Author: Isabelle Peterson
To secure the job of his dreams, photographer Ty York tells his new boss he’s gay. Now Ty has to play the part. The plot thickens when Ty is asked to bring his “boyfriend” to a company event.
Beau Thompson is a struggling actor waiting for his big break. To make things worse, his fiancée isn’t exactly thrilled with his chosen profession. When his best friend, Ty, needs someone to pretend to be his gay boyfriend for a party, of course Beau will help Ty out. What could possibly go wrong?
My experience with this book has been identical to the couple of times in my life I’ve gone bowling. I grab the prettiest ball that I can find and everything seems dandy when approaching the lane. I throw the ball and it rolls beautifully during a couple of seconds. But then it starts getting dangerously close to the borders and… I become the laughingstock of the group. This is book is just like that. And yes, I picked it because the cover is very pretty.
This story is told from the point of view of a couple of characters: Ty and Beau. Ty is a straight fashion photographer who has just landed the job of his dreams, but he has promised his new boss that he is not interested in the female models due to his preference for men. So, when Ty is invited to a party organized by his company and encouraged to take a significant plus one with him, the filthy liar must ask his good friend for a favour. That friend is not other than Beau, an actor in the making and also very straight; but he would do anything for Ty. So, to the party they go… hand in hand. Will that be the start of a beautiful relationship or the end of their friendship?
I’m actually sad that I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I was expecting. The idea is not something out of the ordinary, but it is a scenario easily enjoyable that can be the precursor for some good humor. The problem rests in the execution of it. The beginning is promising, with a good pace to introduce the main characters, their current situations and a glimpse to what is in the future for them. The thicker the plot gets, the more twisted and unbelievale it becomes. And its width is something that keeps getting bigger and bigger until the last moment, where everything ends abruptly and we just have to accept the final result. In my opinion, the author didn’t handle properly the main drama of this book (friend-to-lovers and all that); so adding even more obstacles to their relationship when the book was about to finish is a bit sloppy. There wasn’t enough time to finish all properly as it is shown in the sudden ending and in the over-the-top epilogue.
I want to like the characters. I really do, but they don’t make it any easier. Most of the time I couldn’t stomach Ty. He is nice and all that, but he behaves like a male hormone with two legs (or three… *wink*). His womanizer attitude is so annoying. Instead of the player the author wanted to introduce us, we get a pig and a creeper. Something that is in total contrast with the rest of his personality, which provoked me a little headache trying to reconcile Ty’s two sides. And then we have Beau, who is much more enjoyable even though everything that surrounds him is laughable. Clear example: does anybody understand the Holly situation? Why are they together and about to get married? Zero chemistry. Zero empathy. Zero warmth. That only showed me that Beau is a chump who thinks that a relationship is just a bandage around his eyes.
But the messiest thing of it all is the romance. When both characters are presented as 100% straight guys I had to frown. A weird start point for love, but not impossible. It is obvious they are very tight friends, but I couldn’t see any room for a fast romance in such a short book. It seems that that must be my problem, because I had barely winked twice when they were already kissing and having sex. Seriously? Just like that? In a book where the characters tell themselves over and over again that they are not gay? That’s the main reason I find their relationship hard to believe. Thankfully, the naughty scenes are well written and made the whole deal bearable. Sadly, when we approach the ending there is a cataclysmic event in the story that adds a new layer of irritating situations with an ending that reaffirms my opinion that Beau should check his eyesight. Ty is not for you. I don’t care what the epilogue says…
And talking about the epilogue. If it were somekind of parody about the epilogues in the Romance genre I would have thought it was a genious idea. Even a hilarious one. But the sad truth is that is not a parody at all and it is the real deal. It is a total freak show where I was incapable of recognizing the characters. They weren’t great characters, but that epilogue ruins them transforming them into something they are not. All of that with a generous serving of details that are the poster child for absurdity in books.
Even though I have many issues about the development of this story, the book is easy-to-read and has a decent pace that won’t bore the reader. The narration style is very comfortable and I found myself immersed in that tiny world without any problem. It just suffers from a lack of sensible direction.
This author certainly loves her word plays. The title is a sound example of that. And the word beauty can be spelled adding both names. Even phonetically speaking their names together have a similar sound as the word “bowtie”. Complement that has a minor role during the story (one that could grant it an Oscar if we trust the epilogue…).
Being in the presence of such wizardry with the language, I had zero doubts about finding a new word in English to learn.
upbraid: to find fault with or scold severely
Yes, I have critized a bit harshly this book, but I have not upbraided it. That is a fact, because this verb can only be used with people (according to my dictionary).