Title: Best Man
Series: Close Proximity: Book One
Author: Lily Morton
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 241 Pages
Category: Contemporary Romance
At a Glance: There’s a little bit of something for everyone who loves category romance in Best Man. If you go into this one looking for a giant dose of the feel goods, you should get out of it exactly what you need.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Zeb Evans doesn’t do messy.
The product of a disorganised and chaotic childhood, Zeb likes order and control, and as the boss of his own employment agency he can give that to himself. Life runs along strict lines and he never mixes business with pleasure. Everything in his life lives in neat, alphabetized boxes. Until Jesse.
Jesse Reed is Zeb’s complete opposite. He’s chaos personified. A whirling cyclone of disorder. He’s also charming and funny and a very unwanted distraction.
Which is why it comes as a complete surprise to Zeb to find himself asking Jesse to pose as his boyfriend for a few days in the country at a wedding.
Zeb doesn’t do impulsive, but as the time away progresses, he finds himself increasingly drawn to the merry and irreverent Jesse. But can he bring himself to break the hard-won lessons he’s learnt in life? And even if he can, how could Jesse be attracted to him anyway? He’s so much older than Jesse, not to mention being his boss.
From the bestselling author of the Mixed Messages and Finding Home series comes a warm and funny romance about one man’s fight for control and another man’s determination to circumvent it.
Review: I’m just going to go ahead and crown Lily Morton the boss of my romantic comedy world. I mean, is anyone doing it as proficiently as she is at the moment? (If so, drop me some names and titles, please, because there is a shortage of perfect RomComs in my life, and it would be a pity to deny me more. Seriously.) And while I’m on a roll, I’m calling it—she’s also the boss of the spinoff series, thanks in whole to a distinct knack for creating side characters that show up, leap off the page and right into my heart. These men do little more than beg, figuratively, of course, to fall in love and get their own happily ever afters, and Morton delivers for me every time. She offers it up times four in Best Man, to be precise, and I can’t wait to get my eyes on those books.
Zeb is, without exception, a man of his word, and he is stuck in an agreement he made with his ex. It’s a horrible bargain with the devil that he was guilted into, so now he’s the best man in Patrick-the-Cockwomble’s wedding (that’s not his real name, but roll with me here), and while Zeb regrets it, he’s also going to go through with it because he’s made a promise. Of course, maybe his duties would all go down a little easier if he had a plus one, so Zeb asks Jesse to be his date, something Jesse isn’t a stranger to considering the nature of Zeb’s business. Zeb doesn’t run an escort service, mind—sex is not on the table, so to speak—he merely hires his employees out for jobs which include everything from helping with gardening to, yes, acting as a companion if the need arises.
What could possibly go wrong, then, you ask? Pfft. A lot.
As the road to love is never without its share of bumps, so go the feelings that grow between Zeb and Jesse. Feelings that, frankly, didn’t take much stoking. Zeb makes much ado about the pitfalls of not only their business relationship but their age difference, however. These are blind spots that Zeb can’t see around because of the decent and committed man he his, and they stick in his conscience in a big way, most especially the age gap. How could someone as young and vibrant and alive as Jesse possibly be happy with someone like Zeb, an obsessive perfectionist so set in his ways? But dear, sweet Jesse just wants Zeb to quit seeing him as too young to know his own mind, and for Zeb to see Patrick-the-Shitweasel (still not his real name) for who he really is. This is the wrench that gets thrown into the works, and where readers get a little bit of angst along with the romance.
The case for falling in love with a book hinges quite a lot on falling in love with its characters—or at least developing an affinity for them…even if I wanted to smack one of them upside the head at times (I would do it with great affection, obviously). Added to the love of the characters is the desire to see them grow into each other and then run headlong into that epiphanous moment when they realize they are better together than apart. Lily Morton has conveyed all of this and more in this first book in her new Close Proximity series, and the rest promise to be just as lovely, based solely on the introduction of the characters those books will feature. Charlie Sunshine? Bring him on.
There’s a lot of comfort in going into a book knowing exactly what you’re going to get out of it. Lily Morton delivers the happy every single time; it’s built into her brand—the witty banter, the comedic timing, and the snarky characters who steal our hearts so effortlessly. She does the Grumpy/Serious One Falls in Love with the Cheeky Smart One trope so splendiferously, and Zeb and Jesse fit this mold to a T. Amongst that, Morton also offers up some other tried and trusted romantic tropes which include a twenty-year age gap, forced proximity (one bed, two people, anyone?), a boss/employee mashup, an opposites attract scenario, and the fake boyfriends angle which, as we all know, is never not a recipe for love. So, there’s a little bit of something for everyone who loves category romance in Best Man. If you go into this one looking for a giant dose of the feel goods, you should get out of it exactly what you need.
You can buy Best Man here:
[zilla_button url=”http://authl.it/B07YKNQKHY?d” style=”black” size=”large” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Amazon/Kindle Unlimited [/zilla_button]