Jamie is an accountant who lives by a strict schedule: every day is planned; the future is predictable. And that schedule includes one night a week when he allows himself to blow off steam at a gay dance club in the City. One Friday night he gets more than he bargained for when he meets Matt, an out of work stranger with long dark hair and rough hands. The attraction is undeniable but Matt does not fit Jamie’s idea of the perfect man to share his carefully ordered life.
Instead, Jamie longs for a date with his dream man: handsome, sophisticated Keith, a successful Vice President at his prestigious New York accounting firm, a man on his way up.
But everything changes when Jamie discovers a suspicious error in one of his accounts. Suddenly, he finds himself on the run from both the mob and the FBI — and the only man who can help him is the tall, dark-haired stranger he rejected. Because Matt is not who he seems — and neither is Keith.
Nice debut novel. It had a few freshmen moments in the beginning but found its feet fairly quickly. The romance between Keith, and the romance between Matt worked out about as well as you may expect, though, the back story on Matt was a lot different than I thought it would be. It was original and much more interesting. The action worked. Most of the pieces are right there is the synopsis, but there are those final couple of things that the reader is trying to figure out as the story progresses. Good work making us work for it. I had it almost figured out as to who, but one of them surprised me. I had someone else collared for it instead. The ending mixed well with the rest. Easy to imagine the next stage in their lives.
As I mentioned, the beginning was a bit awkward. It almost seemed that there was all this set-up that needed to be done and not enough time to do it. The dialogue in the section read odd, too. Kind of like the audio and video were out of sync. I can’t really explain it other to say that it seemed forced and choppy.
Once the base information is out there, the story gains a smoother rhythm. Right after Jamie goes out with Kieth for the first time. Kieth is exactly who the synopsis implies he is; an ass. He made such a great villain, although it’s obvious that he isn’t really the brains he thinks he is. He’s the go-to guy and his efforts were very well done. I liked that he didn’t follow the same boring MO so many characters in his position do. Score another point for mixing it up.
Matt rocks! Loved his past, loved how well he read Jamie, loved his head in a crisis, just loved his character. The relationship was messy, but seemed to be written that way on purpose. Because Jamie takes a while to process change, good or bad, there were bound to be emotional land-minds all over the place. Luckily, the never lasted long, usually no longer than a few sentences or paragraphs, because Matt is much stronger and less insecure than Jamie realized. Loved that it never became whiny or overly dramatic.
Another thing that was messy, in the best way possible, is the path the crime took. Some things that happened are what you may expect to happen in a story like this. Other things were subtle little touches. Mostly, though, Jamie had no idea what he was doing. Too many times, the characters in a situation like this are hyper-aware, analytical geniuses who figure it all out. Not Jamie. I loved that he didn’t immediately assume everything upon himself. He had moments of considering what-ifs, was concerned how his friends and colleagues would fair if his work turned up something that could destroy the company. But he didn’t connect every little dot to himself, and claim to be the reason everything was happening. He wasn’t super-sleuthing. He didn’t take over-the-top chances. He did the best he could, followed the advice from the FBI, and muddled through like I would imagine a real person would do in the situation. I liked it a lot.
Overall, very impressed with Bren Christopher. Nice characters, great story.