Story Rating: 4 stars
Audio Rating: 4.5 stars
Narrator: Michael Pauley
Length: 4 hours, 3 minutes
Mark O’Brien is nearly thirty and starting his life over. He’d been living with his girlfriend, Rachel, for nearly six years, but instead of tying the knot, he’s finally realizing the truth: he’s gay and she’s not a man. So, he’s moving out.
One of the hired movers, Jamie, is young, fit, and out—and they share some embarrassing moments when Mark’s box of toys spills out in front of Jamie. Jamie’s keen on Mark from the first moment, having seen him barely dressed from the shower when he’d arrived. After moving Mark to a flat not far from Jamie’s home, Jamie offers to help Mark unpack, and maybe have a little fun. Their immediate rapport leads Mark to reveal that he’s only new to acknowledging his sexuality and has little experience with men.
And that hooks Jamie. Not only does he help Mark unpack, he helps him undress, and well, discover some of the joys of manlove. It’s a fun and playful set of experiences, and they agree to meet up again to scratch their mutual itches. And, so they meet up time and again, and Mark, lonely in his own space, is happy to invite Jamie to stay a night or two. Soon, what started as convenient sexy times begins to feel more like a relationship. Is this what each man wants? Because Mark’s new to dating, and Jamie’s never had a serious relationship.
I loved this one, with the fun and flirty sexy times. I was surprised at how much story was packed into the book. The narration seemed pretty solid, and I liked the pacing. There aren’t many different character voices, though, and the distinction between characters was not always evident. I did backtrack once or twice, to ensure I knew which character’s POV was in charge. That might irritate me normally, but I just enjoyed the story. Plus, it’s a short listen at just over four hours, so I wasn’t pressed for time to finish. The narrator, Michael Pauley, is clearly American, so this might be a thing for listeners who favor Brits reading British romance. I was more troubled by the low-emotive level of his voice, because I thought there could have been more excitement, at times.
That said, expect this one to catch you in the feels, and charm you into smiling while you listen. The connection between Mark and Jamie is instant, and the novelty of the sex for Mark is palpable and thrilling. Meanwhile Jamie’s emotional transition from convenient sex-pal to hopeful-boyfriend is deliciously tender. Jamie’s family is sweet, and Mark solidifying his friendship with Rachel was an unexpected treat.