Wow! Marry Him was a really interesting and entertaining book. I was on edge so much, and the end was spectacular. So, let’s go back to the beginning.
Joe Kaminski is a young black artist in London. He was adopted by a white couple who happened to be Jehovah’s Witnesses, and he and his adoptive mother were shunned when Joe came out as gay. He’s a free-spirit, living by the inspiration of his art, and sometimes wearing clothes.
Joe meets Harry Byrne on a paying job. Harry runs an advertising company, and Joe’s concept for a big spread is one that really nails the gig. Harry’s assistant urges Joe to turn up for Harry’s birthday do at a pub, and they sort of hit it—okay they totally hit it, though their personalities are crazy different from one another. Joe, the artist, and Harry, the businessman, are polar opposites, and their magnetic attraction is almost overwhelming. They date for six months, Joe learning that Harry’s ex had been closeted and denied Harry at every turn for SEVEN years, and Joe just wants to cherish the heck out of Harry.
Until the ex shows up begging for another chance. And Joe’s heart is crushed.
The story is told in alternating timelines from five years in the past, when Joe and Harry first meet; to six months in the past, when Joe proposes to Harry, who accepts; to the present days leading up to their wedding and when life is literally falling apart for Joe. It made for a lot of suspense, actually, to be in the current timeline and know that there’s something shady happening between Joe and the staid Harry, who’s inexplicably missing in the days prior to the wedding.
I don’t want to give anything away here, but the romp and the pomp of this story was just delightful. I loved Joe. He’s such a great guy who’s felt abandoned by so many—his birth parents, his adoptive father, Harry at times—and he’s desperate to keep hold of Harry who helps him feel calm in the storm of his art inspiration. Joe’s dearest friends are characters of their own, from a sexagenarian, Mata Hari roommate to his one-legged best man. They are a carnival of awesome, and Joe’s so solidly in it for them, as well as himself. As his personal life is unraveling in the most public way possible, Joe stays his course amid chaos and certain loss. It is then that his faith is restored in the best way possible.
I loved how all these folks all came together to help Joe and Harry find their happiness, even if it was almost a near thing. I laughed aloud, and I wanted to rage and cry, and all my feels were engaged in the plight of Joe and his quest to make an honest man of Harry. All the seemingly random bits coalesced into a glorious ending for more than just the happy couple. I loved every moment of it.