Derek Bryer is the youngest assistant director at Joy Universe, the second largest theme park complex in the world. Derek is happy with his job, and everybody he works with think he’s a great guy. One morning, while he’s on his way to work, Derek’s assistant calls him in a panic. There’s been a gruesome murder in one of the bungalows in the part of the property he handles. While he’s trying put out all the fires from that murder, another problem comes up. It seems most of the entertainment crew went to a sushi festival the night before, and they’ve all come down with food poisoning! Now, Derek has to somehow get 50 or so entertainers (dancers, musicians, actors) to keep the guests happy.
Trav Jones is one of those entertainers. He’s a Broadway performer in a show that’s traveled to Joy Universe. The run is only three months, so he’s not going to be around for very long. When he’s asked if he’s interested in helping out by stepping up and being in some of the smaller shows that are now understaffed due to the food poisoning epidemic, the money’s excellent and he can’t pass up the opportunity.
Trav takes an instant dislike to Derek (he reminds him of the perfect looking, but mean, bullies he dealt with in high school and college), and he tries to keep away from his new boss. For some reason, this bothers Derek because he tries so hard to keep his employees happy and well taken care of. Derek finally manages to talk with Trav about why he’s so distant, on the edge of rude. Trav pulls no punches and lets Derek in on his issues. Derek feels bad and offers to take Trav to dinner so they can talk more. The meal is a success, and the evening ends with a kiss.
The men find themselves falling for each other. Things aren’t easy, though. Derek is still trying to keep the bungalow murder fiasco under control while dealing with the food poisoning issue. Meanwhile, Trav is concerned about having to leave when the show’s run is over, and he’s actually finding that he’s enjoying the work at the park. Suddenly, a huge problem arises, and Derek and Trav need to count on each other to get through it. Can they accomplish this? Or will their budding relationship end when Trav has to go back to New York?
I can honestly say I’ve never read a book that takes place in a theme park. When I saw the blurb, I was intrigued. I enjoy unique stories, and a theme park seems pretty unique. I did find this book to be a somewhat cute and even funny distraction from the real world. I was in a different place. Giant theme parks are known for shutting out all the sights and sounds of the city and bringing their guests a wonderful experience. Luisa Masters writes this nicely. I was caught up in the descriptions and could picture the park and all that goes along with it.
Derek and Trav are pretty well fleshed out. There’s a balance between their personal lives and their work lives. Their feelings are real — the stress, the tension, and the road to their budding relationship. However, there’s opportunity for some humor and a few distractions. The men come to life, and I think I’d like to be friends with them. I like them, but there were occasions when I didn’t necessarily feel invested in their coupledom. I didn’t feel true attraction. It’s not a constant feeling, though, and they make up for it toward the end.
The last third or so of the book dragged a little. Life’s not all that great when there’s a murder to deal with (and a bloody gruesome one at that). Actually, sometimes, that murder takes more than a back seat to other things. I admit, I nearly forgot about it until Derek’s reputation is on the line. I did enjoy the parts where the food poisoning come into play. Not that a horrible illness is funny, but it’s a little funny to see Derek tearing his hair out a bit while trying to find solutions to the mess that’s caused by some bad sushi.
I’ve Got This is told in a dual POV. Each chapter is clearly labeled with who’s mind I was in. This was done nicely with smooth transitions. I never had a feeling of confusion or reason to go back and re-read passages to see where I was and who I was with. Masters has solid control over this important detail. I did like both Derek and Trav, and I only felt distant from them occasionally. Neither of them are bad in any way. They were both simply searching for something they didn’t even realize they needed. There’s a certain chemistry between them. I wouldn’t call it heat; it’s almost a comfort feeling. I do want to briefly mention there’s no on page sex. There’s build up, and it’s obvious they’re going to be making love, but it’s all left to the imagination. It’s an interesting choice by the author, but I like it. I don’t need details about how tab A goes into slot B for a scene to feel sexy, and Derek and Trav are pretty sexy (especially Derek, but that’s a personal preference, hehe).
An interesting situation brings our men to their HEA. It seems almost a little too convenient, but because this is the first book in a new series, I’m able to see where new characters could fit and new romances can happen. All in all, I’ve Got This is an enjoyable story with some rough parts. It still makes me smile, and I’m excited to see what book two has to offer. I have no trouble recommending this one.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.