents to be polite and to always keep proper etiquette in mind so it tends to make him seem older than he is. About eight years younger, Garrett seems more youthful—he’s more outgoing and spontaneous, yet he’s also quiet and comfortable, wrapping himself in a blanket on the lounge chair, popping on his glasses, and settling in to read a good book. The two together make a great couple. In fact, they are the perfect formula for a nice story that will have you rooting for their HEA all the way to the end.
Recommended for lovers of M/M romance who enjoy self-inflicted angst, age gap, and a sweet finale.