Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Sometimes, it’s not the story or the characters or the writing style that push a book to the top of my ratings, it’s the author’s ability to make me laugh out loud. Now, add to that ability a cast of very engaging, interesting characters, a few tropes that I love (age gap and fake boyfriend) and a well-written, fast-paced contemporary story set in London and the beautiful English countryside, and I was given a delightful two days of lighthearted cheer.
Zeb Evans grew up quickly when it became evident that the messes his father left behind could only be cleared up by his son. Married seven times, and losing any accumulated wealth nearly the moment he got it, Zeb vowed that he’d never live in chaos again, and to this he’s held true. He’s intelligent, organized, and in control, running his own employment agency with a tight fist. For this reason, when the gregarious, snarky, devil-may-care Jesse Reed applies for a job with Zeb’s agency, everyone is shocked that Zeb immediately hires him.
Over the years, he drives Zeb crazy with his wit and humor and ability to get into—and out of—trouble. So it’s a surprise when Zeb needs a date to his ex-boyfriend’s wedding and he asks Jesse to be his fake boyfriend. From the moment they step into the high-class, posh hotel the engaged couple has rented for a weeklong series of games and festivities to the moment they leave, I laughed and cried and then cried again because I was laughing so hard. Lily Morton’s sense of humor is fantastic. And the sex scenes, though not many, were scorchin’ hot.
Some of the situations were tense as Zeb’s boyfriend, snobby Patrick, really wants Zeb back and Zeb is clueless, of course. And he wants him only on the side, of course. Jesse cares deeply for Zeb, so his tolerance for Patrick and his equally snobby parents gives multiple opportunities of laugh-out-loud moments. Zeb can’t seem to let go of his need to please everyone and to maintain control, nor can he let go of the age difference between he and Jesse and these issues cause the most trouble in the end. The good news is that eventually Zeb realizes that Jesse is his “best man,” but the rollercoaster ride to get there is well-worth taking the time to read this delightful story.
The cover by Natasha Snow features a very handsome man who represents the Zeb in all his gorgeous glory.
Sales Links: Amazon
Kindle Edition, 241 pages
Published October 3rd 2019
Edition Language English
Series Close Proximity #1