Title ~ Put a Ring On It (Ready or Knot #1)
Author ~ K.A. Mitchell
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 9th September
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
Ready or Knot: Book One
Kieran Delaney-Schwartz—adoptee, underachiever, and self-professed-slacker IT guy—lives his under-the-radar life by the motto: Don’t try, don’t fail. His adopted siblings are all overachievers thanks to his driven, liberal parents, but Kieran has elected to avoid disappointing anyone by not getting their hopes up. He’s coasting through his early twenties when he’s hit head-on by Theo. The successful decade-older Broadway producer sweeps him off his feet for a whirlwind thirteen months that are pretty sweet, until it all comes screeching to a halt on Valentine’s Day, with an unexpected proposal via an NYC Times Square flash mob.
Now everyone wants in on the wedding, except the grooms….
When the story starts, IT guy Kieran and Broadway producer/writer Theo have been together for one year when Theo stages a flash mob proposal in Times Square just before Valentine’s Day. Kieran is an introverted, private person, but he does love Theo (although he’s never said it to him) and doesn’t want to hurt him so he says yes and then runs off when Theo’s back is turned. The story follows the couple over the next several weeks as Kieran tries to postpone a marriage his family is pushing him not to screw up, while the people around Theo conspire to either break the two men up or use the publicity from the viral proposal video to their advantage by courting investors for a new show.
Aside from Kieran and Theo’s story, there is another story connecting Theo’s three college friends, Jax, Dane and Gideon, who all have their own issues, but come together to intervene in what they see as Theo making a huge mistake. There are a lot of communication issues in this book and there were times where I had difficulty understanding the motivations of all the men involved.
Both Theo’s friends and Kieran are convinced that Theo is more about the way his relationship appears to others and that he’s more in love with getting married than he is in love with getting married to Kieran specifically. This is reflected in Kieran’s fears that Theo will tire of him after the perfect wedding show. Theo’s best friends are convinced that there is no way the marriage would last, not that they had ever met Kieran. In fact Gideon is more than happy to help Kieran find a way to postpone the wedding without Theo knowing. The problem is, I never saw this part of Theo. The public proposal to his introverted boyfriend was not a good idea, but other than that Theo came off as completely in love with and respectful towards Kieran and I never once got the feeling that this was some sort of insincere gesture or an act. Even though it seemed they were polar opposites in almost every way their relationship works for them and they clearly love each other.
What stopped me from enjoying this book more was that I knew nothing about Theo and Kieran as a couple before the proposal, but then again it seemed the two men really didn’t know each other either. The reader is told what they are like; Kieran is an introvert who doesn’t want to disappoint people, his family harps on him as an underachiever and he is sure Theo will tire of him and dump him. We’re told Theo is all about producing the show and making everything look perfect, then moving on (although it does appear that the prior men in his life left him or treated him badly). With more telling than showing, I never really had a good grasp on Kieran and Theo’s personalities and issues until the very end of the book when they finally had a conversation about what they want, fear and need.
The parts where the book really worked for me were the few times Theo and Kieran were together and presenting a united front instead of on their own worrying about what was going on with the other, but most of those came towards the end of the story.
This is the first installment in a series and Theo’s college friends will all have their own stories told. Next up is Jax, a closeted TV star who is trying to revive his career. The story I’m most intrigued by though is Gideon and Dane who have a contentious friends with benefits relationship that goes back to college and inevitably leaves Gideon feeling hurt, angry and ashamed whenever he loses his internal battle to make sure it never happens again. Whether they will wind up with each other or cut all ties is something I’m interested in seeing.