Noah Westwood was kicked out of his house by his religious parents when he was 16 and has been on the streets ever since. He’s reached the end of his rope when he talks his way into a meeting with Marcello Maltese. Marcello is known for his public media empire, but he also owns an escort service. Noah convinces Marcello to give him a chance, but since Noah won’t disclose how he heard of Marcello, Marcello’s curiosity, as well as his protective instincts for his friends, kick in.
Noah begins life as an escort with the help of another escort, Harold, whom Noah falls for quickly. Harold enjoys spending time with Noah, but he has his own reasons for not wanting to pursue a relationship. This leaves Noah off the streets, but no closer to finding the love he desperately craves. Marcello also hasn’t given up on finding out their connection and while Marcello takes care of his own, Noah certainly doesn’t want him as an enemy, and Noah may be forced to reveal his story. Noah’s life will change once again when he meets Felix, a cute college student, but Noah will eventually have to tell Felix what he does for a living. It will be a long winding journey for Noah to feel settled and to find love.
Noah’s story is well into the Something Like series and is placed right before the final book of the entire series. Noah is a new character to the series and Harold was only briefly seen in an earlier book. I would not recommend reading this book as a standalone as there are specific tie-ins that would lose impact without having the previous background.
Noah was out of options and was desperate to find a job and especially one that would make him some money. Without an address or a phone, he was finding it impossible to find any kind of job. He sets off to see Marcello without an appointment and we learn quickly of the connection there. We also see a different side to Marcello as we become immersed in the escort division of his business. Marcello has always remained rather elusive in the series, and while we don’t learn that much more about his past, we see his claws come out to protect those that matter to him.
This book had a distinctly different feel to it than the other books in the series. I learned that this book was written with the author’s patrons on Patreon, and supporters were given choices of where the story would go. One of my favorite elements of this series is the tight cohesiveness that Bell exhibited in each and every book, but that was lacking for me a bit here as I felt some scenes ended abruptly while others wandered somewhat and that may have been due to the book being written in a different style.
Noah has a lot of inner turmoil from living on the streets that isn’t really addressed and we see him change as he spends his first year as an escort. He also falls in love with Harold, but Harold can’t commit. We only get a few basics of Harold’s story and with where this book is positioned in the series, it doesn’t seem likely there will be any further information on him. Noah then meets Felix, who is young and inexperienced, and he moves ahead with dating him but I never really felt it between the two of them. The ending wasn’t convincing for me and it’s left with the feeling that things are still not fully settled and a new character with an unfinished story line with a different feel to the book wasn’t exactly what I was looking for at this stage of the series.
This wasn’t a favorite book out of the series, but as a whole this series is worth it and there is truly nothing else like it in the genre.