Rating: 3.75 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Dylan’s life is an open book — his marriages and subsequent divorces; his ongoing battles with alcoholism, both the relapses and the recoveries; and his friendships and falling outs. All of it. Every dirty secret, every scandal, every triumph and failure, plastered on tabloids and talked about on gossip shows. His ex wives have had their say, and now it’s his turn. Dylan’s agent has hired a ghost writer to help him with his book, which will be more of a biography than a tell-all, but there are some secrets that Dylan has been able to keep. And one of them is about to come out in a big way.
Max was living the dream. A professor like his father, he was happily married with a loving and lovely daughter and an enjoyable hobby of writing mystery novels on the side. Until his husband cheated on him. Now Max’s struggling to maintain his cool as his ex is demanding, again, sole custody of their daughter, like he does whenever he’s feeling in the mood to be contentious. Max has no intention of giving up his time with his daughter, which means another fight, another hearing before a judge, which means hiring another lawyer, which means more money. So when he’s asked to pick up another ghostwriting job, Max agrees. It doesn’t matter if he likes the subject of the book, just that he tells their story fairly.
Tucked away on a friend’s yacht, the two men are going to spend long days and longer nights getting to know one another. While battling his alcoholism, ghosts of his past, the stress of staring in a new film, and coming to terms with his long-hidden bi-sexuality, all Dylan wants is a distraction. A drink would be nice, but flirting with his new ghostwriter is better for his health, his career, and his heart. Besides, Max is easy to get along with; he’s steady, calm, and a rock in the storm of Dylan’s life. It’s the reassuring hand on his knee when Dylan’s having a freak out, it’s the rational voice telling him they’re going to take a moment to think before they take any hasty actions, and the compassionate shoulder to lean on as he unburdens his heart from all of his baggage.
It’s easy to fall in love with someone like Dylan. He’s handsome, effortlessly charming with a self-deprecating humor, a generous heart, and a way of shrugging off past unhapinesses. He also stares at Max like a starving man eyes a steak, and Max can’t help but respond to the attention. Long hours spent listening to Dylan have given Max an insight into Dylan’s character, but he’s been sharing almost as much of himself in order to make the other man more comfortable, and it’s just so easy to move from co-workers to friends to something else … but Max has a daughter to consider, an ex who won’t leave him alone, and the knowledge that this is all just temporary.
It’s nice to see the two men actually sit down to talk in between bouts of flirting, fucking, and working — Max on the book, Dylan on the movie. They have honest discussions about Dylan’s alcoholism, about what they want in a partner, and how they both feel about children. And Max isn’t shy about asking Dylan how he feels about the fact that Max already has a daughter, one who will come first in his life, even if that means saying goodbye to Dylan. They’re also both very honest about what they want from this relationship, which is more than just a vacation fling. Dylan wants stability and security. He wants to settle down with someone who isn’t looking to use him or his fame. Max wants a low maintenance husband who will be a good step-parent, and an actual partner. He’s not interested in being arm candy for a Hollywood movie star. Max wants a husband who will be there for him just as he will be there for them.
The chemistry in this book is stronger than in Oh Buoy, the first book in the Voyagers series. Maybe it’s because so much time is spent spinning out Dylan’s life story and I was able to get to know him better as a character. However, that’s also a bit of the downside of this book; because so much of it is Dylan reciting his life story so that it can be turned into a book, it’s heavy on the telling rather than showing. However, Max and Dylan (much like Andrew and Rowan from book one) have such a good and honest rapport that it’s easy to see why and how they work together. This is helped by the smooth, easy writing style. I read this book in a single sitting and — other than the slightly too-pat, too-storybook end where every problem ends up not being a real problem at all — I had a good time with it.
If you’re looking for a low-angst romance with two guys who get each other and get along, then this should really work for you. A very solid thumb’s up!
Thanks for your review, Elizabeth! This does sound appealing.