Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A Love You So story.
Ben Shane has it all…and he’d like to give some of it back. While he loves his job heading a foundation that funds worthy causes around the world, his engagement to one of America’s wealthiest men leaves him feeling more like a trophy wife than a valued partner. The first warning that his relationship might not be designed to last is his irresistible lust for Dusty Kincaid, the golden-haired, bright-eyed handyman for his company.
Though Dusty is odd for a 23-year-old – no liquor, no sugar, and he can’t even drive – the more Ben gets to know Dusty, the more he admires him. But is Ben going to give up a guy who drives a Ferrari for one who takes the bus?
He must be mad. Dusty knows he and Ben can never work. After all, Ben’s perfect…and Dusty isn’t. But Ben might surprise everyone with proof that he’s only mad in love.
If you love sweet contemporary MM romance, then here is a light-hearted story that is high on the warmth, feel goodery aspect and pretty much low on the angst. It’s also on the short side, so if you are new to the experience of listening to novels in the audioformat, this is just the right length for a first introduction.
Lain’s character of Ben Shane is someone we can all connect with. Hardworking, Ben is totally invested in his job working with charities and finding investors to partner with them. It’s rewarding work and he enjoys it, long hours and all. Not so his wealthy, privileged fiance,Alan Ashland, who feels that Ben’s time should be spent with him, ala kept husband since Alan has more money he can spend in several lifetimes. It doesn’t seem to matter what Ben is saying about the importance of his job or work, Alan doesn’t seem to be getting it. Not a great thing with a wedding in the works.
I loved the character of Ben, he’s well defined, layered, and relatable. Alan? Well, he’s just about every rich boy stereotype rolled into one, and that may be accurate, as a person, he doesn’t come across as anything but less dimensional. Probably intentionally as he’s not someone you would want to spend time with. The voice given to him by narrator Ry Forrest reinforces that impression perfectly of a spoiled rich young man with all the depth of a summer puddle on a 100 degree day. Nope, not lidable at all.
Than there’s Dusty who comes with a bit of a mystery. It won’t take a genius for someone to figure out it’s medical but as I don’t do spoilers I won;t go further here. Dustry is the polar opposite of Alan. With a wide open personality, charming and fun, happy and easy to be around, Ben is quickly drawn to the man that is everything he needs and wants.
This romance drew me in as quickly as I connected to the men involved. The contrast with Alan’s annoying appearances with Dusty’s interaction with Ben and, well, everyone around him, it was clear chemistry in the air. There is a riotous, strong woman at the center as well. Adored her too. No, not Dusty’s mother.
If I had my concerns, it was bringing up a serious medical issues in a short story of this length. I don’t believe you can adequately address it but Tara Lain does a good job.
This story moves along quickly, there’s obstacles (because of course you have to have a few), and and absolutely lovely ending. The original story is only 120 pages in all, so when I say it goes by swiftly, it does. The narrator, Ry Forest , does an excellent job with all the characters, different voices no matter the gender, and manages to sweep us along on this sweet emotional rollercoaster ride of a romance.
Cover Artist: Reese Dante. I love this cover. It’s in keeping with the branding for the series but it’s lightness and sweetness is in character for Dusty.
Listening Length: 4 hours and 36 minutes
Audible Audio, 5 pages
Published September 14th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published May 29th 2018)
Original Title Love You So Madly
Edition Language English
Series Love You So Stories #2
setting California (United States)