It is a terrible evening. Trevor Ortega is stuck at a work party listening to someone’s husband blather on and on about … something. Taxes, maybe? It’s an interminable conversation saved by the tall, dark, and handsome intervention of Sebastian Greer, Trevor’s friend, mentor, and one-time boss, and the man whose very existence makes Trevor weak in the knees. Sebastian rescues him from tedious, taxing tax talk and the two of them sneak away to a bar. And then it gets worse.
Trevor has done his best to ignore the upcoming wedding of his ex-girlfriend, but a text reminder sent at the wrong time (and a drink too many) has him confessing to Sebastian that he doesn’t want to go to the wedding alone. Sebastian commiserates and asks Trevor if he has a friend who could keep him company, only for Trevor to have what is, without a doubt, both the worst and best idea of his life:
“You’re my friend. Will you go with me?”
This has to be one of my favorite fake boyfriend reads. There’s no lying to each other; Sebastian and Trevor are friends and have been for years. Their chemistry is real and honest and you can feel the rapport the two men have built together. Trevor used to be Sebastian’s law clerk and has, during his career as a public defender, done his best to stay in Sebastian’s district. Not just because he’s in love with the man, but because Sebastian is a fair, honest, and brilliant judge and Trevor believes in him and admires him as a judge, as well as a person.
Trevor’s friends and Sebastian’s brother take one look at this fake date the two are on and give their opinions. Cam, Trevor’s friend, thinks this is stupid. He knows Trevor is hung up on Sebastian and thinks this farce is only going to get Trevor hurt. And he may be right, but it’s Trevor’s choice to make.
It can be tricky to put together a believable relationship in the length of a novella, but Kleinn does it so well. The pacing is tight and focused, giving both the space for Trevor to develop as a character, as well as to build the tension between Sebastian and Trevor and the inevitable confrontation. The ending is lovely and sweet, with the emphasis on the relationship and the friendship, rather than the sex. This is a quick, lovely read and I hope you give it a try.