Rating: 4 stars
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Husband Material is a novel about a Bachelorette-type reality show, and like it’s subject, is frivolous, entertaining, and a lot of fun. Riley has been cast on a reality show with 18 other bachelors to compete for the hand of a lucky lady. (I say lucky lady here, because I don’t really remember her name. For a book about a reality show, there’s very little attention paid to the subject of the actual show.) Riley has just come off of a horrible break-up and he sees it as a chance at a fresh start. He does not count on meeting Asher, however, and finding himself more interested in his competitor than the lady he’s trying to impress.
Asher sees that Riley is a formidable opponent, so he teams up with him from the start, supposedly as a strategy to get to the end of the show. When the truth comes out, though, that Asher is attracted to Riley and just wants to spend time with him, that he’s in fact gay and is trying to win the show to help out his ailing sister, Riley is suddenly faced with a situation he never thought he’d find himself in. Riley knows that being around Asher is easy and fun and he wants to spend more and more time with him. He then finds himself wondering if his feelings go past more than friendship and if he’s ready to turn his life upside down for Asher.
In the midst of this budding romance is the reality show, and the producer and her assistant get involved in the action. There’s quite a bit of POV shifting, as the story is told from the POV of the men, but then interspersed with sections from the POV of the well-meaning, yet meddling, producer. Those chapters seemed contrived and a bit too mad-cappy for my taste, and I feel the story would’ve been stronger without them.
It’s all a little silly, this story. Some would say that a Gay For You story is unbelievable in and of itself, though I am definitely not one of those people. Setting it within the realm of a reality television show just makes it more of a spectacle. Does anyone care that the poor girl, at the end of this, has been double-crossed by two of her final contestants? Not really. We’re just caught up in the story. I mean, who hasn’t watched one of these reality shows and dreamed that the two male contestants were actually in love with each other? I sure have!
This book is a little out there, not technically perfect by any means, but is intensely readable. I would definitely put it in the “guilty pleasure” category. The two main characters have some intense chemistry and the sex scenes are hot. It’s fun and goofy and just a good time. Give it a chance if you’ve had your own gay Bachelorette contestant type fantasies.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.