Rating: 4 stars out of 5
At twenty-seven, Micah Geller has more money than he needs, a job he loves, a debut book coming out and a brilliant career in information security before him. What he doesn’t have is a partner to share it with—a fact that he’s never allowed to bother him much. Until Daphne, a close friend, gives him the card of a high-class escort she highly recommends. Micah has no intention of contacting the man, but a moment of drunken weakness unleashes the longing romantic in him and Micah wakes to find that he’s made a ‘date’ with the man… a date for which he’s paid over a thousand dollars in advance and tasked Angel to: “Show me what it’s like to feel loved.”
A well-written story with intriguing main characters. It’s written entirely from Micah’s point of view, and I’m coming to find more and more that single POV isn’t my favorite. So often it leaves me wanting to be more in touch with the other character. Being on the outside and seeing only through Micah’s eyes, we get a very one-sided view of Angel for quite a long while. There are hints that things are going on beyond what we see, which was fine at first but I did began to get frustrated when Micah either didn’t pick up on things or got sidetracked from them so easily.
Micah is successful and a bit of a nerd/geek. Due to being hurt by his first and only boyfriend Brian, he’s leery of relationships. Brian, his ex, is portrayed in such a negative manner that it rather left me wondering what Micah had ever seen in him that had caused him to be so very much in love that his breakup with him would cause him such pain and disillusionment. I’d have loved to see more nuance to Brian in his memories, the good along with the bad.
Angel is bi-sexual and a larger percentage of his clients are female than are male. After the initial fantasy date, due to being seen by someone close to him, Micah chooses to rehire Angel to be his pretend boyfriend a few times rather than admitting to having hired an escort.
The relationship between these two is slow to build, often one step forward and two steps back, and I enjoyed that. Micah continued servicing his clients for some time after they met, and Micah didn’t once attempt to sway him away from doing so. Also while Micah easily could have taken advantage of fulfilling his sexual fantasies with Angel, for the most part he didn’t, even after he paid him for a sexual date. He’s a very sweet guy, and I loved that about him. Loved the slow burn of their romance.
Even after we get to the point of seeing a bit more about what is going on with Angel, things still moved slowly. A few things bugged me about Angel/Aiden’s motivations for doing the things he did, they were a bit over the top of the whore with the heart of gold theme for me. The info given on his background didn’t make me buy into him having enough motivation to prompt him into doing what he did for the reason he did. And Micah’s family were all way too sweet and accepting of a situation that might well have caused at least a smidge of concern. A minor annoyance I found jumping out at me quite early was how often both of the characters winked, it started to feel contrived after a while.
Overall though, I very much enjoyed reading this exploration of two men slowly learning to trust in each other after both have had trust issues in the past. There were many poignant and sweet moments that kept me fully enthralled. The sexual tension was high, and the romance was at times deeply touching.
The cover sparkled. It stood out from the others and called to me with its art and the bright, warm sparkly colors.