Scotty is just trying to earn a steady paycheck as a carriage driver in Central Park. But when a cop jumps into his carriage and yells at him to get going, Scotty has no choice but to do just that. As it turns out, the passenger was really movie star Roman Burke wearing an exact replica of a NYPD uniform. Roman didn’t put much thought into what his escape from the paparazzi would cost Scotty, but their joyride not only gets Scotty fired, but Scotty and his horse, Nugget, are evicted. Being homeless in NYC is bad enough, but being homeless with a horse is enough for Scotty and Nugget to track Roman down and show up on his doorstep.
Being the biggest movie star certainly has its perks, but the paparazzi can spike Roman’s anxiety. When he jumped into the carriage, his only thought was to get away. But there is no getting away when the media follows your every move and Roman’s antics are played out over every news outlet. His crisis manager, Oscar, tells him he needs to go off the grid for a while and offers him a place to stay in Vermont. While Roman wasn’t counting on Scotty and his horse coming along as well, it’s hard to ignore the sparks between the two men. Vermont is anything but the quiet getaway Roman envisioned with unwanted guests showing up and chaos at every turn. But the biggest hurdle Roman may have to face is losing his heart to Scotty.
LOL follows IRL in the After Oscar series. While Roman is new to the series and Scotty was only introduced in the first book, I feel these books are best read in order. The name of the series is After Oscar and the character of Oscar has been teased out already through these two books. In IRL, Oscar was mentioned. In LOL, Oscar is sort of on page as he is seen through phone calls and texts with Roman. The men are also staying in Oscar’s home and we hear more stories about Oscar and meet parts of his family, as well as others that all have a connection, or have dated, the mysterious Oscar.
Roman and Scotty’s story, at its core, is a mostly sweet story of two opposite men falling in love. Roman is the wealthy movie star with anxiety issues, where Scotty has no money, no place to live, and his mother is in prison. Through a chain of events set in motion by Roman hopping into Scotty’s horse carriage, these two men find the relationship they have always been seeking.
But Roman and Scotty have a lot going on around them. So much going on around them. Too much (for me) going on around them. It all started out as entertaining, but then went too far for my tastes. The men are staying at Oscar’s Vermont mansion where any number of people show up. First, it’s part of Oscar’s family, as his mother and sister and others arrive at the house. Oscar never mentioned to Roman that there could possibly be other guests and the family isn’t shown in the best light. They basically show up to take whatever they can from Oscar, as they help themselves to expensive vodka and have no concern for the state in which they leave his home. There’s also a guest that steals the cars of the other guests and that’s okay with everyone and made into a joke, as well as other running jokes that pop in and out of the narrative without much closure. And, as with some other books by Lennox, people just walk into the MC’s bedroom when they are in bed and think absolutely nothing of it and this doesn’t come off as funny to me. Then, there is another mismatched two-some that arrives and their story is teased out and I needed more at the end of that one to pull that storyline together. The entire book had a circus atmosphere and while I can give the authors credit for keeping it all coming, at times it felt like I was reading their own inside joke and it became too over the top for my tastes. Scotty’s mother is also shown one way throughout the entire book, but by the end she completely changes and that storyline was too rushed and glossed over.
Roman is also said to a huge movie star who commands audiences and all the rest, but we never see that. We are only shown the insecure, anxiety-ridden Roman and it was difficult to reconcile the two personalities. I did like the story of Roman and Scotty finding each other as they made a sweet couple and finding out more about Oscar continues to keep my interest. The rest of the tone of the book wasn’t to my tastes, but if you like constant interruptions in the lives of the characters with non-stop antics coming at them one after the other, this would really suit you.