Garner Saunderland takes a job as the personal assistant to his college roommate’s older brother, the rich and powerful Brice Rousseau. Garner is hired on the spot, but when he walks into his new boss’s office, Brice mistakes Garner for an escort and kisses him. Neither man is deterred by this mistake, and Garner gets right to work. He even attends a party that evening as Brice’s date.
Brice is immediately attracted to Garner and sets his mind on sweeping Garner off his feet. They begin dating, even though Garner doesn’t understand what the sophisticated Brice could possibly see in him. Brice is determined to show Garner that he wants Garner exactly how he is. If they can just get their insecurities out of the way, these two men can find their happily ever after.
Clichés and tropes can be used effectively to tell a good story. Sadly, that’s not the case here. This novella is filled with one cliché and stereotype after another, and some of them were used in a derogatory way. And there were multiple tropes at work. The billionaire hero who falls instantly in love with the small town boy trying to make it in the big city. The virgin falling in love with the more experienced older man. Opposites attract. It could have worked, had it been written with more skill, but unfortunately, it wasn’t.
The writing is clunky and stilted. It doesn’t flow smoothly, and it was constantly jarring.
The house before him looked like it fell from the pages a fairy-tale. The huge two-story brick Tudor had an east and a west wing. Garner got out of the car wondering if he looked okay. He walked up to the door and rang the bell. A butler answered the door.
The dialogue is, by turns, over the top ridiculous and unimaginative. Here is an example:
“Your eyes remind me of two blue mint candies,” Brice told him.
Garner smiled up at Brice. “And yours are like emeralds.”
The entire story was a whole lot of telling, without any showing. Even worse, the connections between character’s actions weren’t there and it, at times, read like a laundry list of things the characters were doing.
The characters are one dimensional without a hint of depth. And not just the MCs, but every last one of the secondary characters as well. Every character in this story felt like a cardboard cutout. I didn’t feel anything for them because they didn’t show me a single thing about themselves. Garner, in particular, was awfully inconsistent. He’d think one thing, only to completely change his mind in the next sentence without giving us much reason. Brice had more consistency, but he had no depth and barely a personality. And what personality there was made him seem like a smarmy, carefree jerk. Garner walks into Brice’s office while Brice is being measured for new pants. After Brice mistakes Garner for an escort, even after he’s been corrected, he still lets his jerk show through.
Brice chuckled, put down his golf club and reached for his pants. “Aw, gee, and I have an erection and everything. You sure he’s not an escort?” He stepped into his trousers.
No one calls him on it. In fact, everyone acts like it’s no big deal, including Garner.
If that weren’t enough, there were some definite issues with the editing as well. I’ll forgive typos until I see them on nearly every page. There were words missing from sentences, and I had to go back and read them several times before I realized what was going on. Not to mention altogether incorrect words, like prostrate instead of prostate. On top of the plot problems, to have these grammatical and typographical errors made a bad story worse.
Absolutely nothing about it worked for me, and I can’t even say there was anything that could redeem it. I’m sorry to say it, but give this story a complete pass.