A shakeup at Dwyer Knolls’ company may just mean a new lease on life for him. Things were definitely in jeopardy with his job after a big deal fell through so he knows he is lucky to find that the new management is interested in keeping him around. So falling for his gorgeous new coworker, Takeo Hiroyuki, is definitely not a good idea. Especially because Takeo, aka the Ice Prince, is definitely not fitting in at work. He is socially awkward and difficult to work with and makes everyone crazy. Dwyer seems to be the only one to see the sweet, caring man underneath, the only one who takes the time to really get to know and understand Takeo.
When Dwyer and Takeo head down to Florida to meet a client, they finally open up about their feelings. It turns out both men have been hoping for more but both were unsure about speaking up, given their business relationship. Now that they have finally admitted their feelings for one another, the men must figure out how they can make things work given their jobs, Takeo’s family, and their dreams for the future.
Blue Days is a light, sweet, friends to lovers story that I really enjoyed. I am always a fan of that geeky, awkward hero, and poor Takeo is just a mess. He has no real sense of how to interact with his clients or coworkers. His focus on details and inability to see the big picture or let things go lead to just about everyone being frustrated with him and a revolving door of partners who can’t work with him. What I really liked is that we see him through Dwyer’s eyes, and Dwyer just adores him. So while we know how everyone else sees Takeo, we also get Dwyer’s perspective as well. And Dwyer sees the man who brought him soup when Dwyer was sick, and the man who can be funny and caring and sweet and warm hearted. It is a nice balance and really allows us to see that there is more to Takeo than what his coworkers and clients see.
This story is really grounded in their workplace and the first 40% or so takes place pretty much solely at the office. We learn about the company restructuring, Dwyer’s job, Takeo’s awkwardness at work, and Dwyer’s feelings of affection and attraction for Takeo. During this part of the book there really isn’t any time where we see these guys in the real world outside of work, and almost no live interaction between the men. Instead we are seeing Takeo pretty much only through Dwyer’s recounting, as he is the POV character. I did find this kind of a long time to keep our guys apart, though I actually found this part of the book really interesting as we learn about Dwyer, the company, and both men at work. I particularly enjoyed the cultural aspects, as it is a Japanese-owned company and many of their coworkers are from Japan. So there are a lot of cultural differences that this story explores and I found really interesting.
Once the guys go to Florida, we move a bit more out of the workplace and into the personal as we get into direct interaction between the two of them. I loved learning more about Takeo and his backstory is heartbreaking. We can really understand him much more and begin to really see him the way Dwyer does. Things do move pretty fast for these guys once they admit their feelings for each other. They go from acknowledging their attraction to making life long plans in about a day. Given that they have known each other for years at this point, I can cut it some slack, but I did wish for more time to really see things develop between them. I feel like we missed out a little bit on the relationship development end of things. Things move so quickly I didn’t feel like we got a chance to fully enjoy them falling for each other and planning for their future. Still I really like how it all came together and I found these guys really likable together. (I also loved the little shout out at the end to Aaron and Duncan from Parting Shot.)
Blue Days is a light, sweet story that just made me happy and feel good. It is right about 100 pages so it is a quick, easy read. I loved Dwyer and Takeo together, and especially loved all the cross cultural elements in the story. The guys are sweet, romantic, and sexy, and the story is a lot of fun.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.