Griffin Clarke is a 21-year-old virgin. He’s also a huge romance fan. He wants hearts and flowers for his first time, and he’s going to make sure it happens by hiring the hottest man he knows, Cyan Morrison, to do the job. Griffin just learned Cyan is an escort with Lucky Match Escorts, and his friendship with Cyan gives Griffin the assurance he needs that Cyan will be patient and kind while taking his virginity. Griffin doesn’t want to wait for a relationship to develop before his first time; he just wants it to be special and to be treated with care.
Cyan Morrison is only into Lucky Match to make enough money to launch his photography business. He’s afraid his conservative parents won’t pay for his college, or anything, if they learn he’s gay or straying away from their desires to get him into their grocery store business. So, Cyan’s stockpiling all the money he can. Still, meeting his cute classmate, Griffin, at a hotel room strewn with rose petals gives him pause. Griffin is a good guy, and Cyan has already been burning a low-key attraction for him; he wants Griffin to have the best first time ever. So, Cyan convinces Griffin that rushing into intercourse is a bad decision. He should, instead, opt for some love-making lessons, free of charge, that will help Griffin to be better partner, for whomever Griffin will settle for as a boyfriend down the road. Griffin is wary, but agrees. He’s happy for the attention he does receive from Cyan.
So begins a clandestine tutoring exchange, with Cyan giving sex lessons while Griffin helps him in their creative writing class. Their mutual friends all sense something’s going on and it’s harder and harder for them to maintain the ruse of friendship while their emotional connections are growing each day. Cyan starts to regret his escorting life, feeling guilty for having sex with other men while falling hard for sweet Griffin. And Griffin’s feeling less and less attractive the longer Cyan holds off on making love to him, while having no trouble sexing with strangers.
This is a cute, New Adult, escort/client romance and the second in the Hearts for Hire series. I sometimes felt like the characters read a little young or naïve, particularly Griffin, who’s been highly sheltered. For me, there were some logical inconsistencies, like Griffin was a longtime gymnast, but he’s described as being physically weak. Those dudes usually have biceps on their biceps. And, Cyan is suppose to have a single-minded focus on bankrolling his photography studio, but he’s turning down dates left-and-right. There’s also a LOT of focus on secondary characters that slows the pace here. I like connected character stories, but I don’t need to know those other characters’ backstories right now. I also struggled with Griffin’s own business plans—while in college full time. Like, wow. It felt super convenient and just outside of the realm of believability.
I love first-time romances, and this one is okay. Griffin’s desire is palpable, and not just for his own satisfaction; he’s grown to very much like Cyan for the person he is. Both characters are fun and sweet, with a lot of love to give. I enjoy the found family they create for one another—with all the Lucky Match folks. I think readers who enjoy breezier New Adult stories will probably like this one.