…we're keeping our name but expanding our offerings!
Successful owner of an upscale boutique in fabulous West Hollywood, Brandon Good swears by his personal edict to “live in the present.” After a bad breakup, he agrees to dog-sit to keep his mind off his ex. Never did he expect the dog to belong to a man from his past, the only man to ever truly break his heart.
When Jake Westley relocates to join the WeHo fire department, the last thing he anticipates is reuniting with his secret high school love. Thrilled with the prospect of reconnecting with Bran, Jake feels no guilt in using his charming old dog as an unwitting matchmaker. As he and Bran rekindle their friendship, it becomes clear the intense attraction they once felt is stronger than ever. But as hard as they try to leave the past behind, painful memories resurface. Bran will have to confront his fears and consider the possibility that the man he swore was absolutely the wrong one might be perfect after all.
The Wrong Man is the second book in Lane Hayes’s newest series, Right and Wrong. Honestly, I haven’t read the first book but I found no problems getting into it. This is a very solid second chance slow-burn type of story with a help from a beloved Labrador dog. When Brandon Good accepted his employee’s request to babysit her neighbor’s dog, he never thought that he would be meeting with his (sort of) ex high-school boyfriend again, Jake Westley.
I thought Hayes was able to paint Brandon’s fear in a realistic and engaging way. Brandon was pretty much betrayed by Jake twelve years ago when Jake, who was still in the closet at that time, backed out from their plan to go to prom together and blatantly showed PDA with another teenage girl in front of Brandon. I could feel his hurt, the way he kept people at arms’ length. The way Brandon refused to acknowledge his feelings for Jake or admit that Jake was anything more than just ‘friends with benefits’. I can be a sucker for characters who build walls around their hearts because when the walls fall down, it can deliver emotionally satisfying scenes. And it did here – the part where Brandon finally came undone made my eyes a little watery; especially because it involved Mack.
And I need to tell you about Mack. OMG, Mack. He was a thirteen year old Labrador and he stole my heart completely. In fact, he is probably one of the most beloved secondary characters I ever encountered in MM romance. It was clear that Brandon’s caring for Mack helped him to open his heart to love; to cherish every single day being with someone (or some dogs) even if there is a possibility of losing them one day. And that helped Brandon to try rekindling his relationship with Jake even with his trepidations.
There was nothing dramatic about how Brandon and Jake found their way back to love. I thought they had beautiful chemistry and everything flowed quite naturally, even if they had a few bumps here and there. Brandon and Jake were an opposites-attract type of couple and it worked well here.
I also loved how they didn’t really have ‘external’ issues to deal with – I mean, sure there were both Brandon’s and Jake’s exes in the picture but it was clear from the beginning that both men were committed with each other, even if they had not defined their relationship as, well, a relationship. Neither Brandon nor Jake gave their exes excuses to think they had any chance with them.
I do wonder about the exes though … in my experience with her Better Than series, Hayes sometimes matched two men whom I never thought would be together. Could she plan Derek (Jake’s ex) and Trevor (Brandon’s ex) to be involved somehow? That might be very intriguing …
Anyway, this is definitely my favorite Lane Hayes’s story so far. I will try to go back and see if I enjoy the first book as well.