Dr. Zack Sorenson has been left at the altar. He’s embarrassed and depressed, so he decides to go on the expensive honeymoon cruise he booked…and spend all ten days of it drunk enough he doesn’t have to think about it.
Brian O’Daly is Zack’s best friend, and the brother of the runaway bride. He decides he should use the extra ticket for the cruise so he can keep Zack company in his misery and keep him from drunkenly falling off the ship. Also, Brian is gay, and he’s been secretly in love with Zack for years.
As the cruise progresses, Zack and Brian do some bonding, some shopping, and a lot of drinking. They also try to sort out their unique feelings for each other and try to decide if it’s worth taking a chance on a relationship.
I wanted to love this book. I enjoy the friends to lovers trope, especially when one of those friends has been in love with the other for a long time. This seemed like it was going to be right up my alley, but unfortunately, it fell a little short for me.
Let’s start with Zack and Brian’s friendship. They’ve known each other since they were children. They live together and are joined at the hip. There is also something interesting and unusual about them. They’ve been giving each other bro-jobs since they were 12…hand jobs that started at sleepovers, leading to one in the shower on Zack’s wedding day. I definitely don’t have a problem with that, and I don’t think it’s wrong in any way. Yes, it’s a little strange that it happened on Zack’s wedding day, but I didn’t take any issues with that. It actually made me feel sorry for Brian because of his love for Zack. He sat back and watched his…crush seems a little childish, but it works here…dating, proposing to, and planning a wedding with his sister. Also, Brian’s sister (Ronnie) is a money grubbing, status coveting, slut, but Brian doesn’t really want to upset his best friend. Here is where I want to throw in a mention as to why Zack was left at the altar. I don’t want to give too much away, but Brian discovered something and threatens Ronnie, thus leading to her disappearing act.
There was a lot of drinking in Match Day. From page one, one or both of the men are drunk. I was a tad uncomfortable with this, not because I disapprove of drinking (I like to imbibe a bit, myself.), but because, when everything started to get serious, it occasionally affected their conversations and important moments. There were times when I wished they could just sit down and talk while they had a few sodas in front of them.
Match Day had a lot of angst. I mean a lot. Will he or won’t he? Does he or doesn’t he? Can he or can’t he? I knew they were going to be together eventually because it’s a romance novel, and romance means happy endings. It just took so much time to get there. I yelled. I cried. I seethed. I went back to yelling. I was getting frustrated and considered just putting it down. The only reason I didn’t was I hate admitting defeat and didn’t want to let the blog down.
The sex in the story was hot, and I loved how eager Zack was once he realized what he’d been missing for so long. This is definitely a case where I could have used another sex scene or two.
I didn’t hate this book. There were some well written moments, like when Zack explained what a match day actually is (It’s the day when the incoming doctors find out where they’ll be doing their residency.) Also, when Zack confesses to Brian he’s a virgin, I could feel his nervousness and shame. Unfortunately, I didn’t care so much for Brian’s response, but things moved on.
The end tied up neatly. I admit I was a little surprised, and that’s a good thing. There was a twist, and I liked that. I got what I wanted and then some, and I appreciated that little bit of extra.
I chose this book for Judge a Book By Its Cover Week because of the color scheme. Purple is my favorite color, and I though the use of several shades of it blended together was gorgeous. The silhouette of the two men with the palm trees complimented that. I liked actually not seeing their faces, because it let me create my own images of Zack and Brian. I’ll also add the cover is done by Jay Aheer, who creates some of the most beautiful book covers in the business.
This review is part of our Reading Challenge Month for Judge a Book By Its Cover Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win a prize pack from Interlude Press that includes a signed, print copy of Not Your Villian by C.B. Lee, plus e-book copies of some of their award-winning books. Commenters will also be entered to win our amazing grand prize sponsored by Dreamspinner Press (a loaded Kindle fire filled with DSP books!). You can get more information on our Challenge Month here, and more details on Judge a Book By Its Cover Week here, including a list of all the books in this week’s prize.