Thursday, July 23, 2015

Five Dates by Amy Jo Cousins

Five Dates
* * * *

Helping his sister Lucy raise her kid has put Devin’s love life on hold. When he loses a bet to her and the penalty is to go out on five dates with men she’s chosen from, he thinks that’s bad enough. Finding out she used a thirteen-year-old picture of him to score a date with a young guy who looks like a rock star? Epically bad.

Jay thought he wanted to fall for an older man. But his last boyfriend left him feeling humiliated and determined to stick to guys his own age. When he realizes he’s been conned into a date with exactly the kind of man he’s sworn to avoid, he’s ready to walk away on the spot. Only Devin’s swift apologies convince Jay to accept dinner to make up for the deception.

“The date doesn’t count for the bet unless you get a goodnight kiss.” After one not-a-date dinner with Jay, Devin isn’t worried about his sister’s rules. He just wishes he could convince Jay to go out with him for real. Jay wants no part of Devin, but Devin wants every part of Jay . . . so he asks Jay to help update his look for the rest of his dates. But once Jay’s made Devin over into the perfect date, will he be able to let him go?



About a week ago I went on a bizarre book shopping spree.  Bizarre because my purchase requirements were:

- gay romance
- free
- preferably not erotica

As you can imagine, I had to wade through a lot.  In my search I found some hilarious titles (my humor tends to be inappropriate so I'll just leave all those to your imagination).  But I also found some indie titles that immediately caught my interest.  One of those was Five Dates by Amy Jo Cousins. 

Per GoodReads:

This story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group's "Love’s Landscapes" event. Group members were asked to write a story prompt inspired by a photo of their choice. Authors of the group selected a photo and prompt that spoke to them and wrote a short story.

Although I'm part of the M/M Romance Group, I haven't had a chance to peruse the many stories that are a result of their well know and well loved Don't Read in the Closet events.  I've heard only good things about these events so I was pretty excited to find this one during my crazy search.

I'm not going to repeat anything from the synopsis above but only share my thoughts as to why this story worked for me.  First off, Devin is a super nice guy.  And we all know how much I love nice heroes or, as I like to call them, forever boys.  Devin is confident as well as amazingly sensitive and generous.  You see this through out the story.  Not only by the fact that he helps his sister and her son but also because he's constantly aware of Jay's discomfort, fear and mistrust.  Devin is always trying to put Jay at ease by making situations not only comfortable but also putting those situations in Jay's control.

Then there is Jay.  This guy had me smiling from the moment he appeared on the page.  He's feisty and bitchy when he needs to be but also has no problem letting his guard down and being downright friendly when he feels safe.  His previous relationship has, understandably, left him with a giant chip on his shoulder but even he can't keep up the attitude as he and Devin become friends.

Over Devin's next four dates the two of them learn that, age difference or not, the attraction between them is undeniable. 

This was just one of those feel good stories that left me smiling.  I had the same satisfied feeling as I had after watching Say Anything.  Which is rather hilarious considering there is a Say Anything reference in the story. This is a quick happy read that I highly recommend to pretty much anyone looking for a happy ever after that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  I also highly recommend it to anyone looking for an introduction to gay romance.  It's a perfect taste of one my favorite romance sub-genres.


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