Tom Flynn has big dreams of opening a resort and he finally has the perfect place to do it. But his wanderlust and nebulous roots mean that a bank is never going to give him a mortgage. Of course, he’s got the trust that his aunt left him and that will take care of everything. Except the stipulation that says he has to be married in order to receive it. Since this is Tom’s dream, he’s not willing to give it up easily, and when his lawyer suggests a marriage of convenience, Tom is on board. Though he doesn’t have any ladies in mind who would help him out, he does have his best friend, Luke.
Luke Marten has always harbored a crush for his best friend, and the enigmatic and charismatic Tom has gotten Luke to jump into just about any scheme or plan since their years in college together. When Tom asks for Luke’s help, he’s reluctant to say yes. But he can see the passion on his friend’s face and ultimately decides to go along. But he wants a real marriage from Tom, even if it’s only going to last a short while.
Their chemistry sparks instantly, and the two men are insanely attracted to each other. Miscommunication and keeping their feelings close to their vest gets in their way. Then, Tom’s petition for his trust is denied, because he’s married to another man and Idaho doesn’t have to recognize the marriage. Tom and Luke have decide if they are willing to jump through the hoops that they need to in order to get the money for Tom. More than that, they are falling deeper for one another than they ever expected, but their lack of communication is throwing up a stumbling block. Both of these men want forever, but if they can’t find a way to talk to each other, then they are going to lose everything they’ve been working for.
Marriage equality and equal protection is the law of the land here now, but when this book was written, even DOMA was still firmly in place. The author makes a note about why she didn’t change things, and I have to say I agree wholeheartedly. So step back in time with me a few years, be glad that this fight is no longer the case, and enjoy the heck out of wonderfully written story.
I utterly and completely adored Tom. From word one, he drew me in and made me like him. His heart is huge, as is his passion for his dreams, and it all makes for such an amazing character. Because of what he was doing, marrying his best friend to get his enormous trust fund, he could have easily turned into an unsympathetic character. His previously nomadic lifestyle could have made him seem flighty and unreliable. But that was not the case at all. He is such a sweetheart, with a true sense of who he is and what he wants. More than that, he wants to do good things in the world, and he’s not going to let much get in his way. When I say this guy has a huge heart, I mean it. He’s always doing for others, and it just seems so natural and believable. Tom is that guy. And so, from the very beginning, I was absolutely rooting for him, wanting him to succeed.
Luke is a little more staid, a little more practical. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t willing to jump into a worthy adventure. It just means that he’s going to think things through completely before he jumps. I loved the way he balanced Tom out to a certain degree. They worked together so well. I loved his layers, and when his flaws showed through it made perfect sense and was absolutely in keeping with his character. And his chemistry with Tom was just so hot, it leapt off the page. Seriously, even when these guys are just kissing, or when Luke has his fingers in Tom’s hair, the energy between them is intense and perfect. They are so incredibly sexy together.
So the plot as a whole isn’t anything earth shattering, but I loved the way Smith handled the roadblocks she put up for the characters. t was really well done and believable. But the characters, how well drawn and fleshed out they were, that is what really made this book for me. I would absolutely read this book again, just to watch Tom and Luke fall in love and find their HEA all over again.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.