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Everyone admires Michael Lamont for being a nurse, but his part-time work as a gay sex surrogate not only raises eyebrows, it’s cost him relationships. Michael is small, beautiful, and dedicated to working with people who need him. But what he really wants is a love of his own. He spends most of his spare time reading science fiction, especially books written by his favorite author and long-time crush, the mysteriously reclusive J.C. Guise.
James Gallway’s life is slowly but inexorably sliding downhill. He wrote a best-selling science fiction novel at the tender age of eighteen, while bedridden with complications of polio. But by twenty-eight, he’s lost his inspiration and his will to live. His sales from his J.C. Guise books have been in decline for years. Wheelchair bound, James has isolated himself, convinced he is unlovable. When he is forced to do a book signing and meets Michael Lamont, he can’t believe a guy who looks like Michael could be interested in a man like him.
Michael and James are made for each other. But they must let go of stubbornness to see that life finds a way and love has no limitations
I HEART THIS BOOK SO HARD!
Eli Easton is such a great storyteller. And as much as I’ve loved all her books to date, I wondered with this being her first full-length novel, how she’d fare. Would she be able to sustain the story over 250 pages? Well, she KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PARK. This book is the perfect balance of strong/memorable characters, an emotional story arc, some deep development with both MC’s, a clever inclusion of a book within a book…and all the FEELZ all over the place.
Michael is a nurse and a part-time sex surrogate. And though I’ve met Michael in the past (this is the 3rd book of Easton’s Sex in Seattle series…but it can ABSOLUTELY be read as a standalone (and it’s the strongest of the series to date)), I never really…understood Michael. He was a bit flirty, he did this “sex thing” for a living, and I didn’t know where he was coming from.
Meeting Michael in this book was a REVELATION and a LOVE AFFAIR. He is one of my FAVORITE characters to date. He is kind…I don’t know that I can come up with another character in any book that is as kind as Michael Lamont…compassionate, his ability to care and give is BEYOND, he’s confident yet vulnerable, he’s fun, he’s accepting, he’s a sci-fi geek, he’s hot…and…and…I LOVE HIM. He’s just a GOOD person. I want to believe that there are Michaels in this real world. He fills my heart with hope.
Michael meets and falls for his favorite author, JC Guise (aka James). James is confined to a wheelchair due to complications from polio from his youth. James’ story is bitterly and achingly sad. I cried so much as more and more of his past was revealed. I hurt for James the child. I hurt for James the adult. His loneliness…his fear…his shame. GAH…I’m crying just thinking about it. But for someone so so so low…so lost…it would take a HEART as HUGE as Michael’s to show him how to love.
This is a TRUE friends-to-lovers story…and one where the friendship in and of itself was so satisfying. I wasn’t just counting the pages until they hooked up. I loved growing with the both of them and getting to know both Michael and James better through the friendship. In fact, I do think, if there’s a weakness to the story, it was mostly during the love relationship (I thought James morphed a bit into a caricature of the reclusive, angry guy when he was hurt…the selfishness and Michael subsequently being a bit of a pushover, in my opinion…was the only part of the book that didn’t sit entirely right with me).
There were 3 things that absolutely made this book stand out: the flashbacks to James’ childhood (gah…my heart! it hurts!), all of Michael’s sex surrogacy sessions w/ his patients (holy crap…those were SO powerful, yet subtle. Talk about ‘killing me softly’…so so good), and most of all, the excerpts of the fictional book “Sentimental Cyanide” and what those would eventually come to mean. I thought those bits were OUTSTANDING. And I want to READ Lamb’s story! (<-that’s a hint, Eli!) :)
I cannot recommend this book enough. It’s emotional, it’s sweet, it’s sad, it’s hopeful, it’s beautiful, and it’s powerful. So so good…