Rusty Best works with his brothers in their wedding planning business. His role is smaller as a dance instructor, but he also has his regular dance classes to keep him busy. However, this time, the father of the bride, Tom, sets Rusty’s world on fire. Tom came out later in life and is open about his lack of experience with men and Rusty is looking forward to helping Tom with whatever he needs.
Tom isn’t exactly looking forward to his daughter, Beth’s, wedding. Her choice of Jason as a groom has everyone feeling unsettled. But Tom is determined to make the day the best for Beth and is looking forward to dance lessons. Even more so when he sees Rusty. But even though Tom is free to start a new life, he feels so far behind and out of touch with the gay dating world. The chemistry between Tom and Rusty is all systems go from the start, but Tom is concerned about their 16-year age difference and not being able to keep up or truly fit in with Rusty. Rusty is determined to show Tom how good they can be together and, in less than a week, both of their lives will have changed.
Best Foot Forward continues The Best Men, Inc. trilogy with this second book in the series. I feel the books do work best read in order. In Best Laid Plans, we saw glimpse of Tom and Rusty, but the entire wedding plot is laid out in that book and I feel it works best to have all the background before starting here.
The books in this series are extremely high on the insta-love scale and this one may have been a little too much for me. Tom is new to the gay dating world. He married Beth’s mother when she became pregnant and they stayed together to raise Beth. Now, Tom is available to find the man of his dreams, but he has no idea how to do that. Tom is a good guy and has low self-esteem and came off as meek during the entire book. He’s in his early 40s and he’s so concerned about snide comments from Beth fiancé, Jason, and Jason’s friends that he’s afraid to date. One look at Rusty, though, has Tom having all kinds of thoughts.
I like the world these books are set in, although the brothers are much less visible in this installment. My issues were that it was too superficial for me with too much soap opera style drama and parts even came off as childish. Tom loves the way Rusty looks at first sight and mentions often how gorgeous he is. Only a few days go by before the men are declaring their love for each other and they weren’t building a relationship. They skip over any relationship development and agree to be “partners” after one date. Rusty loves the idea of being in love and I felt he was forcing things to move too fast between him and Tom and, on a side note, the amount of times Rusty is described as “giggling” was too high for my tastes. And, in the middle of Tom’s daughter’s wedding, Rusty wants to be put first after the men have know each other less than a week.
The timeline of this story overlaps the first book and I often like seeing the same scene shown from a different perspective. Here, the groom and his family are so awful I wasn’t into seeing it all over again. And still, I don’t understand how no one had a conversation to check in with Beth over eight years regarding the man she’s marrying.
The structure of this book wasn’t the best fit for me, but it could be a better fit for another reader. The book feels like it wants to be cute and is filled with insta-love and is low angst. If you are looking for that, it may appeal to you.