Title: Deal Maker
Author: Lily Morton
Publisher: Self-Published/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 335 Pages
Rating: 4.5 Stars
At a Glance: Deal Maker romanced me in all the very best ways. Built on a strong foundation of family and friendships, it made me laugh, charmed me thoroughly, and warmed my heart accordingly.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Sometimes your mouth makes deals that your heart can’t honour.
Jude is a highly successful model, but a very reluctant one. His life is full of casual hook-ups with pretty men in glamorous locations, but it’s still empty. However, circumstances decreed a long time ago that this was his path, so he’s resolutely stayed on it and accepted his fate with good grace. He made a deal with himself and his hook-ups. Get in, get out and no ties with anyone.
However, an accident at home one night leads to him making a new deal and accepting the offer of help from an unlikely source. It leads to an unexpected summer of falling in love with a larger than life man and his child.
But by the end of the summer his reasons for not staying are still valid. Will he turn away? Can he?
Asa is a talented actor who has spent time away from the scene to look after his son. But now he’s back, and the last thing he needs are complications from the gorgeous man who is staying with him. Scarred from too many betrayals, he has no intention of forming a lasting tie with anyone. However, he can’t resist the beautiful man with secrets, and to his horror he develops feelings.
But a deal’s a deal and they said it was just for the summer. What can Asa do with a man who has forever in his eyes and goodbye on his lips?
Review: I know an author has me hooked when I’m not even a quarter of the way through a book and am already dyyyyying for the characters to get together. That’s what I like to call chemistry, and Lily Morton proved she was so good at the building of it in her outstanding contemporary romance Rule Breaker. Now lightning has struck twice with the delightful Deal Maker, proving she’s a bit of a master at the slow burn romance—and getting to know Jude and Asa made the wait all the more worthwhile.
I was expecting a Beauty and the Beast element to their romance when the story began and Asa Jacobs was introduced. He isn’t the easiest man to work for, if first impressions are anything to go by, but the first spontaneous, hardy and heartfelt laugh from him threw the idea that he was anywhere close to beastly right out the window. What I was left with, instead, was even better, when Asa commits the faux pas of judging a book by its cover. When Jude Bailey announces to Asa that he’s a model, it’s Asa’s past that throws an ice-cold wall of judgment up between them, but Jude isn’t just another pretty face. He’s smart and funny and is determined to teach Asa a lesson in making assumptions when he accepts a position as Asa’s PA. Exactly how Jude landed in Asa’s lap (figuratively speaking, of course, at least in the beginning) is all part of the fun, and I laughed more than a few times at the humor sprinkled throughout the story, especially at the beginning of the chapters.
One thing that has quickly guaranteed this author has a place on my Must-Read list is her ability to build solid and believable relationships between her protagonists—not just the sexual chemistry, which is so obvious between them, but the genuine friendship and eventual warmth that builds slowly over the course of the story. Just as Morton accomplished with Dylan and Gabe in Rule Breaker—although under much different circumstances—readers see and know that Asa and Jude simply belong together. Not that they complete each other but that they complement each other in all the right places, so the fun of the reading is watching them begin to realize it themselves.
I love the simple moments as these characters pass their days together, the quiet conversations, the warm family moments, and I love that outside influences weigh appropriately on the loving bond that forms between Jude and Asa. Billy, Asa’s five-year-old son, is such an adorable little charmer as well, and the connection he and Jude make is a precious tie that binds despite Jude’s own determination that his job with Asa won’t last beyond the summer.
Friends and family play a significant role in the unfolding of this story, and, in fact, it’s family issues at the root of Jude’s own internal conflict and the excuse he uses to avoid committing himself to a relationship. His parents’ story isn’t one composed of anger or emotional distance, though. It’s the opposite that holds true here—Jude adores his parents, the feeling is mutual, and Jude feels a deep sense of obligation to them. An obligation that he believes precludes romantic entanglements. I love the way Morton fitted all these loose pieces together, how they fit without it feeling forced, and then wove them all together in such a tender and romantic way.
Deal Maker romanced me in all the very best ways. Built on a strong foundation of family and friendships, it made me laugh, charmed me thoroughly, and warmed my heart accordingly.
You can buy Deal Maker here:
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