“Society is always taken by surprise at any new example of common sense.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Author: Rick R. Reed
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 216
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: Love comes along when you least expect it. That’s what Duncan Taylor’s sister, Scout, tells him. Scout has everything Duncan wants—a happy life with a wonderful husband. Now that Seattle has made gay marriage legal, Duncan knows he can have the same thing. But when he proposes to his boyfriend Tucker, he doesn’t get the answer he hoped for. Tucker’s refusal is another misstep in a long line of failed romances. Despairing, Duncan thinks of all the loving unions in his life—and how every one of them is straight. Maybe he could be happy, if not sexually compatible, with a woman. When zany, gay-man-loving Marilyn Samples waltzes into his life, he thinks he may have found his answer.
Determined to settle, Duncan forgets his sister’s wisdom about love and begins planning a wedding with Marilyn. But life throws Duncan a curveball. When he meets wedding planner Peter Dalrymple, unexpected sparks ignite. Neither man knows how long he can resist his powerful attraction to the other. For sure, there’s a wedding in the future. But whose?
Review: I think every single one of us has been exactly where Duncan Taylor found himself in the beginning of this book. We have all been in a relationship where we were more invested than the other party, we have all been heartbroken, and we have all wanted to just throw in the towel a time or two. What I think many of us haven’t done, however, is seek out someone that is the exact opposite of us in their sexuality to marry. Yet, this is just what Duncan does when he hits his own personal low.
Duncan is a “gold star” gay, meaning he has never once partaken of anything sexual with a woman. He never wants to, like NEVER EVER. What he does want, however, is a loving companion to build a family with, and someone he can love even if there will never be a physical aspect to the relationship. On a drunken whim, Duncan posts an ad on Craigslist looking for a wife. He makes it very clear that he is VERY gay and this would be a marriage of companionship only.
Enter Marilyn Samples, a character we met in Hungry for Love. Marilyn has a very strong love for gay men, M/M romance novels, gay nightclubs, and pretty much anything to do with gay men. When she finds the ad Duncan placed for a wife on Craigslist, she can’t believe her luck. She and Duncan set up a meeting and after they both get past the “am I being punked” portion of the meeting, they form a fast friendship.
After getting to know one another, they decide that this marriage of convenience could work for them, so they jump in with both feet. When they realize there is a lot to planning a wedding, they both decide a wedding planner is the way to go. The moment Duncan meets Peter, the wedding planner, his sister’s words come screaming into his head, “Just when you least expect it, love comes creeping around.” It seems cupid has struck both Peter and Duncan at the most inopportune time. Duncan loves Marilyn and no matter how much he wants Peter, he has committed to this marriage, and he has no intentions of walking away.
At the same time, Duncan has inadvertently introduced Marilyn to the man of her dreams. Ben is the older brother of Tucker, the man who caused Duncan’s Craigslist post in the first place. When Duncan, Ben and Marilyn hang out together, Duncan ends up feeling like the third wheel. It seems that neither Duncan nor Marilyn can see what is right in front of them, and they keep moving forward towards their wedding. It will take a pain-filled lecture for Duncan to see the truth he has always known, but will Marilyn agree with him, or will they both make the biggest mistakes of their lives?
In this latest book from Rick R Reed, we once again get to experience some of the sights in Seattle while reading about some mouthwatering food. The writing is, as always, exceptional. Mr. Reed has a way of drawing you in and not letting you go until the final word is read. Surprisingly, there is very little on page sex in this book, but I found that with this story it really worked. This work focuses more on feelings and relationships, and I truly fell in love with the characters, all of them. I highly recommend this book and, truthfully, any of Mr. Reed’s books, because I don’t believe there is a less than great one in the bunch.