Roman Reynolds is a successful man. As a former pro-football quarterback and now an owner of multiple restaurants, he has financial security. Roman hasn’t always chosen the best partners and his boyfriends have taken advantage of him, as well as his finances. Roman doesn’t have a housekeeper and his best friend, Jay, has the perfect guy to hook him up with.
Ezra Powell has a college scholarship, but that doesn’t include room and board. He has been working as a housekeeper for Jay and when Roman offers a live-in working relationship, Ezra is excited about the prospect of work and a place to live. But Roman is so handsome and while Ezra is committed to getting Roman’s house in order, the man himself is distracting.
Both Roman and Ezra have been hurt in the past and Ezra isn’t sure he can fit into Roman’s world. But Roman lights up whenever they are together and the men will have to meet in the middle to find the everlasting love they both want.
As this book opens, we get a glimpse of Roman and where he is in life currently and we also get a feel for Ezra. Ezra has been housekeeping for Roman’s friend, Jay, and Jay may have some ulterior motives when he sends Ezra to Roman. The beginning of this book has a bit of a porn movie set up feel to it and it didn’t work for me. Ezra is smaller than the two football players and Jay sends Ezra to clean Roman’s house in short shorts and a tight-fitting football jersey. Roman likes how Ezra looks and is only offended that Ezra is wearing Jay’s football number and not his own number and the way Jay talked about Ezra came off as being manipulative.
I have enjoyed everything I have read previously by Laura Lascarso, but much of this book didn’t work for me. While we get a great sense of what it’s like to be Ezra, the dynamics of the relationship between Roman and Ezra were a little off for me. Ezra is autistic and lives by a specific schedule that works for him. The men are opposites in the fact that Roman’s life is busy and public and Ezra prefers a quieter atmosphere. The two start living together as employer/employee and become friends, and while Ezra finds Roman attractive, he doesn’t pick up that Roman is attracted to him as well and it’s a slow burn to get them together.
Roman has been burned before with men stealing from him, so he has cameras set up all over the house, which Ezra is aware of, and Roman uses these to watch Ezra during the day. He doesn’t do a background check on Ezra and he only goes by Jay’s recommendation. These men are both known sports figures, so it also seemed off that they were hiring a college kid with no references into their homes.
The biggest hurdle to Roman and Ezra’s relationship was that Ezra seemed too childlike when he was with Roman for my tastes. Roman’s nicknames for Ezra, like “cutie” in context, and they way Roman cared for Ezra made it difficult for me to see them as equals in a relationship. Roman did care for Ezra and wanted what was best for him, but I’ll say this is personal preference and the dynamic did not work for me.
The style here was a departure from what I have read previously from this author and the relationship between Roman and Ezra might work better for another reader.