We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Jim Carney is one of the many construction workers on Billy Ballew’s team before Billy starts his own company after his engagement to Shaz in Knight of Ocean Avenue. As the story opens, Jim hasn’t been invited to work for Billy, and he assumes it’s because he was such a homophobe, a drinker, and a slacker, always showing up late for work. Jim’s been on his own since his dad, a wealthy cardiology surgeon, forced him out of home at age sixteen. Technically, it was Jim’s choice to leave, but in reality, it was because he couldn’t tolerate his father after an incident involving Jim and Hiro, his best friend and co-conspirator in sexual exploration that led to Hiro being sent home to Japan.
But Jim is shocked when Billy approaches him at the last minute and asks Jim to step in as his construction supervisor while Billy is on his honeymoon. First stunned, then proud, Jim takes to the job wholeheartedly, giving up booze and the night life to be sure to be on time for work and to show Billy that he picked the right man. And just when that responsibility hits him, his younger brother shows up and asks if he can move in with Billy. He’s been kicked out for being gay. His dad cut off all means of support, including Ian’s tuition to college where he planned to major in architecture. Though there’s quite an age gap between them, Jim accepts Ian with open arms and plans to help him in any way he can.
One of Jim’s first tasks as the new supervisor is to get a physical for the company insurance policy, and unfortunately, he ends up needing to see a cardiologist for a heart murmur. And what a cardiologist it is! Ken Tanaka is everything Jim has dreamed of in a man—a slender, sexy Asian, with almond-shaped eyes and a pouty mouth that would out-pout Angelina Jolie. Jim’s worship of Yaoi comics through the years since Hiro left has not diminished, and if anything, it’s fanned his attraction for men who meet that image, and Ken certainly is that. Jim is shaken by how rapidly his heart beats and his erection rises when he meets the sexy doctor.
As expected, meeting Dr. Tanaka has sent Jim into a tailspin, and he slowly begins to face the fact that he’s at least bisexual, if not 100% gay. The two undergo a series of misadventures and misunderstandings as the building owner, a sexy blonde, takes an immediate shine to Jim, and Ken is faced with the need to please his traditional Japanese parents who are desperately trying to match him with a life partner from a respected and traditional Japanese family. Add in blackmail by Jim’s father, which is intended to coerce Jim into marrying and rewarding him by supporting Ian’s education, and Jim’s life is a powder keg just waiting to explode.
When Jim’s heart takes charge of not only his libido, but his destiny, and his life is at stake, the two have an opportunity to finally untangle all the deceit and complications which have been heaped on them over the few weeks they’ve known each other and they come out the other side headed for their HEA.
I really enjoyed this story. If you are in the medical field, there is some suspension of belief required as the doctor repeatedly violates HIPPA regulations. However, the story is so enjoyable, I was able to move past that quickly and just soak up the fun that is the writing of Tara Lain. I recommend this to all lovers of contemporary M/M romance and to those who enjoy GFY, though technically, it’s more of a late bloomer’s self-discovery than GFY. But the sex is hot and the characters engaging and endearing and I’m left with a big smile on my face, so for me, this one is the perfect kind of romantic tale. I’m looking forward to the next in the series when Ru, Shaz’s friend in Knight of Ocean Avenue, gets his chance for love.