Hollywood royalty Jeremy Jameson has lived a sheltered life with music as his sole focus and only friend. Before embarking on yet another international concert tour, he wanders into a bar in what he considers the middle of nowhere and meets a man who wins him over with his friendly smile and easy-going nature. Accountant slash bartender slash adventure-seeker Reg Moore has fun talking and drinking with The Jeremy Jameson and can’t say no when the supposedly straight rock star makes him a once in a lifetime offer: keep him company on his tour by playing the part of his boyfriend.
Listening to music, traveling the world, and jumping off cliffs is fun. Falling in love is even better. But to stay with Jeremy after the stage lights dim, Reg will need to help him realize there’s nothing pretend about their relationship.
After a mutual laughing fit about yet another of Reg’s college tales, Reg put an end to Jeremy’s joy by saying, “Hey, Jeremy, man, I don’t want to rush you out of here, but we usually close at midnight during the week, and it’s almost one.”
“Oh.” Suddenly feeling sober and tense again, Jeremy rubbed his hand over his nose and reached for his leather jacket, which he’d tossed over the empty barstool next to him hours earlier. “Sure. Yeah. Sorry about that.” He pulled a handful of bills out of his wallet and threw them on the bar, not bothering to count them. “Keep the change.”
Keys in hand, Jeremy climbed off his stool, planning to leave the bar. He was surprised when Reg darted his upper body forward and snagged his keys.
“Hold on, man. It’s late and you’re drunk. Is there someone who can come pick you up?”
Jeremy snorted. “No. I’m in, uh….” He tried to remember the name of the nothing little town. “Whatever Park.” He rolled his eyes. “Why would I know anybody here?”
“Wow. I’ve had people turn into violent shitheads when I cut them off, but snobby diva is new.” Reg flung his everpresent towel into the bar sink and locked up the register. “I was going to offer you my couch for the night, ’cause there aren’t any motels in walking distance, and I have better beer than we serve here, but you can go ahead and sleep it off in your car, superstar. I’ll bring you your keys in the morning.”
“Oh.” Hearing that Reg hadn’t been throwing him out but had, instead, been trying to change locations, vanquished Jeremy’s resurfacing tension. With that relief came the realization that he had acted like all the stuck-up assholes he couldn’t stand. “Crap.” Falling into a nervous childhood habit he hadn’t been fully able to shake, Jeremy tugged the collar of his salmon-colored T-shirt into his mouth and chewed on it. “I didn’t mean to, uh…” He rubbed his palm over his eyes. “I’m sorry that I…” A thought slammed into him, making him flinch and then gape at Reg. “You called me superstar.”
“I also called you a snobby diva.” Reg arched his eyebrows. “Are you ready to earn a spot on my couch and a bottle of Kilt Lifter by playing nice?”
Cardeno C. - CC to friends - is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few "awwws" into a reader's day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno's stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever- after sunset.
Cardeno's Home, Family, and Mates series have received awards from Love Romances and More Golden Roses, Rainbow Awards, the Goodreads M/M Romance Group, and various reviewers. But even more special to CC are heartfelt reactions from readers, like, "You bring joy and love and make it part of the every day."
Winner's choice of ebook from author's backlist (excluding box sets or anthologies).
*ARC provided to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for a fair and honest review.*
I'm a huge fan of Ms. Cardeno C.'s writing, and every story I read of hers just makes me even more in awe of her talent. This book is one of my favorites of hers, though. Both Reggie and Jeremy are well-rounded characters that you can root for and the writing is flawless and engaging.
Reggie is a gay accountant/bartender in a small bar in the middle of nowhere. He's confident, easygoing and charming. Jeremy is a supposedly straight rockstar. He's quite naive and clueless, despite—or maybe, because of—his upbringing. Jeremy craves having someone that will like him for him, and after meeting Reggie, he decides he's just what he needs to survive his upcoming tour. This is just Reggie's chance to see the world, too, so it works great for both, even if they have to pretend to be boyfriends. It seemed like a great idea at first, a win-win situation, but as Reggie gets to know more of Jeremy, he starts falling for him, and notices that Jeremy might not be as straight as he seems to be. But what will it take to convince the rockstar that they will be perfect for each other if only they can give each other a chance?
I adored every word of this story. The slow progression from friendship to something else as Reggie realizes he feels more for Jeremy than he imagined, his patience as he waits for Jeremy to see what's been in front of him, the tender way he holds Jeremy and actually fights against whoever tries to stress him even more than needed. There was some angst, but nothing excessive, as I waited for Jeremy to finally realize his growing feelings and the reason why he'd never felt this connection with anyone else. And the fireworks when they finally give in? Hot damn!!!
I truly recommend this story to anyone looking for a slow burn romance, with great chemistry between the characters and some very hot love scenes and sweet cuddling!
Rating: 5+ Stars!!!