Rating: 4 stars out of 5
NFL football player Isaiah Blackwell lost his husband three years ago and is raising their teen son alone. He lives his life as quietly as his job allows, playing ball to support his family but trying not to draw unwanted attention. His quiet life is shaken up when a mutual friend introduces him to Victor, a visiting principal ballet dancer who is everything Isaiah is not.
Brash and loud, Victor Aleksandrov has applied for political asylum to avoid returning to Russia, where gay men are targeted and persecuted. He’s been outspoken about gay rights in his home country, and if he doesn’t get asylum, going back to Russia is a death sentence.
Their one-night stand turns into a tentative friendship, a relationship they both agree is temporary…until Victor’s denied asylum. Isaiah can’t offer Victor a happily ever after, but he can propose something that’ll keep Victor in the US and safe…marriage. He just doesn’t expect his new husband to dance away with his heart.
His Convenient Husband is an interesting take on the classic “arranged marriage for legal status” troupe. In most books, only the couple is privy to this information, but in this case, Isaiah’s and Victor’s families and close friends knew the truth; which I like better. They didn’t have to fake their relationship and it grew organically.
Since they were attracted to each other since the beginning it was easy to see where their story would end. How much they tried to keep their feelings out of their friendship and how much of a surprise it was for them to fall for each other. Both men lived very independent lives, and love wasn’t in their plans.
Even when this is an NFL story, it takes place offseason. So there’s no game or football jargon to follow. Most of the story concentrates on Victor’s and Isaiah’s inner tumult and how they avoid anything more than a friendship. We do get to see Victor’s practices and performances, though.
The only thing I wasn’t a fan was the large gaps of time in the story. I wanted to learn more about how they became a family and their interaction with Isaiah’s son, but most of those happened off-page. The moments we did read about were very sweet. As well as the rest of the characters.
The cover by Erin Dameron-Hill shows a handsome Isiah and it highlights his aloof attitude. The rest is a bit simplistic.
ebook, 202 pages
Published: October 9, 2017, by Entangled Publishing
Edition Language: English
Series: Love and Sports
Book #1: His Convenient Husband