Monday, November 21, 2016

Release Day Review: The Straight Boyfriend (Loving You #3) by Renae Kaye

the straight boyfriendTitle ~ The Straight Boyfriend (Loving You #3) 

Author ~ Renae Kaye

Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press

Published ~ 21st November 2016

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance





Loving You: Book Three

Aaron Hall has never been able to remain faithful to a single woman, and for most of his life, he’s dated two women at once. Recently his girlfriend tracked him down and knocked on his door—and his live-in girlfriend answered. Now he has no girlfriend and a mortgage he can’t pay by himself.

Vinnie Rosello needs to change his life—get a better job, stop drinking all his money away, find himself a serious boyfriend… and move out of his parents’ house. Aaron needs help with his expenses, so they become housemates.

Even though Aaron harbors some misconceptions about gay men and Vinnie misses his large Italian family, both men find comfort in their friendship. It’s a good arrangement until everything between them changes

Vinnie falls in love with Aaron, and Aaron is shocked to realize he feels the same. There’s only one problem—he’s still straight. He’ll have to overcome his fear of labels in order to love the man who’s captured his heart.


Jane’s Review

I need to gush! I stupidly loved this book. It had a bit of everything for me, self discovery, friendship, family, angst (small amount), humour, sexy times, love and more. This is the third book in the Loving You series, and whilst it can be read as a standalone, the characters from the previous books feature so heavily in this one that it is worth reading the other two first, Loving Jay and Don’t Twunk With my Heart. Loving Jay is a firm favourite of mine. It was great to see so much of the previous characters, often we only get a quick glimpse at their lives but nothing more, here I felt we really got to reconnect with them.

This book is Vinnie and Aaron’s story. We have met both of them in the previous books as friends of Jay, Liam, Kee, Tate and the others. This book tells the story from their POV, alternating by chapter.  It has a brilliant opening, told from Vinnie’s POV that is observational and really funny. It had me hooked and I wanted to read on quickly. We are introduced to his life in a big polyamorous Italian family. Vinnie has just turned 25 and wants to settle down, he’s always been a bit of a party boy but wants to move out of home, improve his prospects and get a boyfriend.

Aaron is straight! He is pathologically unfaithful and usually dates two women at the same time. This has led him to being dumped by his current girlfriend who he bought a house with. Alone and with a huge mortgage to pay he needs to find someone to move in and split the bills with. Out of his extended friendship group, up steps Vinnie. From here on out their friendship deepens and grows. Aaron realises Vinnie misses his large family and to stop his nightmares and loneliness begins letting Vinnie sleep in his bed with him. Vinnie is increasingly attracted to Aaron but knows that he is straight and only heading for a bout of unrequited love. Aaron is so stuck on not being labelled gay and being straight, he doesn’t see what’s happening right in front of him.

Over time their relationship changes, little by little and there are some very sexy times, interspersed with some angsty moments as they try to establish who they are to each other. Aaron’s dawning realisation is very well written, there’s no one pivotal moment, just a quiet revelation of his feelings and the need to let go of the notion of being labelled a certain way. The notion of labels is discussed a lot in the book, especially between Aaron and his best friend Liam, are they helpful or not? Once he realises he still feels straight, not gay or bisexual, but just so happens that he’s fallen in love with a gay man, he finds he comes to terms with this but still struggles with the notion of fidelity. The guys do end up having a big conversation about this which I think was important to the story.

The friendship group and Vinnie’s family play a large part in the story, most often humorously. When the friends all discover that Aaron and Vinnie are together they offer their ‘help’ to Aaron in the ways of gay sex, it’s hysterical. I just adore all of the friends and both families. The ending is lovely and the epilogue perfect, with a little cameo from another series. I read this book in one sitting as it is packed with great characters, writing,  humour, emotion and ultimately love. I adored it! Can’t recommend it highly enough for a quick light hearted read that leaves your heart happy.

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