Thursday, September 14, 2017

Release Day Review: Exposure (Drawn Together #1) by Aly Hayden

exposureTitle ~ Exposure

Author ~ Aly Hayden

Published ~ 14th September 2017

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance





Sam Hayward's parents think he has a boyfriend. And he does... in his dreams. But when they insist Sam bring his partner to the annual Labor Day family reunion, his options are to either admit it was all a lie or find a stand-in in a hurry. The trouble is that his lies have all been based on one very real man.
Ben Matheny has been hurt before. When he's bribed into playing a part by his friends, he fleshes out Sam's dreams, but it's like flying too close to the sun. He's always had a crush on Sam, and now they're going to the Hamptons to spend a week pretending they're lovers, everything is getting harder.
When Ben uncovers another lie Sam has told - that Ben is every bit as rich as Sam is - things begin to unravel. If Sam isn't happy with who Ben is, Ben can't stick around to get burned again.
With their hearts on the line, the two must fight for their dreams as the pressure mounts. It would be so easy to admit that it was all a sham, but some dreams are worth the risk.


Freya’s Review

To stop being dogged by his family’s questions about his future and settling down, Sam invented a boyfriend that they would approve of. He used his friend Ben as a template – a man he’d had a crush on for an age. So, when Sam needed a fake boyfriend and Ben was the one who ended up filling the vacancy – something was bound to go wrong.

The two men are from very different backgrounds, one money, the other not. Sam has always rebelled against his pretentious upbringing – to the point where he works in a coffee shop. All the same, he loves his parents. Ben is an emerging photographic artist.

Exposure is a friends to lover’s tale, told in the third person, with alternating chapters from Ben’s and Sam’s POV’s. There is also a diverse, yet classic supporting cast, ranging from, the best mate, wise old grandma, suspicious brother in law, and OTT parents.

The main location for the story is Sam’s mother’s Labour Day party at a mansion in the Hamptons. Despite there being tension between Sam and his family, this aspect isn’t touched on much, in favour of the interactions between Sam and Ben. I found this to be a shame as I felt it would have added more credence to Sam’s POV. I’d have also liked to see more evidence of the pretentious aspect of the family. Because, as the story goes, Sam’s family come off as monied but good people. Playing it this way, also sways the reader to camp Ben, with few sympathising with Sam.

The story is scattered with misinterpreted flirting, denial, confessions, and insecurities. There is also lust and inevitable drama related reactions when lies are revealed.

I found Exposure to be a sweet tale of two people who become friends in a coffee shop receiving a nudge to get together. It is a typical story of its type with life lessons being learned.

If this is the kind of story that you gravitate toward and read on a regular basis, then I doubt you will find many surprises as it follows the classic path. But, if you are curious about a friends to lover’s story, then this is a nice gentle introduction.

Purchase Links



Meet Aly Hayden

Aly Hayden has loved writing ever since she learned to pick up a pencil. As a child, she used to write short stories, then progressed to novels of various genres, none of which were ever published – for good reason. She started writing fanfiction in 2011, publishing on Archive of Our Own. After finding M/M romance in 2012, she fell in love and made it her mission to write one of her own one day. When Aly isn’t writing, she can be found playing with her lovable Yorkie and watching old reruns of House Hunters.


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