Nathan and Lorcan have been the best of friends their entire lives. Nathan has always been Lorcan’s wingman, the one that talks up Lorcan, and eases Lorcan into finding dates and hookups. Nathan has resolved himself to the fact that this will always be his place in Lorcan’s life, even if Nathan has been in love with Lorcan for as long as he can remember. When Lorcan sets his sights on a guy for the first time, Nathan thinks that he might finally be able to turn Lorcan’s head his way, but he has no idea how to go about that.
When Nathan sees Miles for the first time, he understands why Lorcan is crushing on him. Miles is a gorgeous musician and life seems endlessly easy for him. Nathan is starting to get tired of the routine he has with Lorcan and while he wants something for himself, he has never been able to say no to Lorcan. Miles seems to be the one person that can say no to Lorcan, however, and Miles is interested in Nathan. Except Nathan is too clueless to realize this and has no idea Miles wants something more with him. Lorcan’s friendship means everything to Nathan, but Nathan may need to find his own path to step out of Lorcan’s shadow.
The Wingman is told solely from Nathan’s point of view and I wouldn’t say he is an unreliable narrator, he just sees what he sees and feels how he feels. When the book opens, Nathan is returning from a semester abroad and can’t wait to see his best friend and forever crush, Lorcan. Nathan thinks he knows everything about Lorcan, but when Lorcan is now interested in a man, that is something new. Nathan has always been able to ease Lorcan into conversations and Lorcan expects this and it’s the roles they have fallen into. So much so that Nathan starts to question if he has any other true friends as everyone always is looking for Lorcan.
All the way through this book I couldn’t decide if I liked any of the characters. Lorcan is self-centered and is used to Nathan always being there for him. Nathan is shown as clumsy and unfocused where nothing seems to go right for him. I think he was supposed to be quirky and cute, but that fell flat for me. For almost the entire book, it is not clear whether Nathan will have a relationship with Lorcan or Miles and I wouldn’t classify this as a romance, but more of Nathan wanting a romance. Even when Nathan is hanging out with Miles and going on date-like activities, Nathan has no idea Miles is into him and since we get no POV from Miles, it was difficult to ever know what Miles is thinking because Nathan can’t show us that.
Nathan’s mother died when he was small and his father is just trying to figure out dating and, within a few passages, we get a lot more insight into his father’s relationship than what is happening with Nathan. Miles grew up in foster care and his story is never fully told. He has since been adopted and has six successful and protective sisters and some of them came through more clearly than Miles did.
This book is not a love triangle going both ways, but a connection with Lorcan being interested in Miles and Miles being interested in Nathan and Nathan having always been in love with Lorcan. We also don’t learn anything about Lorcan’s sexuality other than that he is currently interested in Miles, but there is not a lot of depth to it. The style of the writing was a little off for me as the characters lived and grew up in California and there was something off about them as I never got the feeling they were in California.
I can’t tell you of course if Nathan winds up with someone, but the exploration at the end left me looking for more story and the epilogue also didn’t offer the closure to the story that I needed. This book was off for me in a lot of ways, but it’s the kind of book that may land differently for a different reader.