Politics, puppy dogs, and passion, oh my!
When his Republican opponent outs him with a photo in a Facebook post, Senator Samuel Dalton doesn't have many options open to him. It doesn't matter that the photo is totally innocent. He has no choice but to come clean...until his staff suggest putting a spin on it that leaves Sam reeling.
Sure, he'll end up with a lot of sympathy, not to mention the possibility of more voters from the LGBT community, but it still seems a pretty drastic solution.
Now all they have to do is persuade Gary, the other man in the photo, to play along. It sounds so easy: convince the constituents of North Carolina that he and Sam are engaged.
No big deal, except for the fact that they've only just met....
©2016 K C Wells (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
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"John Solo’s narration kept me going..."
I love a good fake boyfriend trope story and this one starts off interestingly enough with a virgin Senator who’s never had a boyfriend, or even one night stand, because he’s been grooming himself for politics since college.
Add an innocent encounter with a staffer sharing good news, and a picture taken secretly and shared with commentary that makes it seem like it was an illicit encounter, and you have the beginning of a potentially humorous and passionate story.
For me though, it went off the rails pretty shortly thereafter when the first suggestion of response to the picture is for them to claim they’re both gay (which no one except the Senator’s chief of staff knew he really is gay) and are engaged to be married.
I mean, I’m sorry – what?
I’ll be honest, the execution of the premise requires the complete suspension of disbelief, which I did at that point, but I never really fully recovered. At that point it was just John Solo’s narration that kept me going. Solo captures the characters well with their individual character voices, and his pacing and tone are on point.
Even though it was sweet, and it is sweet, and was somewhat enjoyable, made more so by John Solo’s narration, it wasn’t great enough to make this saccharine offering in the Dreamspun Desires series hit my sweet spot.
"Very cute - and a dog too!"
You have to remember that this entire line of books is designed to be like the old Harlequin romances where reality is something the readers is escaping and fairy tale endings are the expected outcome. There is nothing about this that is remotely “believable” and there are many plot holes and just plain silly plot devices, but the story is really sweet, very sappy, and a lot of fun!
I loved the fact that our senator is a 33 year old virgin! Loved it! I loved how sweet and slow and step by slow-burning step Sam (the senator) is introduced to “making love”. From chaste kisses to over the pants petting – our guy isn’t rushed into any part of the physical relationship he shares with Gary.
The story even has two guys who still smoke! That should tell you something right there! (It does take place in North Carolina – tobacco central! – so I guess that’s just a little authenticity.) Sam’s staff is fun, as is his mother. The evil opposition is suitably devious and slimy and the “we fell in love for real” story line is as predictable as it is adorable.
KC Wells is a good writer and I got hooked right from the beginning. I didn’t have high expectations, so I wasn’t disappointed, but I also found myself rolling my eyes quite a bit at some of the plot twists and turns. This was a fun little story that had me remembering those old romances I used to read and smiling fondly. (Plus a super cute dog!)
If you’re in the mood for something ridiculously fun and frivolous, this is the story for you!
4 of 5 stars
John Solo gives each of the many characters a unique voice and is a great choice for this story. His "southern" accent is great and he gives Sam this drawl that really suits him. He also manages to make Gary sound young, but not childish and it really works. This is a great way to enjoy this story.
5 of 5 stars
Overall 4.5 of 5 stars
"Sweet, entertaining, fluffy and fun!"
Dreamspun Desires is an imprint from Dreasmspinner Press that provides romantic novels with ‘heartwarming heroes, cracktastic clichés, and terrific tropes.’
This is a light romantic comedy with a feel-good storyline and one that remains fairly angst-free. In fact, the first half or so almost has a farcical feel to it, as if someone might slip on a banana any minute. There are several amusing episodes throughout that are likely to make you chuckle or laugh depending on your sense of humour.
I enjoy fake boyfriend stories and this one was fun although a little far-fetched. You have to suspend belief for this story and treat it as you would a Mills and Boon story or an episode of Will and Grace.
Sam is a wholesome and hardworking state senator hoping to be re-elected. He’s been so focused on his political objectives that he’s remained in the closet and hasn’t even had a hook-up, let alone kissed another guy. He is an honourable man. Yet when a photo of him innocently hugging another man is misused by a homophobic rival, Sam is left with no choice but to agree to the fake fiancé scheme concocted by his aides. Fortunately, Gary—the guy he soon becomes engaged to—is good-looking and has a great personality. There’s definitely insta-attraction as the two men click almost straight away. This is almost, but not quite, insta-love as well as they try to convince the electorate they are engaged, and in the process fall head over heels for each other. They do make an adorable couple and come across as believable, mainly because it’s turning into something real between them.
I particularly liked their interaction when they are alone and the developing relationship as they fall for each other, culminating in two beautiful loving scenes. I especially adored the story after they start admitting their true feelings and their first sweet kiss. This is almost a squeaky clean romance—like the senator himself. The lovemaking scene towards the end when Sam loses his cherry is smoking hot.
The cast of supporting characters are great, including Dinky the Newfoundland dog. Sam’s mother and his political aides make the story highly entertaining too.
‘It’s all about the feel-good loving that will leave you grinning.’
John Solo is one of my favourite narrators. He holds my attention and draws me into a story with his excellent character voices and superb style. His pacing is spot on and he particularly makes the amusing scenes great fun to hear. Best of all, he gets the emotions just right and portrays the chemistry between the main characters wonderfully.
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