*happy sigh* Its the best feeling ever to find books that I love!! And this is one of them 🙂
This is not a traditional love story. Its about a male prostitute and a single mom finding love and finding a way to make a relationship work despite the difficulties of their situation.
Its wonderful, well-written, and swoony, with toe-curling hotness, a beautifully functional relationship, no stupidity and a very happy ending 🙂
I could tell right from the start that I was going to love it. The writing style was strong and flowed smoothly, I was smiling from the first page and was immediately drawn into the story.
Frustrated with the trials, tribulations, and complications of dating, single mom Jocelyn decides to take her friend’s advice and try an escort service.
“Once in a while… I just want a long night with a beautiful man who wants nothing more than to make me come and fuck me senseless.”
When Sabian shows up at her hotel room, he’s everything she could have wanted and more. Gorgeous, skilled, and basically, every woman’s fantasy. Thrilled with the experience, she hires him a few more times and finds herself quite drawn to him. But the real him, not just the part of him she’s paying for. One thing leads to another and as he starts to open up to her and shows her the man behind Sabian, the real him – Austin, they slowly begin to realize that on so many levels, they are perfect for each other… and so begins the dicey situation of dating an escort…
- “Who do you want?” he asked. “Sabian or Austin?”
k, don’t judge me here but male prostitutes totally have a bit of a thrill to them… and one of them finding love is even better. I guess its something about the whole situation being a little taboo, not allowed, kind of an impossible situation to be in and also to start a relationship in… but the concept it just so hotttt!!!
“Growling in my ear, he said, “Do you want the gentleman or the caveman right now?”
I loved that the story didn’t feel over-the-top or fairy-tale perfect. It felt totally real. It was told entirely from Jocelyn’s POV and you felt right in her head. She was a wonderful heroine with a good head on her shoulders. It was refreshing to have a heroine that I never once wanted to throttle. In fact, there were many many situations where I was actually seriously impressed with the way she was handling things. Makes it much easier to connect to heroines when you actually an understand and sympathize with what’s going on inside their heads.
Sabian/Austin was just… oh my HOT!! I fell in love with him right from the first scene and I’d pretty much just sit there fanning myself through each of the bedroom scenes. But let alone the toe curling, mind blowing sex, the dirty talking, the sweetness, the intensity of what they had was just thrilling. And the whole slightly forbidden aspect of what they had just added to the thrill of it. The fact that what they were doing at first, the sex, was really happening, and yet it was in many ways fake, but with undercurrents of real attraction and desire… and then watching that lead to real desire, and real passion, real intimacy and real intensity… oooooo it was swoony!!
The more comfortable he became with Jocelyn, the more he began to show her the real him – the fun, sweet, artistic guy behind the suave, sophisticated, confident escort. He became so much more real, and as a reader, I got to connect with him on a more personal level seeing him tired from work, groggy in the morning, enjoying video games, nervous on a first real date, cooking food, having fun, just being himself.
But at the same time, I loved his approach to his job. He had no shame in what he did and made a really good case for it actually. I loved that perspective and what it said about him.
“It doesn’t bother you that you’re selling yourself?”
“I’m not selling myself,” he said matter-of-facile, “I sell a service, use my body to give that service… And afterward, I leave with as much of myself as I came in with.”
I absolutely LOVED how respectful Jocelyn was of Austin and his job and the process of curiosity she went through trying to figure it out and finally come to terms with it – asking about his job, trying to find out more about his life. She was inquisitive but never absolutely never looked down on him or judged him negatively for what he did.
And I loved that when they finally came together, nothing was rushed. No insta-love. No fairy-tale everything-falling-into-place perfection. They worked to create a functional, understanding relationship. What they had was unconventional and they had to write their own rules and figure out their own rhythm.
K, something I know a lot of you are going to be wondering about is: does he quit his job once they are together? and hear me out here cuz you probably aren’t going to like the answer. No, he doesn’t quit his job right away. Now, hold up, don’t run for the hills now that you’ve heard that, cuz I’m the kind of person that under pretty much any other circumstance would have hated that, but I can honestly say that I was actually okay with here. Honest. Well, okay, fine, so I wasn’t like ‘okay okay’ with it in the sense of I wasn’t jumping for joy, but at the same time, despite the situation being uncomfortable at times, it never ever felt like he was cheating on her, weird as that may sound.
“There’s sex, and there’s… this.” He met my eyes. “Just being with someone like this. This isn’t something that can be bought or sold, and I couldn’t manufacture it for someone no matter how much they tried to pay me for it…. That’s why I’m here tonight. Because I need this. And here, with you, is the only place I can get it.” He swallowed hard. “Or give it.”
“Just remember one thing: regardless of how anyone chooses to define what I do for a living, I’m not selling what I’m giving you. If this isn’t something you can handle, I’ll understand, but I swear to you. I’ve never given this to anyone. I wouldn’t dream of selling it, even if I could.”
They really highlighted, SO clearly, the difference between ‘sex’ and ‘intimacy’ – between having sex in the clinical sense and having sex in the romantic/meaningful sense. And the truth of it is, I totally understood the way they handled it. It wasn’t easy – I mean, its an impossible situation to be in. And they worked through everything you’d imagine people in their situations to deal with in an adorable, understandable and functional way!! Seriously, nothing makes me happier in a book than a functional relationship 🙂
And of course, there is a beautiful HEA (and epilogue). I will say, I could have totally want a leeeeetle more at the end. But still, I loved it and if you haven’t read this, its definitely one to add to the top TBR list 🙂