Love and the Real Boy by J.K. Hogan ~ Book Review by Leisa

Sequel to I Survived Seattle …

Love and the Real Boy Title: Love and the Real Boy

Author: J.K. Hogan

Publisher: Wilde City

Cover Artist: Wilde City Press

Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Blurb:

How much heartache can one man take before he breaks? That is a question Rich Langston asks himself every day.

A Seattle advertising exec who uses his designer suit and showy car like a suit of armor, Rich refuses to let the world get to him. His traumatic childhood has ruined any faith he had in people, friendship, and love. After a meltdown that led to him alienating everyone in his life, Rich agrees to help with the restoration of an antique sailboat as a form of penance.

Roped into heading up with the boat repair by his mother, marine restorer Patrick O’Dowd finds himself having to babysit a moody, spoiled rich boy with absolutely no carpentry experience. His easy-going nature is sorely tested, but he quickly realizes that things are not always what they seem; sometimes a fancy suit is nothing but an elaborate deflection from what’s real.

Through unavoidable personality clashes and fierce attraction, both Rich and Patrick explore their hidden pain and inner demons, and they end up finding with what really matters—love.

Leisa’s View:

Before reading Love and the Real Boy I would have sworn that Rich is an nonredeemable character. Like many others who read I Survived Seattle, I just despised Rich, with his odd possessiveness toward friend and roommate Jory, and his attempt to blackmail Jory’s best friend, Justice. When Rich threatens to reveal Justice as a closeted gay man in I Survived Seattle, I wanted to smack the jerk. Rich came across as selfish, unkind, and cruel – the perfect antagonist.

Love and the Real Boy is Rich’s story… and what a story it is. Turns out Rich didn’t suddenly become a creep when Jory announces his engagement and Justice arrives in town to be his best man. Instead, his childhood was filled with abuse, neglect, homelessness, and foster homes. Rich has never had anyone he loves stay in his life and he’s terrified of losing Jory’s friendship. He’s clawed his way through school to have a successful career and he shields his real self in his expensive suits. Yes, Rich does hide behind a cool facade of indifference, but underneath he’s still the same little sad and lonely boy who craves love.

As penance to Jory for hurting Justice, Rich agrees to help renovate Justice’s fiance Nic’s sailboat as a surprise gift from Justice. There he meets project manager Patrick, the manly guy whose family renovates boats. Patrick is the perfect man for Rich – he’s confident, not particularly clingy, and he doesn’t let Rich hide from the truth. Their relationship is not usual romantic novel fodder, and there are a few times when reading the story that it crossed my mind that neither Rich nor Patrick are particularly likable. But as the story progresses with each man’s true inner character and vulnerabilities revealed, I am impossibly drawn to these two men. Within each other they find the strength to face fears, re-establish lost relationships, and to grasp onto their chance for a lasting and true love. With his love, Patrick helps Rich to break down his barriers to accept the “real boy” inside, and Patrick overcomes lingering traumatic memories.

I highly recommend that you read Love and the Real Boy. This remarkable story is one filled with redemption, acceptance, and the power of real love.  What a lovely treat!

 

Buy Links

Wilde City
Amazon US
Amazon UK

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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