Lucky Match is the first book in an escorts-falling-in-love-with-their-clients series. It’s fun and frisky and has an “Irish” theme to it, which was why I wanted to read it for St. Patrick’s Day.
Lucky Maguire is a newly minted freshman at conservative and homophobic Waltham University, after taking a couple of years post-high school to work and save some tuition money. His first night at a fraternity party Lucky’s assaulted by blatantly homophobic frat boys who end up terrorizing other out-gay (or suspected gay) men on campus. Lucky collects a small cadre of persecuted gay boys to live off-campus at his great-aunt’s nearby home. And, well, to get them to earn a little cash, Lucky develops a male escort service called Lucky Match for him and his new roommates to find sexy men willing to pay them for time and maybe “extra” service, too.
Lucky meets the man he truly wants to date on his first day of class–Professor Hayes Brantley. Not that he’d dream the professor would be into him. However, Hayes is a bisexual man, newly divorced from his cheating wife who’d gotten pregnant by another man. Hayes has always wanted to have more experience with men, but he married his college sweetheart and never messed around. Hayes struggled with the idea of random hook-ups, much preferring to have a connection with his sexual partners. In fact, his ex-wife is the only person with whom he’s had any sexual contact. Now that he’s single, Hayes is dismayed that the first man he feels a strong attraction to happens to be his own student. Lucky is a ginger temptation he can’t accept, so Hayes decides to call a new male escort agency and find a lookalike to practice dating with and to diffuse his attraction. Much to Hayes’ chagrin, and Lucky’s delight, his blind escort-date ends up being…Lucky.
This comedy of errors ends up being rather freeing for both Lucky and Hayes, who strike up a clandestine relationship after a while. There is some forced separation and early vigilant professionalism on Hayes’ part, but he’s powerless to refuse Lucky’s continued wooing, and he develops some nice friendships with Lucky’s roommates, who are all young, cute, and a little silly. Actually, most of these characters are a little on the silly side, with some fun, yet juvenile humor that felt right for the under 21 set, but a stretch for 33-year-old Hayes. The story is breezy and entertaining, with some overt homophobia that seems to get mainly (inexplicably) quelled by a queer staff uprising.
I felt that the emotional context of the story was decidedly light, and we didn’t have a lot of deep introspection. It’s heavily narrated by the characters speaking directly to the reader, so it had a more romp-like feel than other professor-student romances I’ve read. There is a lip-service attempt to develop privacy regarding the growing attachment between Hayes and Lucky, with little discussion or energy spent on outlining the consequences of people finding out about their sexual relationship. In the beginning it seems dire, but it’s mere days until they reveal their big secret affair. And, that seemed a bit of a cop-out, honestly, considering the current climate surrounding exploitation of persons by their superiors.
Anyway, if you can overlook those lingering issues, this is a silly, breezy, escort-john romance. I’m honestly more interested in the love stories to come, between Lucky’s fellow escorts and the men they fall for, so I’d read on.