Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas
Publication date: August 28, 2018
Length: 310 pages
Reviewed by Erin
Can a computer program understand love better than the human heart?
Archer, the AI at the dating service Q*pid, realizes humans don’t always make the best choices, so it begins making some unconventional choices for them.
Fox Kincade is the last of his group of friends to be single, so he’s delighted when he discovers a new match in his Q*pid app—one that, according to the new AI wizardry, should be the love of his life. Instead of the woman he’s expecting, he’s paired with Drew Larsen, a shy, somewhat nerdy PhD student who has also grown discouraged with romance.
Drew and Fox have little in common—aside from the fact that they’re both straight. Or so they thought. But as the guys get to know each other, they realize Archer might have the right idea. Their path isn’t smooth, because both need to overcome every idea they have about themselves and what true love might look like. But with the help of Archer—and some friends who have stuck with Fox and Drew through the thick and thin of their relationship trials—they might find their way into each other’s hearts.
An interesting premise coupled with an absolutely adorable cover made picking up Q*pid by Xavier Mayne a no-brainer. Throw in an eccentric old woman and an AI (artificial intelligence) named Archer and I couldn't wait to dive into this book. Low angst, a super swoony slow burn romance, and a cast of characters that are utterly delightful had me smiling from beginning to end.
Fox Kincade treats his dating life like a full-time job. He's got spreadsheets, a get-to-know-me spiel that's a full six minutes long that he's practiced until it flows naturally, and has check marks and has the percentage of finding the "perfect" woman down to the decimal point. He's no nonsense when it comes to finding the one and is bound and determined that he's going to find her. When the opportunity comes about to take part in a brand new pilot program on the Q*pid dating site, he jumps in with both feet knowing that this is a chance he can't miss. Until Archer, the AI running the dating algorithms decides that leaving things up to humans might not be the best chance at love.
Drew Larsen is having zero luck in the romance department. He keeps trying and trying to meet a nice girl and well, he keeps striking out in the worst ways. He's a struggling PhD student, a bit of a nerd and his closest friend is his eccentric neighbor Mrs. Schwartzmann. He gets the same invite as Fox to try out the new feature on Q*pid and figures he's got nothing to lose by checking it out. The two wind up matched and arrange a date, not knowing the other person is a man. And yeah, you guessed it, when they find out when they meet, the sparks start to fly.
I liked the friendship and chemistry between Fox and Drew. They were so cute as they get to know one another, all the while questioning just how it is that they seem so perfect for one another but struggle with the fact that it's a guy they're attracted to you (classic gay-for-you trope here) I definitely believed in the romance between the two men but the sexual attraction I had a little harder time with. There was no question that Fox and Drew genuinely liked one another but that red hot intense sexual attraction was lacking. I had a little trouble liking Fox at first, he's a hard nut to crack, but the farther along the book got, the more I enjoyed him.
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