I had high expectations for this book, because of its author, and while he didn't let me down, I did end up disliking Julian to the point of it costing this book that extra half star.
This book is at its core about two men whose expectations of love and relationships have been set by the examples they had in their parents. They don't believe in love. Overrated. Love is a useless emotion. Right.
Fundamentally, Cody and Julian are rather well-suited to each other, their personalities meshing nicely, but because of their belief systems, their oopsie-on-a-dare marriage appears to be doomed from the start.
Julian is adamant that he's not going to fall in love. While he's openly gay and won his senate seat while openly gay, and while he supports same-sex marriage and equality, he has no intention of ever getting married or being in love. His parents' marriage is Exhibit A, and no, sirree, it's not for him. Besides, he almost got married once, but that didn't work out, so here's Exhibit B. No love for Julian, thanks.
Cody too has a lot of reservations about love and marriage. He's in Vegas for a bachelor party weekend, seeing one of his frat brothers tying the knot. He feels the pressure of taking the next step in adulthood, meaning finding The One and getting hitched, but his mother's bad luck in love has warned him off that path. He's perfectly happy not being in love and finding his meat-du-jour.
Except, they are both looking for the same thing - companionship, friendship, having someone to come home to. Sex. Someone who supports you. More sex. Everything a relationship offers, except the love part. Because, you know, love is overrated. And love can hurt you.
So their agreement after their hasty Vegas marriage is a six-month trial period of living together and seeing whether this works for them both. Sex is off the table, because neither wants the holy hot boysecks they had the night before to distract them from making the right decision. And they agree that they will not fall in love.
Famous last words.
Jacob easy writing style always draws me right in, and this book is no exception. What carried it for me, and what kept me glued to the pages, is Cody. He was adorable and sweet and kind, even if he's a bit of a rake early on, but he seemed committed to making things work and help Julian retain his senate seat. He works within Julian's rigid rules (borne out of a need to control all things), but also tries to pull him out of his head and enjoy life.
Love always finds a way, though, no matter how oblivious or dead-set against it the characters may be. When things come to a head, because love does happen as it's wont to do, and Julian does a stupid thing that hurts Cody, I was so upset that I nearly didn't finish the book. He really ticked me off, and I think because I so adored Cody, it made me even more angry how Julian treated him.
The book has plenty of humorous moments though, and I did enjoy reading it. I especially liked Cody's Days Of Our Lives soap opera obsession, and thought that the author cleverly used that theme with tongue-in-cheek. And while we get a tentative HEA, as expected because this is a romance after all, I would have liked to see an epilogue to really cement it. I wasn't quite as ready to forgive Julian as Cody was, and would have preferred a bit more begging.
By design, this book is low on steam on-page, but high on UST, which was highly entertaining.
While is is a Dreamspun Desires title and certainly has a Harlequin-type feeling to it, it's also the 2nd book in the One Fine Day series. In that it too fits well within the overall theme.
Nicely done, Jacob, even if Julian made me mad.
** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **
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