Having relocated from Texas to New York City, Kieran is Gloss Magazine’s most popular columnist. He is well known for his ability to expose people with his snarky write-ups that don’t often paint the subjects in the best light. That is of no concern to him and he still sleeps well at night, often with the hottest male underwear model he can find. The lifestyle is starting to wear on him, however, and Kieran is secretly tired of being alone. When the story of a bride who has left three men at the altar passes his desk, Kieran knows that is his next article. With the wedding only days away, Kieran flies to small town Texas and runs right into Jaxon, the most beautiful man he has ever seen, who also happens to be groom number four.
Jaxon is content in his newly acquired small town life, content in his job as a school administrator, and content with his fiancée, Danetta. He does not let Danetta’s reputation as a runaway bride get to him and he certainly doesn’t let that little voice get to him when he has noticed men in the past. He knows that voice will quiet down once he is married. When Kieran arrives in town, that voice is way too loud to ignore as Kieran is everything Jaxon has never let himself want. What starts out as a columnist looking for his next exposé, turns into a groom having an identity crisis, and a bride with a secret that Kieran will stop at nothing to uncover, if only to save Jaxon from making the biggest mistake of his life.
The opening of this story, with Kieran in bed with a model, goes a long way to showing Kieran’s personality and how he has been living his life. Right there, I was invested as well as intrigued with Kieran. While he always meets his work deadlines, he shows up at the office when he wants and really wants for nothing in life. Except now he is tired of being alone. Enter Jaxon (Yes-the other characters mock the “x”). So, this is a contemporary story, but when Kieran and Jaxon see each other for the first time, it has a fated feeling to it as their feelings are overwhelming, and it’s well described love at first sight. I was so onboard with this story at that point. So what happened?
For the first half of the story (or slightly longer), Jaxon is engaged to Danetta and it just went on for too long. Kieran and Jaxon meet and have some awkward conversations as all of a sudden Jaxon is asking Kieran about his sex life. Kieran is trying to find the angle for his story and interviews all of Danetta’s exes. The exes all still live in town, all become friends with each other but don’t warn each other, and all remain loyal and defend Danetta. This was not believable to me at all. She left them all at the altar. Then her secret–it has been done so many times, and the exes are portrayed as intelligent men and they all fall for this and then remain loyal to her and I was just not buying it.
When Kieran and Jaxon do get together, the heat and the longing and attraction and need, you name it, is all over the page. They can certainly sell a first kiss (among other heated scenarios) and we are shown a better sense of both of them and a whole different side of Kieran as he has struggles and tries to figure out what is the right thing to do. So the first kiss, let’s get this out there. If cheating of any kind is an issue for you, if you see cheating as only black and white in your books, then this kiss will not work for you. But, the taste of the forbidden goes a long, hot, smokin’ way with these guys. And then later, Jaxon is awesome with a need-to-get-my-hands-on-you-now feel and he is so enthusiastic with trying out all kinds of things with the more experienced Kieran. Then, after all that wait, there is the big misunderstanding…aargh!
One area that I do have to point out is a continuity/editing issue that completely stopped the flow of the book. The majority of the book takes place during one week. Some of the chapters start with a heading of the day of the week, so the author is calling our attention to what day it is. One page shows it is Friday night and then Kieran wakes up on Thursday (the day before) and is thinking of what happened the night before, which we were told was Friday, and then when Friday morning comes he is still thinking about what we were told had happened on Friday night. Confused? So was I. Also, at one point Jaxon calls directory assistance, which should have been updated in the revision as that is not relevant anymore.
Kieran and Jaxon together totally sell this book and they have some amazing moments. There were just not enough of those moments for me to tell you to immediately run right out and buy this book. But, if the major plot line does hit the mark with you, then Kieran and Jaxon are one helluva bonus.
This book was originally published in 2009 under the same title. The author’s note confirms that the new version has been rewritten and expanded.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.