At 32, Literature professor Robert McKinnon is pretty settled into his job and his routine, enjoying his few close friends and quiet lifestyle. Roberts is a bit stodgy, a little awkward, and feels old beyond his years. When he meets Chris Ford while out at a bar with a friend, Robert is surprised that the hot young blond wants anything to do with him. Not only is Chris younger, but he is gorgeous, mohawked, full of tattoos, and plays in a rock band. He is so far outside of anyone Robert imagines himself with, yet he works up the nerve to ask Chris out anyway.
The guys begin dating and it turns out they are quite perfect together despite their differences. Although they take things slowly at first, soon things become more serious as they begin to fall in love. Chris is so vivacious and full of life, he brings Robert out of his shell and helps pull him out of his comfort zone a bit. And Robert is so solid and loving and gives Chris the care and love he has been missing in past relationships. But even as the guys grow incredibly close, they know that Chris’ time in Boston is limited and that his band will be moving on to continue their tour after a few months. Although the guys have fallen totally in love, they have to figure out if they can make things work together long term.
Ok you guys, for any of you who have been reading my blog a while, you will know that the blurb for this book pushed all my buttons immediately. Slightly stuffy, a bit geeky, Scottish professor with a sexy accent who looks like Gerard Butler? Check. And he gets together with a hot, young, rocker stud with a mohawk and tattoos? Yes, please. I mean seriously, this is like candy to me!
I will say the book started out a bit slow for me though. I guess I was expecting more sparks to fly with the whole opposites attract theme since Chris and Rob are set up to be so different. But other than the age issue, most of those differences don’t come up much and none of them cause much conflict. The first stages of the book really focus on the guys getting to know each other, beginning dating, and starting to fall for one another. So it was really sweet, but I was expecting a bit more energy here.
But as the book continues, it really picked up speed for me. They guys fall further in love, things get hot and sexy, and it started humming along. First off, I totally loved Robert. The story is told from his POV and we get to see a lot of growth from him over the course of the story. He becomes more confident, more willing to take chances and to push his comfort zone. Chris is so lively and energetic and full of a zest for life that Robert finds himself both charmed and inspired in many ways. Most notably in the way Robert interacts with his teenage daughter (born to Robert at age 19 in a misguided attempt at “how do you know you are gay if you don’t try sleeping with a woman” sex). But I really like how there is balance here though. For all of Chris’ influence, this isn’t a transformation story where the hero has a total personality change when he finds the right man. There are many solid and wonderful things about Robert, and he remains the same basic guy, just more open to life.
Most of the story focuses on the two men as a couple and we watch their love grow and bloom over the course of the book. It is sweet and romantic and sexy, and there really isn’t much conflict. This isn’t a heavy angsty book with a lot of intensity. But I found it romantic and quite lovely. Martin writes beautifully and there were many passages I noted for their vivid descriptions and the moving words. I never felt like things were overdone or flowery though. In fact, the story has a lot of lightness and humor, often by Robert at his own expense, so it never felt weighed down by drama.
I did find myself a bit confused with one of the plot points, however. The guys are clearly in love and are a solid couple. They refer to each other as partners, and even occasionally as husbands. They talk to each other as if they have a long term commitment. Yet they both seem to understand and accept that Chris is only in Boston for a few months and that when the band leaves, he will too. So this seemed contradictory and I had trouble understanding what these guys were really thinking about in terms of their future. There are also some timeline inconsistencies (or at least confusion) and some other things that just needed better editing (for example, naming four people and then referring to them as “the other three”). I just think it needed some cleaning up here.
But even with these issues, I really liked how the book made me feel. I just found this story really a pleasure. It made me happy, kept me thinking even when I wasn’t reading it, and was just warm and sweet. It didn’t play out the way I was expecting, but I really loved it just the same. Very sweet and romantic with lovely characters, good writing, and a satisfying story.
Cover review: OMG you guys, can I tell you how much I love this cover? So perfect for this book, combining both of the guys. Plus, beautiful and so creative. For sure my favorite cover of the month. Love it.