We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Genre: MM Contemporary
Review: Leslie really is a firecracker. He’s a fashion marvel, snarky, funny and perfectly manicured, buffed, Jimmy Choo’d and shined. I absolutely adored his character. He’s been done wrong by his cheating ex, Simon, but he doesn’t let that hamper his enjoyment of life. And don’t underestimate him. He’s no “slim twink who can’t say boo to a ghost.” He’s a bit of a snob, too, but that just keeps him from being too perfect.
Leslie works at DeBussy’s, a fashion house run by the marvelous Laverne, and he’s all about it. When he is asked to deliver a suit to a client with the “boring” name of Oliver Brown, he’s not really thrilled but since he gets a new spec suit and shoes out of the deal, he’s on it. Mr. Brown, it turns out, is a recluse with a suit addiction. He lives in a beautifully decorated house that he rarely leaves since an accident that scarred his face. The fact that Leslie recognizes him as Nicky Starr, porn star, is unfortunate. Oliver is no longer that person. Leslie, being Leslie, keeps sticking his foot in it, too. “It’s just a bit of a shock. I mean, you were so beautiful…” It goes from bad to worse after that and Oliver is left wondering why he bothered.
Honestly, I can’t think of a thing I’d change about Leslie, even with his foot-in-mouth moment. Because he cares about people. He tries to make amends with Oliver and he works the, gasp, fashion show back stage. The whole scene there made me laugh, particularly his reaction to a vagina.
I loved the interactions between Oliver and Leslie. Leslie can be sort of over the top and Oliver is more calm. Except when he’s talking about web design and then he turns into an adorable geek. Oliver is so conscious of his facial scar, it’s a bit heart breaking. Leslie convincing him to go to dinner and just have a friend is such a good start. As Oliver shares his story with Leslie, and Leslie starts to fall for Oliver, the connection between the two is wonderful. Leslie is the only man to get Oliver to go out but Oliver is the only man to make Leslie snort.
Of course, Oliver’s ex has to make an appearance and throw his brand of cruelty in the mix. My how I hate Gregori. Oliver’s misguided efforts to make things good for Leslie made me want to shake him. But with that little self esteem, I got what he was thinking. There have to be some twists and turns on the road, I suppose, in order to really appreciate what you’ve got.
When Leslie decides to take on the idiot making Oliver unhappy, I wanted to clap. Go get him, Leslie. I liked getting to revisit Eddie and Gideon, as well as Taylor and Draven. I absolutely loved the positive sweetness of the ending. Highly recommended!