“Despite your best efforts, people are going to be hurt when it’s time for them to be hurt.”– Haruki Murakami
Author: River Jaymes
Pages/Word Count: 225
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: Professionally, Dr. Alec Johnson has almost reached his goals. As this year’s recipient of a humanitarian award with his ex, Dr. Tyler Hall, Alec’s work with the homeless is about to be recognized. Unfortunately, his personal life sucks because now he has to attend several events alongside Tyler—with his ex’s new boyfriend in tow. In an attempt to lift his mood and break out of his rut, Alec purchases a motorcycle he has no idea how to start.
Dylan Booth doesn’t have time for Dr. Clueless and his fickle 1964 Harley, but the cocky mechanic can’t say no to the request for help. Having spent his teen years on the streets, and losing his best friend to HIV, Dylan decides teaching the do-gooder how to ride is the least he can do. But watching Alec flounder in his ex’s company throws Dylan into protector mode, and the confirmed hetero introduces himself as Alec’s new boyfriend.
The ex suspects Dylan is lying.
Alec claims Dylan’s plan is insane.
And Dylan’s not sure he can fake being gay.
But he’s a master bullshitter, and the phony PDA soon turns ultra-hot. Alec can’t afford to get attached, and Dylan’s learned everyone eventually leaves. Unfortunately, playing the backup boyfriend is starting to feel way too real…
Review: Alec and Tyler had been together for years. They were doctors who both had a passion for working with the homeless. They had built a clinic together as well as a life, until Tyler decided he didn’t want the personal side of their relationship to continue. He left Alec and almost immediately had a new boyfriend. In recognition of their work at the clinic, Alec and Tyler are to receive a humanitarian award. There will be a formal event that both men need to attend and Alec is dreading seeing Tyler with his new man on his arm.
While Alec was spinning around trying to make sense of his new reality, he had a bit of a teenage rebellion. Against the advice of a friend who he should have heeded, Alec bought a motorcycle. His friend didn’t advise against a motorcycle in general, just this one. It is old, temperamental and Alec has no idea how to even start it. When Alec’s motorcycle fails him on the side of the road, he finds Dylan Booth, a cocky, arrogant mechanic. Dylan doesn’t have time to deal with a do-gooder who knows nothing about his own motorcycle, which was obviously an impulse buy.
Dylan spent his teenage years on the streets. He watched his best friend die from HIV. He is impressed with the work Alec does, and decides to take time to teach him how to ride his new-to-him motorcycle. During their first lesson, Alec’s ex shows up with his new boyfriend to pick up the last of his belongings. Dylan is appalled by Tyler’s arrogance and the way he treats Alec. So much so that he introduces himself as Alec’s boyfriend. This comes as a surprise to all of them, including the straight Dylan.
Dylan agrees to be Alec’s date to the gala that the two doctors need to attend to receive their award and grant. The time they spend together riding their motorcycles and getting to know each other develops into a real friendship. Then the play-acting the part of Alec’s boyfriend starts to feel a little too real for both Dylan and Alec. Both of them have been hurt so much in the past. Maybe this time will be different.
I loved this book. The characters were well developed and easy to love. Their vulnerability was easy to recognize and painful to read, especially Dylan’s, who was this tough guy greasy mechanic whom no one would ever think of as vulnerable. Once Alec and Dylan learn to talk to each other and stop assuming each knows what the other is thinking, it is a beautiful thing.
This is a story of opposites attracting, but under the surface, they have so much in common. They have suffered loss and have felt the pain of being alone and lonely. River Jaymes does a great job of creating layers to the characters that defy what you see on the outside. I am looking forward to many more works from this writer.