Thursday, February 20, 2014

Husband Material by Xavier Mayne

Title: Husband Material
Author: Xavier Mayne
My Rating: B 

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: -
Main CharactersAsher and Riley
Release Date: January 2014
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Husband Material is a long-running reality show, where eighteen lucky guys compete for the hand of one lucky lady. Meet contestant number one, Riley. Since being left at the altar, he’s hit the gym to get into the best shape of his life. Now he’s in it to win it. Contestant number two, Asher, doesn’t really want the bachelorette; he needs the prize money for his sister’s cancer treatment. Asher's upbeat personality brings Riley out of the funk he's been in since his breakup. They make a formidable team, with one complication: Asher’s falling for Riley. 

Producer Kaitlyn has her hands full when two bachelors are found in the shower soaping up inappropriately, then another live-tweets the entire debacle. If another scandal erupts, the network will cancel the show. 

The two bachelors are on a collision course under the watchful eye of a producer torn between wanting them to find true love and trying to keep her show going. In the end, Riley must choose the bachelorette or the bachelor.

My Review:

I loved the premise of this book. It sounded great in the story description and worked just as well in the actual story, too. The entire book is written around the schedule of the reality show. There are a group of bachelors and immediately in the first challenge, Riley and Asher make a connection as they work together to beat the other guys. Out of that evolves a friendship.

Asher is gay. Riley is not...not even a little bit. In fact, he doesn't even realize Asher is gay. They are just really good friends. Asher is one of those guys...positive about everything and who lifts everyone up, including Riley. Riley feels like a better person, a more complete person, around Asher. Everything about the two of them together just works perfectly. The thing is Riley doesn't realize what is actually developing between them. It felt real...all the way through. There were a few moments that went over the edge to a bit too sweet, but everything about the book felt honest. 

I don't want to give any spoilers about what Riley is going through and his evolution in this story, but this is a really well-done "gay-for-you" story.I liked how the author dealt with Riley's questions and doubts. Again, it just felt really realistic. There was certainly no quick 180 turn around in this one. Even though ideas progress quickly, the actual flow of the relationship grows slowly over weeks. Neither one of these guys has had much luck in love and things are certainly not straight-forward between the two of them on the relationship front. 

Surprising in the story were the chapters featuring the producer, Kaitlyn, and her intern, Omar. There's the whole sub-story of them trying to keep the TV show in production with no sleep for weeks on end. I enjoyed their kept me giggling throughout the story. 

The TV series goes on for a whole season which does make the story run a little bit long, but that was my only complaint about the was a bit too long. Overall though, I thoroughly enjoyed the story.

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