When Porter hooks up with Stiegen at his sister’s celebrity wedding, he is left wanting a whole lot more from the man. But, Stiegen’s career as a voice over actor is on the rise and he brushes Porter off that same night as he has absolutely no time for a relationship. Porter’s business has him tied to the Boston area and he feels responsible for his employees and students that he works with. Being forced to relocate his business has him stressed and his strained relationship with most of his family has him feeling increasingly isolated.
A second chance meeting has the attraction flaring between the men again, but harsh words are spoken before the flame can be rekindled. When Stiegen’s best friend is injured in an accident, he finds comfort in Porter’s arms and his outlook on what he wants changes. Steigen arranges a romantic weekend for Porter, which finds the men growing closer and Stiegen has a hard time returning to his work in California. Porter wants to find true love and Stiegen may just realize that there is more to life than work.
We first meet Porter in the midst of the festivities for his sister’s wedding to a famous rapper. He feels an attraction to Stiegen, but when propositioned he is unsure if he wants a one night stand. His internal dialogue muses that since it has been a while since he has been with a man, he should just go for it. This is where I had the biggest issue with the connection to these characters, as their initial encounter lacked that certain spark between the two of them. There was a definite lack of chemistry between them that was missing for me the whole way through. Then they meet again by chance. Those types of meetings don’t ring as true and read as scripted, because they are scripted.
This book is foremost about Porter getting his life sorted out and the relationship between him and Stiegen is second. We spend a lot of time with Porter in his daily activities and halfway through the book Porter has just been living his life. He goes to work, he meets with a realtor to relocate his business, he has the flu, he vomits, he worries, and there are so many details about all of these issues. I was not sure what I was supposed to like about him or Stiegen for that matter.
Porter’s inner dialogue and then his conversations with Stiegen are filled with clichés: “walking the walk,” “bitter pill to swallow,” “bird on a wire.” It was not a natural flow of conversation for there to be so many clichés, often times one after the other, and it made the characters sound disingenuous. Their interactions with each other sounded mechanical and, from my view, lacked emotion and heat between them.
Stiegen is a voice over actor and the level of celebrity that was attached to him did not ring true in that wherever he went people would know who he was. The guys bounce back and forth with each other, from a one night stand, to talking about starting a relationship, to being crazy about each other, and it all just fell flat and lacked true emotion. The issues with Porter’s family not accepting that he is gay also lacked the emotion that was intended to be there. When Porter meets with the realtor, it was another area that just read as slightly off from the first interaction and then what is happening is clearly obvious but we just have to wait for Porter to figure it out, or in his case, to be told specifically. The ending brings the guys to the expected conclusion for a romance novel, but I was not feeling it for these guys all the way through.
Overall, this was a chore for me to read. I did not feel that the characters connected to each other and what was going on in Porter’s every day life had an abundance of detail that was just not that interesting. This wasn’t the book for me, but perhaps it will be for someone else.