Length: 260 pages
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
Will Jason's third time as a best man lead to first-time love for Vanya?
After fleeing violence in Moscow, student teacher Vanya Petrov winds up lonely in a run-down London hostel. At least visiting the Bond Street store where his roommate works lets him practice his English, but as Vanya's vocabulary expands, so does his isolation, especially when he sees happy couples planning their perfect weddings.
According to Jason Balfour, weddings are a waste of time and money. After all, he's been best man for his brother twice already. Saying that a third marriage will end in divorce too leads to an angry ultimatum: to save his relationship with his brother, Jason must meet his fiancée, at last, and make a good first impression.
Jason's need to dress to impress brings him and Vanya together. Language is no barrier to falling in love with the young and fragile Russian, and neither is their age difference. But Vanya's bruised soul carries secrets that could rip them apart. As the wedding draws near, Vanya must confess, and soon, or risk losing Jason-his own best man in Britain.
Every now and then I read a story that just grabs my heart and won’t let go. A story that not only has angst, sweetness, and love but just about every emotion you can think of wrapped up in characters that I fall in love with myself. A story that gets me so invested in the characters that I worry for them, hope with them, and wind up needing a box of tissues as I shed a tear (okay, maybe more than one) for them. Be My Best Man is all of this, but it’s also a story that broke my heart before putting it back together. And if that’s not enough, it also made me think hard about the plight of immigrants trying to start over in a different light—and seeing things through Vanya’s point of view for that was incredibly sad with a touch of hope.
I just can’t say enough wonderful things about Vanya. To endure what he had back home and the struggles he continues to have in England, and still have so much hope—it was inspiring while at the same time had me constantly worried that everything could fall apart at a moment’s notice…not unlike many immigrants’ situations all over the world at any point in time, and also in tune with Vanya’s continual worry as well. Even so, I still thought Vanya was simply wonderful, and so easy to fall for. He’s in his early twenties, but has been through too much in his relatively short life that I couldn’t help but want to root for him in every aspect of his life.
Compared to Vanya, Jason seems to have had a terrific life. But he had his own rocky start when he was very young, and some of his own situation then actually has similarities to Vanya’s life. But unlike Vanya, Jason lives in a country that doesn’t want to hunt him down for who he is…which means he was able to flourish in the right environment. The two of them falling for each other happens at an easy pace, and is filled with so much sweetness—with the hint of spice to come.
Vanya’s precarious immigration circumstances lead to Jason not knowing everything he should about him, and was part of my constant state of worry while reading. Even through all of the sweet spots, I was always concerned that things would go sideways at any moment…something that kept me glued to the pages with my fingers and toes crossed the whole way through. After everything that Vanya and Jason have each gone through separately, I so desperately wanted everything to work out for them as a couple, and for Vanya gaining asylum in England.
In addition to all of that, the supporting characters were perfect in their roles, very well developed, and really added depth to an already passionate story…and I’m not referring to the intimate scenes when I say passionate here. For the record, the physically intimate scenes were not just there for the thrill—they were emotional with plenty of meaning for the story and the characters, done in such a way to illustrate just how deeply into each other Vanya and Jason were falling.
I really loved this story, no matter how much angst I went through while reading…and Be My Best Man was a clear 5-star read for me. I definitely recommend this book to every M/M romance fan out there, just be ready for an emotional, heart-on-the-line read when you pick it up. This story is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.
Injury curtailed her enjoyment of outdoor pursuits, so writing fiction now fills her free time. Love, loss, and redemption shape her romance stories, and her characters are flawed in ways that makes them live and breathe.
When not people watching, or wrangling her own boy band of teen sons, she spends time staring at the sea from her kitchen window. If you see her, don't disturb her-she's probably thinking up new plots.
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