Author ~ Jacob Z. Flores
Narrator ~ John Solo
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Released ~ 7th December 2016
Length ~ 6 hours and 33 minutes
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
A One Fine Day Novel
What happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas.
Cody Hayes is having one epic morning-after. The hangover following a Vegas bachelor party is nothing new to him, and neither is the naked man in his bed.
His apparent marriage is a different story.
Carefully plotting every detail of his life carried Julian Canales to a Senate seat as an openly gay man. A drunken night of Truth or Dare isn’t like him… and neither is marrying a man he just met. He’d get an annulment, but the media has gotten wind of his hasty nuptials. If Julian’s political career is going to survive, he has to stay married to a man who’s his opposite in every way.
Now he must convince Cody that all they need to do is survive a conservative political rival, a heartbroken ex, their painful pasts… and an attraction neither man can fight.
Two seemingly opposite characters—a rich senator and an aspiring writer/waiter—wake up in bed together and apparently married after a game of Truth and Dare on a drunken night in Vegas. As it turns out, they are actually perfect for each other as they have similar beliefs and interests. After the immediate shock and panic has worn off, both men agree the situation could be workable as neither of them are looking for love because of past bad personal experiences. Both want someone to be there for them, but not the romance part that can go wrong. They both believe love complicates things—it lets you down and hurts you in the end. Julian also decides he can use the marriage to his political advantage.
As with all Dreamspun Desires stories this one is light on the steam. Despite having (off page) sex on their wedding night and finding each other attractive, Julian and Cody agree to refrain from sex for six months as a way of helping them decide if the marriage can actually work. This is a relatively low-angst slow burn romance, but there’s plenty of UST while they live together and get to know each other better. The make-out scene is hot when it finally arrives.
And of course the two men do fall in love along the way and that ruins their agreement to keep their relationship platonic. Once they realize they are in love both men react badly, thus hurting themselves and each other. Julian’s response is particularly frustrating.
Cody is a sweet guy, who turns out to be obsessed with Days of Our Lives. Indeed, this story is like something out of a soap opera—too much drama for drama's sake. And I think this was the author’s deliberate intention. Julian ends up watching episodes of DOOL and enjoys the rather contrived plots. There’s more humour along the way, mainly via Cody’s witty comments and one-liners.
Julian annoyed me at times. He knew how perfect they were for each other, convinced Cody of this fact, yet continued to deny his feelings and later treats Cody badly.
The fluffy ending is rather brief. I would have liked further chapters with them happily together or an epilogue to see how things had developed between them.
The story itself is well-written with enjoyable and clear narration from the talented John Solo. He always sets a steady pace and portrays the characters with distinctive voices and personalities.
Meet Jacob Z. Flores
Jacob Z. Flores lives a double life. During the day, he is a respected college English professor and mid-level administrator. At night and during his summer vacation, he loosens the tie and tosses aside the trendy sports coat to write man on man fiction, where the hard ass assessor of freshmen level composition turns his attention to the firm posteriors and other rigid appendages of the characters in his fictional world.
Summers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, provide Jacob with inspiration for his fiction. The abundance of barely clothed man flesh and daily debauchery stimulates his personal muse. When he isn’t stroking the keyboard, Jacob spends time with his daughter. They both represent a bright blue blip in an otherwise predominantly red swath in south Texas.