We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Genre: MM Contemporary
Review: Jeremy is a professor, disheartened by the lack of interest on the part of his students, who just inherited a big house and enough money to figure out what he’d like to do for the rest of his life. The first thing is to get the house ready for being sold. To this end, he hires Connor, a former Marine who now owns a housecleaning business. The two of them feel the spark but there are complications, mostly on Connor’s side. Jeremy doesn’t want to live in the closet and Connor doesn’t see the way out.
It’s a little frustrating at times because Connor’s biggest reason for hiding is his friend, Mario. Mario and Connor saved each other on Connor’s last mission and Connor feels indebted to this man, who comes across not as a hero but as a rude bigot at times. Mario’s sister, Sabrina, is Connor’s best friend and this complicates matters further when Sabrina has a bombshell of her own. Also, Jeremy is keeping something from Connor and it was pretty disrespectful of him to want Connor to be honest while he himself wasn’t being total forthright, particularly since Jeremy did tell his best friend, David, (who, by the way, does tell Jeremy he needs to come clean with Connor) . Since Jeremy is always on about Connor coming out “for himself” this seemed a big hit of hypocritical.
As Connor registers what he feels for Jeremy and tries to come to terms with coming out to Mario, he goes through a lot of fear for losing his friend. It’s said he has PTSD but this isn’t explored fully. I did feel some of his wondering what to do and his emotional battles were connected to that. What he does have is some skewed memories of Mario and I liked him start to see Mario more as a human and less as a revered hero.
I liked the tie in of “Coming Clean” because we get to see how Jeremy is so sure he knows what Connor should do in that sense yet he doesn’t see himself as hiding something important. There is a lot of involvement in the relationship with Sabrina and David, though I felt both of them had their respective friend’s best interest at heart. I think I empathized more with Connor than Jeremy because Connor seemed to have a real struggle but by the end I wanted them to work it out and get their acts together.