Rating: 4.5 stars
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Paulie Banks lives a charmed life. Pampered by his late grandmother, Paulie cherishes her memory. Now living a life of leisure by means of his inheritance, Paulie is living the dream. But not his dream. His dream is Ben, but a life with Ben was obviously not meant to be. Paulie hasn’t heard from his former best friend in two years, save for the letter of condolence after Paulie’s grandmother’s passing. But that doesn’t mean Paulie hasn’t thought of Ben every day, thought of the night that changed everything between the best of friends.
Now, two years after graduation, Paulie misses his friends and is tired of being along in his big La Jolla mansion. When he invites his best friends to spend two weeks at his home, he is surprised when Ben accepts the invitation. But the time to stress about that reunion will have to wait because Paulie has to prepare for the arrival of his friends, Jamie and Trevor and their new lovers, as well as prepare his big, beautiful houseboy-for-the-time-being, Jeffrey, for the arrival of the guests.
When his friends get together sparks fly and inhibitions are thrown to the wind. And before Ben arrives, Paulie is determined to do anything possible to make the only straight man in the group comfortable. He would do anything to have his friendship with Ben back. But when Ben arrives, old memories, hurts, and secrets creep into the reunion threatening to crush Paulie’s hopes for the friendship he’d once cherished.
I loved this book. I’m not surprised. I knew I would because I tend to love everything I’ve read by John Inman so far. Why do I love Inman’s books so much? Well, Paulie is the perfect example of why. This book is so lighthearted and fun. Not only do I adore the main characters, Paulie and Ben, but I’m head over heels for the entire cast. And the words flow so smoothly, making the story easy and enjoyable to read.
So, let me break it down for you a little. The story. Yes, this story is so entertaining. From beginning to end it’s loaded with energy and passion. It’s a story of mistakes, misunderstandings, forgiveness, and new beginnings. It’s a story of hope that’s wrapped in a fun, sweet, and exciting. The greatest thing about this story that it’s not just a story about Paulie and Ben’s reunion. The story includes secondary storylines that include the friendships and new relationships between the entire cast. It’s a very fulfilling story to read.
Like I said. Inman has a way with characters. I adore Paulie. He is carefree and seemingly unbreakable, but underneath he’s still vulnerable and heartbroken. But he’s also determined and forgiving. I also have a thing for Ben. A strong and confident man at this point in his life, Ben struggled to accept the man he is today. He’s respectable and honorable. And together, these two can burn up some sheets. Man, they are so sexy, so passionate, so perfect together.
And I’m not lying about the secondary cast. I’m head over heels for Jamie, Trevor, and David. Jamie and Trevor, college sweethearts, meet the sexy surfer. I would absolutely love to read their story. And Jeffrey, the big, beautiful, black Adonis, and Jack, the seemingly slutty sidekick – well, their story may be one of pure sex, but I’m even hoping for a story of their own. Now, this story tied up the secondary relationships in true HFN fashion, so there may or may not be sequels to this story, but either way I’m happy with how each character and their subsequent relationships turned out. This mash of personalities, sexuality, and attitudes makes the story itself all the better.
And finally, the proverbial pen to paper. This author has a way with words which is probably the main reason that I love his work so much. This story is no different. Fun and entertaining, Inman takes readers on an adventure of sorts through the life of a privileged and lovely man and his wacky and supportive friends. It’s easily read and flows so well. Before I knew it I was halfway through the book.
After all is said and done, Paulie is a wonderfully fantabulous book with amazing, quirky characters and a fun, lighthearted plot. I loved this book and can’t wait to see what Inman has coming up in the future. I highly recommend Paulie by John Inman.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.