Rating: 4 stars out of 5
From the moment Dwyer Knolls is called into the conference room early on a Monday morning, fearing that he’s about to lose his job, his life takes an unexpected turn for the better. He’s not fired— instead he’s praised for his work, despite the fact that his former boss had criticized him for creating a huge mess on one of his projects. But his former boss is the one who is fired and when he meets the new Managing Director, Dwyer is praised for that job he once thought he screwed up. The Managing Director and others who will now be part of his team were brought in directly from Japan to bring life to their company, Sakura Industries. Among them is Hiroyuki Takeo, a stunning young man who will later become Dwyer’s friend, his boss, and the man he eventually falls in love with.
These relationship dynamics take place over the course of three years and nothing comes to a head between them until one day when Dwyer unexpectedly finds himself alone on a plane with Takeo. They’re heading to Florida to make the final decisions on a huge real estate deal which could make or break their careers. Despite how much he loves being in Takeo’s company, Dwyer knows that this long weekend will be excruciating for the simple reason that he’s grown to love the stunning, slender, young man and he’s afraid he’ll tip his hand. He’s one of the few people who know what Takeo is really like— that he’s competent and caring, smart and dedicated, but just so worried about making sure that everything is perfect for everyone else that he’s perceived as a negative perfectionist who is never happy.
Dwyer knows Takeo inside and out and he also knows that he cares deeply for the man, maybe too deeply. When the two find themselves staying at a bed and breakfast and sharing one room, Dwyer nearly turns back. He’s shocked when it becomes evident that Takeo has been harboring lustful feelings toward him, and presented with the opportunity to act on their lust, the two go at it hot and heavy.
This story is fairly short, definitely sweet, with a bit of a reverse on Mary Calmes’s usual formula. Dwyer is a big guy, friendly, smart, competent and a huge support to his supervisor and teammates. Takeo is small and slender, socially inept, and the son of the company’s owner who can’t seem to do anything that pleases his father. Yet he’s the boss, the supposed alpha of the pair. Their chemistry flames when they do finally get together and their HEA is secured in a warm and loving partnership. The book takes its name from Blue Daze, a flower that grows in the Florida Panhandle, and from the fact that in Japanese culture, blue represents purity, calmness and stability.
I recommend this to fans of Mary Calmes and those who enjoy a sweet, simple M/M romance. And for those who love epilogues, there’s a brief mention of Aaron Sutter and his love, Duncan Stiel from “Parting Shot”.
The cover art by Reese Dante depicts a young man wearing a suit and gazing out over a body of blue water with a field of blue daze flowers in the background. It depicts the sweetness of the story perfectly.
book, 98 pages
Published November 5th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press