“Oh, Jesus. He was ninety-two!”
“And still had perfect eyesight, apparently,” Tristan said […]
The guy furrowed his brow. “Perfect eyesight?”
“Because you’re hot,” Tristan said, faltering. “Only now that I say it, that makes no sense, because you’re his nephew and not his hot younger lover, so he wouldn’t be looking at you like that at all. Shit.”
The guy looked at Tristan, down at his sandwiches, then at Tristan again. “If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go and eat my sandwiches somewhere else. Away from you.”
This is not how Tristan normally introduces himself to handsome men while at a funeral. It is, in fact, quite possibly, the worst introduction in the history of introductions — and that’s saying something, considering that Tristan, as a Bad Boyfriend, goes out with the sole purpose of producing the worst date possible. Leo, who looks like an accountant, is Jimmy Erskine’s great nephew. He is also now Tristan’s landlord. So yeah, not the best way to introduce himself.
Fortunately, Leo is a forgiving sort, because Tristan, having taken one look at Leo, wants to, ah, “get to know” his landlord a bit better. He finds himself offering to help Leo sort through Uncle Jimmy’s properties. For Leo, Uncle Jimmy was a bit of a mythic figure, someone he saw maybe once or twice a year, someone who was loud, proud, and kind. The more time Leo spends with Tristan, the more he gets a feel for who his uncle truly was, and how much Uncle Jimmy cared for him. And then there’s Tristan, who’s hot. More than hot, he’s … he’s like a sun and Leo is a moth drawn to his light.
However, Tristan is a sex worker. He goes out on dates and gets paid for spending time with other people. Leo has to wrestle with his own feelings on the matter. Can he accept Tristan as his boyfriend, knowing he’s out there sleeping with other people for money? Leo doesn’t know. But it’s something he wants to find out.
Terribly Tristan is the third book in the Bad Boyfriends, Inc. series, and I think it’s the funniest. The conversations between Leo and Tristan are clever, sharp, and — above all — kind. Leo’s struggles to accept Tristan for who he is, even with being a rent boy, are earnest and heartfelt. And Tristan’s reaction when he realizes that that’s what Leo thought he was doing? There’s no slut shaming in this book, no looking down on sex workers, which I appreciated. There are, however, some gentle jabs at Leo’s rather unaccepting parents who don’t mind their son being gay so long as it’s quiet, polite, and very private. The idea of Leo bringing a guest — a male guest — to a party has them uneasy, but hey, it saves them having to gently find a way to bring up the fact that Leo’s gay in conversation as Leo’s dad tries to enter politics. Leo and his sexuality are a wonderful way to court a certain voting demographic, after all. Unfortunately for Leo’s parents, Leo’s boyfriend, Leo’s friends, and Leo himself are no longer willing to be token gays, or the “right” kind of gay. Tristan has never been anything than fabulous, and Leo is learning that he wants more than being quiet, obedient, and picture perfect.
All in all, this is a wonderful end to the series. In my opinion, it’s also the strongest of the three books, and I really loved the buildup of friendship as well as romance. It’s definitely worth the read, and I hope — if you give it a try — you enjoy it, too.