Author: Aly Hayden
Cover Artist: Aria from Resplendent Media
Genres: Contemporary M/M Romance
Length: 61,000 words/150 pages approx.
It is the first book in the Drawn Together series.
Each book follows a different couple, so there's a HEA and no cliffhanger.
Ben Matheny has been hurt before. When he's bribed into playing a part by his friends, he fleshes out Sam's dreams, but it's like flying too close to the sun. He's always had a crush on Sam, and now they're going to the Hamptons to spend a week pretending they're lovers, everything is getting harder.
When Ben uncovers another lie Sam has told - that Ben is every bit as rich as Sam is - things begin to unravel. If Sam isn't happy with who Ben is, Ben can't stick around to get burned again.
With their hearts on the line, the two must fight for their dreams as the pressure mounts. It would be so easy to admit that it was all a sham, but some dreams are worth the risk.
He didn’t know whether he meant the words to be flirtatious or not. It was one thing to flirt when there were other people present. That was just what he did, how he interacted with people.
Deliberately flirting with Sam was different. Dangerous.
“Guess we do.”
Sam’s voice was lower than usual. Almost seductive. There was no one around that would make Sam feel like he had to play the part of the boyfriend, which meant only one thing: Sam was actually into him. The signs were all there, if Ben was reading them correctly—the way Sam had taken to holding his hand, the morning wood after cuddling all night long, the look Sam had given him when he’d seen Ben in the shorts. And then there was that thing he had started to say right before they had gotten on the boat.
Much as Ben wanted to believe that Sam might have feelings for him too, there was still a part of him that wasn’t sure. There was certainly one way for him to find out, though. The hot tub was big enough for about six people, so naturally they had taken corners along the same wall. Slowly, Ben moved closer and closer to Sam, until they were sitting side by side. He took a deep breath, steeling his nerves, and let his leg brush against Sam’s.
“What are you doing?” Sam’s voice was low and husky, and when Ben looked up, he found Sam’s pupils so large that only a sliver of hazel showed around the edges.
He swallowed hard. “Getting closer to you.”
His heart beat so fast that his chest ached as he waited for Sam to do something. Say something. Have any reaction at all. It had been so easy when it was just flirting, but this…this was terrifying.
Seconds passed, though, and Sam didn’t move away. Instead, he leaned back against the side of the hot tub and slid his hand into Ben’s, underneath the water.
“I’m glad you’re here,” he said softly.
Encouraged by the reaction, Ben shifted down a bit and let his head rest on Sam’s shoulder. “Me too.” They sat in silence for a few seconds. Ben didn’t want to ruin the moment, but he knew that if he didn’t say anything, he would regret it. “Before, when we were about to get on the boat. What were you going to say?”
“I um…” Sam scratched at the back of his neck. “I was going to say, what if—”
Ben whipped around to see Karrigan. Someone had escaped from nap time. He fought to suppress a groan. Looked like this conversation would have to wait.
Okay, so this is another new to me author and I will be going back and finding more of her books! She mentions in her acknowledgements that writing contemporary books was stepping out of her comfort zone, she does it flawlessly!
Sam Hayward works in the Press Room, a coffee house even though he comes from a very wealthy family. A family he has been lying to and telling he has a boyfriend. Sam's family is accepting of him, they're just not very close. Although the does have a special relationship with his Grandma. Sam has invented an imaginary boyfriend to keep his family off his back, an imaginary boyfriend that sounds exactly like Ben Mayheny.....his crush. That's been working until his mother demands he bring home his "boyfriend" for their family party.
Ben is a local photographer and a regular at the Press Room, especially when Sam is working. Ben is one of 7 children from a working class family and has been making his own way in the world since he turned 18. Pete and Faith, two of Sam's coworkers, convince Ben to go home with Sam to play the role of his imaginary boyfriend for his parents Labor Day weekend party. Ben and Sam are friends, neither know the other has a crush on each other. They spend some time practicing "boyfriend" answers. What could go wrong? Ben knows Sam is lying to his family about their relationship, but he is thrown for a surprise by another one of Sam's lies and he's hurt by it. He's not sure if he and Sam can ever really have anything more than something fake.
I loved these characters and the Press Room! These were quirky, fun people that you could see yourself being friends with. The Press Room was a place you would want to hang out and have coffee. The author wrote such likable characters, I wanted Ben and Sam together from the first few pages. Even in the ups and downs, you root for each of them both individually and as a couple.
I hope the author will dip back into the contemporary pool again.
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