Title: The Mating of Michael
Author: Eli Easton
My Rating: A
Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Sex in Seattle #3
Main Characters: Michael and James
Release Date: June 2014
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot
Everyone admires Michael Lamont for being a nurse, but his part-time work as a gay sex surrogate not only raises eyebrows, it's cost him relationships. Michael is small, beautiful, and dedicated to working with people who need him. But what he really wants is a love of his own. He spends most of his spare time reading science fiction, especially books written by his favorite author and long-time crush, the mysteriously reclusive J.C. Guise.
James Gallway’s life is slowly but inexorably sliding downhill. He wrote a best-selling science fiction novel at the tender age of eighteen, while bedridden with complications of polio. But by twenty-eight, he's lost his inspiration and his will to live. His sales from his J.C. Guise books have been in decline for years. Wheelchair bound, James has isolated himself, convinced he is unlovable. When he is forced to do a book signing and meets Michael Lamont, he can’t believe a guy who looks like Michael could be interested in a man like him.
Michael and James are made for each other. But they must let go of stubbornness to see that life finds a way and love has no limitations.
I had this book recommended to me on Goodreads by another blogger who knows my m/m tastes. I had to admit that I was curious about the premise on this one...a sex surrogate and a wheelchair bound author. It was unusual enough to pique my curiosity. That along with the rec meant that I slid this book to the top of my TBR pile, ahead of the other 1400 books that I currently own that I haven't read. O.O (yeah, I know...*sigh* But you all and authors keep telling me about such great books! What's a girl to do?)
But anyway...yes, this was a fantastic recommendation. And a lot of that is simply because the heroes are so unlikely, but wow...I fell in love with them
First let's talk about Michael...he's a sex surrogate and a nurse. Gah...if there is another character out there with a purer heart, I don't know of him. This guy is pure emotion...pure empathy...pure caring. He cares about people so much. That's why he's a sex surrogate. He helps guys who can't have sex otherwise through mental or physical issues that hinder them. He is so incredibly empathetic, you can't help but fall in love with him. But he's also so incredibly lonely. His sex surrogacy...is just that...a therapy for his patients. It's not for him and has no emotional attachment for him. This guy wants and needs someone to connect to on a personal level so badly. My heart just hurt for him.
Then there's James. He was in India as a child and got infected with polio. His mother abandoned him because of it. As a result, he's never really had a relationship. He has such a mental block about his useless legs....he doesn't want ANYONE to see them...which doesn't work real well if he ever wants to have sex. He lives through his books and stories and is truly a complete recluse. But his book sales have been bleak so his agent is pushing him to do more personal promo...something he HATES. But he meets Michael at one of these events. Michael has been in love with James since he read his first book at 16. Michael has such a pure heart, he doesn't think twice about the wheelchair when he sees James. It's James who has the issue with it.
This is such a sweet book and incredible romance. I loved reading it and watching these two guys connect. It was truly beautiful. The sex surrogacy story line was interesting and I enjoyed that aspect and getting to know Michael's patients. But as an author, I really enjoyed James' story too. Authors tend to be naturally introverted people and I definitely connected to him as a character. (I hate, hate, hate signings. I would so much rather sit in a quiet corner and observe the world.)
This is the third book in this series and I want to go back and read the first two. It absolutely and completely works as a stand alone, but I'm fascinated by the clinic and it sounds like the other characters there are featured at least in the first book in the series.
I definitely recommend this one though!