Sam Hayward's parents think he has a boyfriend. And he does... in his dreams. But when they insist Sam bring his partner to the annual Labor Day family reunion, his options are to either admit it was all a lie or find a stand-in in a hurry. The trouble is that his lies have all been based on one very real man.
Ben Matheny has been hurt before. When he's bribed into playing a part by his friends, he fleshes out Sam's dreams, but it's like flying too close to the sun. He's always had a crush on Sam, and now they're going to the Hamptons to spend a weekend pretending they're lovers, everything is getting harder.
When Ben uncovers another lie Sam has told - that Ben is every bit as rich as Sam is - things begin to unravel. If Sam isn't happy with who Ben is, Ben can't stick around to get burned again.
With their hearts on the line, the two must fight for their dreams as the pressure mounts. It would be so easy to admit that it was all a sham, but some dreams are worth the risk.
I'm super late with this review - my apologies to the author.
This book uses the fake-boyfriend trope, in which the fake boyfriend eventually turns into a real boyfriend.
Sam has been lying to his parents about having a boyfriend - and it's even worse, because the man Sam pretends to be his actually exists, even though Sam has created a whole persona that is based on lies. And now Sam's parents insist that Sam bring his boyfriend to the annual Labor Day family reunion.
Ben is a struggling photographer and the man featuring prominently in Sam's desires. And Sam's lies. He reluctantly agrees to accompany Sam to the family reunion after being bribed into it. I say reluctantly because even though Ben is half in love with Sam too, he always thought him way out of his league.
Because Sam has money and Ben does not.
Sam works because he wants to. Ben works because he needs to.
Ben is a bit wary at first, especially since there's someone in his past who hurt him badly, by making him feel that he wasn't good enough.
I liked Ben, and I liked most of Sam's family (his grandma especially), but I didn't really like Sam all that much. He comes across as a spoiled brat on occasion, and he sounded younger than his actual years a few times.
Of course, as expected, Sam's lies begin to unravel over their weekend in the Hamptons, and he hurts Ben badly when the truth comes out. Inevitably, they make up and get their happy ending, because, after all, this is a romance novel.
It's a sweet story, with a well-used trope, and while it ends on a good note, I had reservations about Sam's maturity level and his reasons for lying - he made out his family to be so much worse than they actually were.
This is the kind of story that you read when you need something fluffy with little angst.
** I received a free copy of this book from Gay Book Promotions as part of a tour in exchange for an honest review. **
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