Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Hudson Barber loves his twin brother, Dalvon, but as the story opens, he’d like to kill him too. Dalvon, a high-paid model, has left his billionaire boyfriend’s estate on the island of Ibiza, and all the responsibilities related to running it, and headed to the US using Hudson’s passport. He didn’t even have the balls to tell his boyfriend, Miguel Garcia Arquero, that he was going, nor did he take care of the businesses he was supposed to be running. In short, he left Hudson holding the bag for managing the businesses, straightening out the estate, and telling Miguel that his boyfriend has taken off. Add to that the fact that Dal has settled in with Will, Hudson’s ex-boyfriend, and Hudson is not a happy man.
Dal has always been the pretty one—beautiful, lighthearted, and empty-headed—unlike his fraternal twin who takes responsibility seriously and is pursuing his MBA diligently. Left with no choice, Hudson uses the time while Miguel is away to streamline functions in the household, turn part of the villa into a luxury getaway for the wealthy, revamp the nightclub and make the restaurant more efficient. Within three months, he’s taken the businesses Dal was supposed to manage and made them profitable. He’s also gotten permission from his academic advisor to use this experience as independent study for this semester so he has until the end of the semester, around the time that Miguel is due home, to make everything perfect.
And he’s hit with a few surprises. The first is that Miguel comes home early, and Hudson loses all hold on his emotions and his intellect. He’s gob smacked by Miguel, and the feeling is reciprocated. Never having been in love, and as the product of the foster care system and protector of his brother, Hudson has never been number one in anyone’s life, so when Miguel treats him as if he is precious and necessary to Miguel’s life, he flounders helplessly in a sea of confusion. And then there’s the gun running. One little detail Dal forgot to tell Hudson—Dal took possession of a million dollar shipment of arms from a gunrunner and now it’s time to pay up. Oh, oh.
This story follows the pattern of many of Mary Calmes’s stories in that one MC is beloved by friends or family or both and the other is tall, dark, alpha, and powerful and becomes the love of the other’s life and vice versa. Personally, I love the formula, and in this case, I loved these characters. Hudson had personality, wit and intelligence. He also had a need to be needed and to be loved, and when Miguel came along and swept him up in both need and love, it was a match made in heaven.
There’s a whole host of secondary characters, many of whom are strong women. (Thank you, Mary Calmes!) The setting, the story, the characters, and especially Hudson and his soulmate Miguel make this one of my favorites. The only thing I’d change is to make the story longer. It gave me a pick-me-up just when I needed it most. I recommend this story to those who enjoy MM romance with a strong, masculine and wealthy hero and a sweet, intelligent and needy nerd. It’s fairly short so would make the perfect treat when you are heading to the beach, an airplane ride, or just want to devour something fantastic real quick.
Cover Art by Reese Dante depicts a young man lying on his back with his arm raised above his head as if he’s sleeping. The white background and bright red title letters make the cover unassuming but smart— just like Hudson.
Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon
ebook, 126 pages
Expected publication: March 16th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press