When Liam's best friend has to leave town on business, he asks for a favor—be an emergency contact for his cousin who is new in town. Liam doesn’t think twice before he accepts. He's great with numbers and confidently plays the odds, because nobody ever uses those emergency contacts, right? Wrong. The very next Sunday, cousin Garrett shows up at Liam’s apartment, fresh-faced, devastatingly gorgeous, and nothing like Liam had dismissively assumed.
Garrett arrived in New York City hoping to make it in the modeling world, and Liam isn't sure what to do with him. While he eventually warms to welcome the distraction, he’s not prepared to have his steady, predictable world overturned. Liam is sure Garrett will soon tire of him and find someone closer in age and less eager for the quiet, settled life Liam prefers. But Garrett is too sweet-natured and naïve to recognize Liam’s dismissal, and he’s not as shallow as Liam presumes.
Although Garrett sees a future for the two of them, Liam manages to push him away. It is only then Liam sees the Garrett-shaped hole in his life.
This book took me by surprise, to be honest. I liked the blurb, which made me request it for review, but I wasn't quite prepared for what I found within its pages.
It's part character study, part life lesson for making assumptions, and part quiet romance that grew on me. I was initially a little bit bored, because nothing really happened, but as we get deeper into Liam's mind, seeing how quickly Garrett makes himself a part of Liam's life, how well the two men fit together, I was more and more spellbound.
Yes, the writing tends to be a bit on the drier side, with lots of big words being used, but that actually fit the character the author created in Liam. Someone who's highly educated, highly analytical, mathematical to the point of using precise calculations on where to put ornaments on a Christmas tree - such a man will not use small, everyday words. No, such a man will use words that most of us won't employ in our daily lives, and thus it fit.
He has a difficult time believing that someone would like him or love him, and he is insecure about himself. He doesn't think that his quiet and somewhat reclusive lifestyle is something a man like Garrett, young and open and enthusiastic, might want, and he is quite adept at talking himself into self-doubt at every corner.
I liked Garrett. He was steady, steadfast, and continued his path despite Liam's hang-ups. A bit naive, maybe, but I don't think he was as thick-headed as we were possibly supposed to believe. I think he was rather smart enough to see right through Liam's attempts, but also wanted the man to come to the right conclusions on his own, with Garrett pushing him too obviously. He had convictions, he acted on them, and he got his man in the end.
There's very little on-screen sex, which actually added to the overall experience of this book, and while the two men engage in bedroom activities relatively early on, this also felt right in the overall story line. Liam, despite his quiet demeanor, is more tactile that he initially appears, and it made sense for him to have a physical relationship earlier than one might expect.
I would have liked to have reached into the book on occasion to smack Liam a little, especially when he almost succeeds in giving up that what he's come to need, but I did feel rather proud of him when he realizes the mistake he's made and sets upon correcting it. With a little help from Garrett, of course.
Lots of self-inflicted angst, for sure, but I think this is worth your time reading. It is a quiet book, for sure, but it packs a punch.
**I received a free copy from the publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **
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