rickyRating: 2.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

Ricky covers the pain of a personal tragedy (a fiance who passed away ten years ago) by having sex with lots of men. No names, no second dates, and NO breakfast are the three rules he lives by. In fact, he has a fourth that he keeps to himself. No love. He figures he can keep himself safe that way. Ricky thinks his life is just fine the way it is…DJ’ing in a bar in drag (as Miss Kitty Litter) and meaningless, anonymous sex.

Chase owns a gym with his brother and has a six-year0-old son. He’s trying to balance that part of his life with the other part…the part where he goes out to gay bars every weekend, looking for sex.

One night, Chase finds Ricky in a pool of blood in an alley, having been beaten by a group of anti-gay thugs. Chase stays with Ricky until the ambulance comes, and he even goes to the hospital, sitting at Ricky’s bedside until he wakes up. Before he leaves, Chase offers Ricky some self defense classes at the gym. Through this, they discover a mutual attraction that Chase seems to want to explore, but Ricky wants to avoid it like the plague.

Can these men find their way to a happy medium and a way to be together?

I hate to say it, but I just didn’t like Ricky. I wanted to, and the blurb caught my attention right away because I love hurt/comfort stories. I also tend to like stories where men get past traditional opinions of raising children and who they should raise them with.

Well, I felt a bit misled. There was no mention of Ricky being a drag queen. Honestly, I don’t have anything against them. I’ve actually met some lovely drag queens, and I’m a HUGE fan of Chi Chi LaRue, RuPaul, and God, I love Dame Edna. However, I just don’t find them to be particularly…sexy. Please don’t think I’m being prejudiced. It’s just a personal thing. I figured, though,  since I had committed, I’d give it a go, rather than trying to DNF it or ask someone else to do it.

Let’s start with Ricky himself. There were a lot of times when I actually cringed. His overuse of the word sweetheart started to drive me insane. If I was to do a shot every time it was said, I’d have passed out before the middle of the story. Then there was the meaningless, anonymous sex. I’ve read so many books where one of the MCs is a very promiscuous, but Ricky, with his rules and his behavior, started to be more than just a trope. I was angry with him from the start, to tell you the truth. He was out with his friend when he saw a handsome man. Ricky sends his poor friend out to get some coffee for him and his potential conquest, and when he seals the deal, he leaves with the man, literally walking past his friend and leaving him holding the coffee. So, by 3% I despised a character I’m supposed to fall in love with and become invested in his happily ever after. Not cool.

I liked Chase well enough. He is a business owner and a father who loves and wants what is best for his son. Those are admirable qualities. However, I wasn’t crazy about how he was hiding from his family. He would tell them he was going to look for a woman to settle down and marry (so Dylan could have a mother), but he was going out on the weekends and having sex with men. So, is Chase gay? Bi? Bi-curious? Whatever. He would stand there and allow his brother and his father toss around derogatory statements about gay men without a word. In fact, his father is the detective assigned to Ricky’s case, supposedly trying to find who committed such a terrible crime, but not really caring because he’s queer. Chase is also prepared to actually meet and marry a woman because women are for marrying, men are for sex. What went through my mind is a miserable wife sitting at home, wondering where her husband was on a Friday night, while said husband was out getting BJs and having quickies in bathrooms in gay bars. That is not a life for anyone…the wife, the husband, and especially the child.

Of course, Ricky has a freak out once he realizes he is getting closer to Chase than he thinks he should. I mean, a ridiculous freak out. Like, leaving the country freak out. I know every book needs a bit of angst to keep the story rolling along smoothly, but this was over the top for me. Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, right? But…this struck me as cruel, not only to Chase, but to his friends who love him even though he’s a selfish jerk. I get he misses his dead fiancé, but it’s been ten years. He even admits to himself that he wouldn’t have wanted him to end up lonely and angry.

Our boys do get their HEA, but I’m afraid it was pretty painful for me waiting for it to happen. There were so many times I had to set the Kindle down and walk away from it because I was frustrated and snarling. However, and this is a big however, I looked up Ashley John on Amazon, and he has a lot of books out there. Going through some of the descriptions, I will not hesitate to give him another shot or two. Maybe this one was just a fluke for me. The writing style was smooth and detailed, and obviously, there is a lot of character development. So, even if Ricky wasn’t for me, I’m still willing to take another chance or two on Mr. John.


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