Rating: 2.75 stars
Buy Link:
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Length: Novel

 

Ethan is a rich, lonely playboy who needs someone to paint his new townhouse. Normally, Ethan moves from lover to lover in a slew of one night stands who never come over, never stay over, and who are never a part of his life once he’s done with them. However, today all that changes. It only takes one look at the blonde man on the other side of the door and Ethan is in love. Nate, this man who is nothing like Ethan’s type, nothing like anyone he’s wanted before, has made time slow down and given Ethan’s soul a moment of peace. Ethan has to have him.

Nate has loved these old townhouses forever, and when the chance comes along to paint one? It’s the closest he’ll get to owning one, which means he’s going to put his best foot forward to try to get the job. Nate senses the instant connection between himself and Ethan — his dick and Ethan’s dick are practically made for one another — but he’s still shocked when Ethan tells him the job is his.

As much as he’s grateful for the job, Nate’s also leery of working in the same house with Ethan. He can’t keep his eyes off of the other man, or keep himself from getting flustered when Ethan’s in the same room with him. He should be upset when Ethan tells him that he’ll be taking the week off so he can help Nate with the work. Instead, Nate’s delighted at the chance to spend just that much more time with the man he’s fallen for.

There are instalove romances and then there’s this book, the first in the Hot Property series, where, less than five minutes from first laying eyes on one another, the two characters are already in love. It’s a love so deep and so instant they don’t seem to need to know anything about one another. That’s not to say this is a bad book, it’s just one that cuts right to the point as Ethan decides to help the man he’s hired to paint his house … paint his house, so that he can get into his pants. This story doesn’t seem to be about reality or common sense, nor even about the fact that Nate said no to Ethan’s help (and Ethan ignored the no and the request Nate made to be allowed to do the work alone). Instead, it seems to be about the instant and powerful soul-deep connection between two men and how quickly they get to the good stuff.

Which is fine, but Ethan — who several times decides to ignore Nate’s boundaries, admitting that he wanted to and enjoyed pushing past Nate’s limits — comes across as single-minded. He doesn’t seem to think of Nate as a person so much as an object of sexual desire over which he feels possessive, all of which he admits to himself. None of this feels about courting Nate; it seems to be about catching him. It’s a trope that I’m not a giant fan of, and it’s on full display in this book. Nate’s feelings don’t seem to matter as much as Ethan’s desire, Ethan’s wants, and Ethan’s entitlement to Nate’s life.

For his part, Nate feels much the same, with the majority of his attention on how hot Ethan is, how much he wants to be fucked by him … as well as how rich Ethan is. Nate is very insecure about the fact that he didn’t go to college, doesn’t have money, and doesn’t have rich friends and connections. During a scene where Ethan is opening up to Nate about his toxic, horrible childhood with a neglectful mother and an emotionally abusive father, Nate gets sulky and upset that he wouldn’t fit in. Because Ethan’s parents had money and had nannies brought in and out of his life and tutors. It’s almost as if Nate isn’t really listening to the conversation, only for certain keywords that indicate money, wealth, and position so that he can, once again, feel inadequate.

Even with all of this, there are bones to an interesting relationship here. Nate’s ex was a terrible person who lied to him, causing him no end of pain and shame and guilt, and when Ethan is in a similar position … he chooses not to tell Nate his own secret. When the reveal comes out, as it always does, the scene is handled well enough, but the idea is stronger than the characters and the scene feels rushed and perfunctory.

The writing isn’t bad, but the lack of emotional buildup and the lack of what felt like a real connection hurt this book for me, and the book’s balance between sex and story felt lopsided. Personally, this was a miss, for me. The sex scenes were pleasant, but without a story to support them, or characters to feel a connection with, I was left uninterested in the book. Honestly, I’d suggest pass on this one and wait to see what happens with future books in the series.

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