Rating: 4 stars out of 5
This is the first book of the Why You? series and I read this after I read the second book. I wasn’t actually going to read it, considering that Fletcher Andrews, the MC, was such a cheater and broke Roger’s heart. I don’t read cheating and I was going into this already hating Fletch. He’s beautiful, languorous, gets what he wants and drops his pants for everyone. So of course, I hate him. But this book is about losing something you didn’t realize how much you treasured and what it does to you to try to get it back.
Fletch and Roger were living together, happily and homey, until Roger finds out Fletch has been cheating on him. It devastates Roger and he throws Fletch out. They don’t see each other for two years until they accidentally meet at the opera. Fletch is with his sugar daddy, Darwin, and Roger is with his bestie, Tommy. While Tommy is thrilled to meet costume-designer Darwin, Fletch is more interested in Roger’s reaction. “Was he impressed? With my six-time Tony-winning date?” Right there I thought, my god, this guy is clueless. Luckily, he gets that clue. “And when Roger looked at me, he saw that I was just today’s eye candy, an expensive accessory like a watch. The boy du jour.” That one simple thing made Fletch take a hard look at himself. “Let’s be honest – if you go on a date and can show profit at the end of the evening, there’s a word for that. And that’s what Roger saw when he looked at me.”
Fletch also comes to realize that what he wants in life is Roger. Roger has a boyfriend, Jeffrey, another lawyer but that doesn’t matter to Fletch. He wants Roger back and he wants to do it right this time. We get some flashbacks not only into the pain Fletch caused Roger but also the how they met and some good things. “And although it ended miserably, which spoiled everything, if I could look beyond that – and let’s face it, I hardly ever could – but when I could look beyond that, I could see it had been a fantastic period in my life. I knew it at the time. I’d never been happier, and I had thought it would go on like that forever.” Oh, Roger.
This is told in alternating first person point of view, so we get the full extent of Fletch’s remorse and Roger’s pain. This is more striking because Roger is dealing with his current boyfriend, the infamous Jeffrey, who often acts like a jerk. The Jeffrey of book two doesn’t seem to be the same Jeffrey here. He does two terrible things, one of which I would expect of him but the other shocked me. No wonder Fletch got so angry, “Imagine how I felt, hearting Roger defend this smug, self-righteous, hypocritical little pr**k”.
Fletch goes to great lengths to win Roger back, and sometimes is dangerously close to being a stalker, but he’s putting Roger first this time, all the way. Roger is trying to fight it because he’s scared. The effects of infidelity can be long lasting and far reaching. “Because that’s what it came down to. Sure, Fletch says he loves me, and maybe he even meant it….But does any of this mean that he isn’t going to pull his boxers down for the next casual acquaintance or total stranger who looks even mildly interested?” That is the biggest hurdle.
As in Jeffrey and Theo’s book, there are times I wanted to hug Roger (well, that was really all the time) and times I wanted to hug Fletch. These guys, they grow on you and make you care what happens. When the bad things come out, I cringed and wanted it somehow to work out.
We get the history of Fletch, which isn’t pretty and he doesn’t share easily, and we get his dedicated efforts to win Roger back. There are times when Jeff and Fletch seem like they are about to pee on Roger to stake their claim. It was funny and ridiculous. We also get to have Tommy in this and he is completely lovely. I want his story so badly. He gives such great advice. “I don’t know. Have you ever asked him?”
One thing that I would have liked was a better reason why Fletch cheated on Roger, constantly and repeatedly, when he himself admitted he was a great boyfriend. Yes, I get it that Fletch didn’t believe in love, didn’t believe in relationships, didn’t believe in anything, but it really made him shallow. “You could think twice about hurting me horribly, or you could get – whatever- with whomever. And we can see which was more important to you.” Even though it’s two years in the past, my heart broke for Roger.
There is no on-page sex here and that worked for me. I have a problem with all issues big and small being solved by the magic penis. It makes me roll my eyes. Here, they have to work things out the old fashioned way. While I’m sure people are going to skip this book because of the infidelity, as I was going to, that would be a shame because that isn’t what this is about. It’s about redemption, forgiveness and understanding what you need. I would highly recommend this.
The cover, two men walking a Scottish terrier with only half their heads visible, was pretty spot on for me. The casual elegant beauty of Fletch and the more buttoned up handsomeness of Roger. Oddly, throughout the book I kept picturing Roger as older or less attractive. Maybe I was judgy about his name. But the depiction on the cover is more how he should be.
Sales Link: Amazon
Kindle Edition, 266 pages
Published October 17th 2017 by Lyrical Press
Original TitleWhere Do I Start?
SeriesWhy You? #1