Simon Wood is a newly-retired footballer (soccer for the Yanks) who wants to open a charity foundation to help disadvantaged kids get elite football training. He’s also closeted, and thinking he’s only going to change one thing in his life at a time. Simon reaches out to Edouard Morel, a well-known billionaire with a history of philanthropy, to help build the foundation. Edouard agrees, almost unexpectedly, with the caveat that his son, Lucien, assist with the legalities.
Lucien Morel is a well-respected businessman and an attractive gay man. Edouard knows of Lucien’s boyhood crush on Simon-the-star-football-player, as well as Lucien’s desire to expand their philanthropy beyond life’s essentials. For Lucien, meeting his sexy idol in person is a dream come true, as is the project they are to work on together. Their attraction is mutual, but neither wants to make it public because of the intricacies of their business plan. For some youth sports organizations in less tolerant EU countries, it might be frowned upon that Simon’s foundation is headed by a gay man. However, because Lucien is a jet-setting catch, it doesn’t take long for he and Simon to get spotted together and “shipped.” This might make life difficult for both men, but they’ve been with each other enough to know they have something to fight for—besides their mutual desire to start the foundation off right.
I really loved how sweet Simon and Lucien are together. Lucien’s crush notwithstanding, he’s falling hard for the man that Simon is, not the player he had lusted for. Simon’s got a good deal of money saved away, though it’s nothing compared to Lucien’s wealth—or that of his best friends, who have jets and helicopters, and can magic them into and out of some of the most exclusive places. As a couple, there’s a bit of growing to do, but it won’t work if Simon doesn’t come out. He has to choose to do so, and that choice isn’t without consequences.
I also loved how Edouard, Lucien’s father, took the opportunity to connect Simon and Lucien. That papa was no prude, and wanted to find a charming and compatible man for his only son and heir. It warmed my heart to see how beloved Lucien was—and his quirks were charming to me and Simon, alike. There’s some yummy and kinda dirty sexytimes that I enjoyed, and what looks to be a third book in this series on the horizon. I didn’t read the first one, but I would go back for it. They are all based on Lucien and his billionaire friends finding true love. I felt like the complications of their relationship were honestly handled and fun to experience. Would definitely recommend to readers who enjoy billionaire romance, or sports/athlete heroes.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.