So, what is it that makes a book a wonderful read for me? I’m not sure I can put my finger on what exactly the secret ingredient(s) may be but I know one thing for sure. If I have a huge, happy grin on my face once I finish a story it is a sure sign that I found one of those very special little gems. And boy did I have a - probably rather stupid - grin on my face when I put my reader aside and reflected on what I just read.
Apart from the fact that this is a charming story about two men meeting each other under less than ideal circumstances and getting together despite the odds being stacked against them – as if that isn’t enough – there is a lot to love in this novella.
I loved the banter between these two men, the way they are teasing each other almost from the moment they first meet in the emergency room. I adore that Matt and Chase aren’t stereotypes. It is nice to have a story where the confidence and insecurity seem to shift from moment to moment between the two characters. Chase is a typical geek who loves his job and is usually quite happy in his own company, something his former partner couldn’t or wouldn’t appreciate:
“I’m lame. Too boring. Too nice. Not funny or outgoing or enough for him. I’m too much of a recluse for Mr. Popular.”
And Matt has his own reasons for avoiding getting too close with Chase, this hot patient he is treating in the emergency room. But, and this is one of the things I love so much about this book, there is no protracted drama. Neither of these men allows their hang-ups to get in the way of instant attraction. As Matt says:
“What kind of idiot lets one bad experience dictate how they live their life.”
I’ve recently found myself getting really impatient with books in which one or more of the main characters is forever second-guessing themselves and can’t express how delightful it is to read a book in which the main protagonists get over themselves and their insecurities and just grab the bull by the horns.
And the banter between Matt and Chase. Did I mention how much I loved it? How could I not end up smiling when faced with dialogue like this:
“Matt? Shut up and kiss me…My pleasure. Shutting up now.”
Or, for one more example, this:
“The things you moaned are illegal in twenty-seven states, I’m pretty sure. But for you, I’ll try them all once.”
If I had to come up with one complaint about this book it would be that it wasn’t any longer. I would have loved to spend another hour or day with Matt and Chase. But, that is not to say that this story isn’t long enough or feels rushed or unfinished. Quite the opposite in fact. This is a perfectly constructed story; it tells the reader what they need to know in order to get a good idea about who these characters are. There is enough of a back story to explain the way they behave and there is so much chemistry between Matt and Chase that the heat of it shimmers off the page. In short; this was one very lucky find and a very promising debut for these two authors. And now that I’ve been introduced to Nikka Michaels and Eileen Griffin I can only hope that they’ll continue writing. As long as they do, either together or with individual works, they’ll have one faithful reader in me.