Rating: 3.75 stars
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Blaine McKlintock made a mistake that he has paid for over and over again when he made a bet with his best friend Kent that almost ended in disaster. He’s learned his lesson over the past year. Now he wants to move past it and maybe find someone to settle down with, to have the kind of love that he sees Kent and Terry share. When Kent begins planning his proposal to Terry, he asks Blaine to plan his wedding. The problem is that he asks him to help plan it with Terry’s best friend and boss, Spencer. Blaine still remembers the first time he laid eyes on Spencer Cassidy years ago. He’s not been able to forget the man since.
Former Wall Street golden boy Spencer Cassidy has a lot on his plate. Besides running his own business, he has to deal with his gold-digging ex-wife too often for his own taste, and it seems he is constantly fighting to get to see his own daughter. Planning a wedding was never on his to do list, but he’d do just about anything to see his friend Terry happy. And planning the wedding with Blain McKlintock is just icing on the proverbial cake. Spencer has never been with a man, but he did experiment in college. Blaine is everything that Spencer wants. But between planning the wedding, his custody battle, and the mixed signals flying between him and Blaine, Spencer may never get his chance.
When Terry catches Blaine and Spencer together, they come up with a ruse to keep Terry from guessing what they are truly up to, as the wedding plans are surprise for him. The ruse being that they are dating. But the strong attraction between the two can’t be hidden forever. Blaine is afraid Spencer is only playing with his emotions as punishment for the bet gone wrong that hurt Terry. And Spencer is afraid to hurt Blaine, especially when Spencer’s ex-wife bullies her way into their fragile relationship. Can Spencer and Blaine survive one another long enough to make it through Kent and Terry’s wedding?
I really liked the first book in this series, A Betting Man, a play on the romantic comedy, How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. And I liked A Marrying Man, just not as well as the first. What I liked most about this book is how easy it was to read. The writing flows really well and is well paced. I read it completely in one sitting without noticing the short amount of time passing. That’s always the mark of a good read for me, that I can get lost in it.
I loved Blaine in A Betting Man. He was this bisexual, equal opportunity lover, stuck up, snobby, pretentious asshat. I wanted to see that same Blaine tamed by the right man in his own story. But instead, I saw a side of Blaine I’m not sure is completely believable. In the beginning, he was definitely the asshat, but then he turned into this insecure, vulnerable, lost little boy. I mean, I get that he was working through his mistakes, but it’s been a year. At the end, that confident Blaine was back, but by then I just felt the consistency of the character was gone. I missed the confident, stubborn, feisty man that he was portrayed as in the first book.
Spencer was more believable and really saved this story for me. Spencer knows who he is and what he wants. He’s a rock for Blaine, for Terry, and for his daughter. People depend on him and he lives up to his role as the supportive friend/father. He’s a fighter and I love that, especially in the case of his daughter. And Valerie, his daughter, makes him even more lovable. I love that he was persistent with Blaine, that he fought to prove his feelings for the man. The fact that it wasn’t easy for them at first makes their relationship all the better.
I’m not sure how I feel about the women that this author writes into the story. Vanessa, Spencer’s ex, is a vindictive, gold-digging bitch. I can’t put it any other way. She is the epitome of evil. And she only changes her attitude when she gets caught playing the wrong game with Spencer. But even then she does a complete one-eighty that is unbelievable and, frankly, makes me think even less of her. Then there is Portia, Blaine’s ex-girlfriend. She a bimbo with a capital B. But her alter-ego doesn’t sit right with me. I don’t understand her reasoning behind the façade, nor do I like it. So, I’m not a real big fan of the women in this story.
Finally, I have an issue with the stereotype comes up in this story relating to “twinks.” Not every blonde-haired, blue-eyed, short, slender man is a twink. I feel that the author incorrectly placed Blaine in this stereotypical category because he’s smaller, but nothing about him screamed “twink.” Yes, he slept around in his past, but that was with both men and women. How does that make him a twink? I didn’t like the type-casting based solely on his size.
Overall, I like the book, but I had noticeable problems with it. I liked the main characters and the story. I really liked Valerie. But I’m not the biggest fan of this author’s portrayal of the women of this story, nor am I a fan of stereotyping. So, the book was good, just not great. I think I caught the possibility of at least two more stories to come out of this series, and I’m looking forward to reading both. So, yeah, good, but not great.