Event planner Levi Goode is positioned to inherit the newly vacated throne, becoming the in-demand party planner for Wilde City’s elite. Years of hard work and perseverance are finally paying off as Levi lands his next big fish, working with socialite Julia Freeman-Kingsley. Distracted by work and dealing with his head strong mother, an ex-Vegas-showgirl suffering from debilitating health issues, Levi has his hands full. Time for love or even the occasional one-night stand, is one aspect of life Levi hasn’t been able to master.
Sparks of interest fly during a chance meeting with a paramedic called to the aid of his mother, and thanks to Ruby’s meddling, Levi finds himself on a movie-date with the handsome Paramedic Jake. Personal and professional worlds collide when Levi realizes his new love interest is actually Jake Freeman, estranged brother to his brand new client. Discovering the man of his dreams already has a boyfriend, leaves Levi stunned realizing any hopes he had for something more with Jake were never going to be anything more than wishful thinking.
Struggling to downshift his expectations and remain friends with Jake while continuing to work closely with Julia quickly consumes all of his time and attention. Wondering if there will ever be a special someone to love him, is where Levi’s love story begins.
Emotional cheating is still cheating. Having said that, I was okay with the cheating in this story, because I could see how hard both Jake and Levi fight against the attraction and the desire they have for each other.
The story starts out with Levi, a highly sought-after event planner, pulling off a charity event nearly flawlessly. There is a lot of info about the event itself, the business, Levi's friend/employee Valerie (who's the quintessential fag hag, OMG), which was a little on the dry side.
Levi is single and without any prospects. He spends his time between running his business, meeting with clients, and looking after his mother who has some severe health issues. These health issues are the reason Levi meets Jake, a paramedic, at his mother's house when she takes a fall.
The attraction between the two is immediate, and they meet for a movie shortly after. Nothing much happens, though Levi and Jake both appear to want something to happen.
A few days later, Levi is meeting with Julia Freeman, his next client. Jake turns out to be Julia's brother. And, it also turns out, Jake hasn't been quite open and honest with Levi about Jake's long-time boyfriend.
For Levi, things come to a screeching halt on the love interest front, because he refuses to go after a guy in a committed relationship.
The book is written with Ethan Day's usual humorous banter style, with lots of one-liners that made me giggle, but also smartly addresses the serious theme of cheating, in body and thought.
I liked that we got to see both men struggle with the emotions they're experiencing, with the guilt they're feeling, and how they fight the mutual attraction, but can't help falling in love anyway.
Most of the book is taken up with various situations in which Levi and Jake are in the same room for one reason or another, and start to learn more about each other, which only aids their emotional connection.
There were some supersweet moments, as well as some that made me angry with Jake and for Levi, who tried so hard to be a good person. I felt on occasion that Jake was trying to have his cake and eat it to, not willing to give up the sure thing he had in Victor for the unknown with Levi, but unable to stop from pursuing the man anyway.
I liked the supporting characters, though Valerie was OTT on occasion, but I adored the part Angelo got to play. I'd like to see a book about him at some point - seeing him fall hard for someone and give up his playboy ways would be a blast, I think.
Julia had a great scene toward the end, with some really good insight that she imparts not only on Victor but Jake as well.
Overall, this was a rather nice novel, and I enjoyed reading it very much. I think you will too.
** I received a free ARC from the publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **
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