Jilted by his fiancé two weeks before their wedding, Nash Marino’s outlook on life in general, and love in particular, is jaded. After months of couch-surfing, Nash is fed up. He’s sick and tired of his living conditions, worn out by the demands of his nursing job, and despairs of ever finding love again. In fact, he doesn’t think he’s capable of true love. Monogamy, commitment, companionship, and regular sex … that’s all he wants, and the sooner, the better.
When Nash crosses paths with a like-minded man who’s also in need of a live-in nurse for a beloved relative, Nash figures all his problems are solved. But matters are complicated by a freak accident and amnesia. When Nash’s marriage of convenience scheme is muddied by notions of love after his memory reboot, will their plans go awry, or will Nash’s new outlook on life be just what the doctor ordered?
You know, I really do enjoy when a book is what you expect, and yet fulfills that expectation beyond what I thought it would. I expected a nice, contemporary MM romance, and that this book delivers aplenty, don’t worry. The added extra bonus is the well delivered development of the story and all the characters. This is really good, well thought out and developed writing. Even the characters we don’t see much of, such as Nash’s ex fiancé Sam, are fully developed for the story. There are no hiccups, no WTF’s, just a really good story that leaves one completely fulfilled. Oh yes, there’s that sweet, slowly simmering, intense angst. Man, I love that!
Handsome, blond green eyed, Nash Marino who got dealt a really lousy hand with his ex-fiancé when said fiancé’s long lost husband, given up for dead after a plane crash, comes back to wreck his hopes and dreams. Nash is entering the grieving phase to move on from his relationship debacle, and yet not sure of how his future is going to develop.
Dr. Myles Italus “Emmitt” Burlingham:
“Emmitt had stunning coloring with his dark brown hair contrasting with his pale skin and piercing blue eyes. Nothing about his features stood out one way or another, but, yeah, on the checklist he, Harley, and Oliver had come up with last night, he’d have to put a big checkmark next to personal attraction.”
Dr. ‘Emmitt’ Burlingham is entering a whole, new phase in his life. His divorce from his wife is final, he’s stepping out and acknowledging his sexual orientation and he needs to take care of his ‘Grampy’, Bernie, who brought him up after his parents’ death… cue the handsome Nash, stage right. Emmitt has been noticing Nash for a while now and events all come together for a fortuitous set of events.
To Love and To Cherish is a good fun read. Our two MCs, Nash and Emmitt, are pretty much at the same point in their lives, a point a lot, if not most, gay men have found themselves at one time or another: tired of chasing for love and being continually disappointed they’re ready to settle for ‘a nice guy’ whose faithful and steady, and Emmitt is nothing if not faithful and steady. Nash is recovering from the disastrous end of his engagement to Sam, whose supposedly dead in a plane crash husband is discovered alive in a deserted island. It is at this juncture, when Nash is looking to move out from his friend’s apartment that he’s been staying at for months and Emmitt is needing someone to care for his Grampy at the home they share that the perfect opportunity arises for Nash and Emmitt. Unfortunately, nothing is easy in life and as Nash’s father is wont to say about Nash: “You’re the biggest weird shit magnet I’ve ever known.”
Nash ends up in the hospital with amnesia after a freak car accident and has lost the last six months of his life. It is because of this that Emmitt and Nash’s relationship has a chance at succeeding as Nash recovers his lost memories and sees things in a whole, new light.
I really enjoyed the writing. The story flows smoothly and I’ve always enjoyed Addison Albright’s sense of humor. The editing is well done, no hiccups, no typos, so I could just sit back and enjoy the story. Yes, it does read like a soap opera, but hey this is MM Romance. It’s an enjoyable, kick back, escapist read. I really recommend this one.
THREE QUESTIONS FOR LISA
- What do you think of Emmitt, do you think he was always attracted to Nash and felt this was his chance?
- What about Nash’s ex, Sam? Did he make the right decision? What would you have done?
- Would you like to see more of Oliver and Harley?
Between a mundane main character and a couple of heavy, and frankly wacky, plot twists I had a difficult time settling into this read. I wanted to connect with Nash, but instead found myself disbelieving his choices.
Loving, but unloved. Nash is a bit clueless throughout most of this book and that’s before he suffers amnesia. He is caring and loving, but he just never reached me.
Dr. Miles (Emmitt) Burlingham:
Emmitt (or is it Miles?) changes during this story. He begins as a conservative professional and blossoms into a warm, attentive lover and partner. Maybe I just wanted his story more.
Nash’s life is a wreck. He lost his fiancé, he lives on his best friend’s sofa, and he has given up on love. He makes a brash decision to completely reconstruct his life and then is in a freak accident that, once again, changes everything.
“You’re the biggest weird shit magnet I’ve ever known.”
Miles has just finalized his hetero divorce and immediately wants to shack up, for life, with the first gay guy around. This is where things begin to unravel. It’s just too unbelievable. Try as she might the author just didn’t convince me that two intelligent, good looking, honorable men would so hastily choose to make that jump.
This story was moving along steadily until, wham-O, it took a peculiar left turn. And just as you’re about to accept that, wham-O again!, complete U-turn. Just too weird.
However, I have to say that Nash really gets his act together at the end and I appreciated that. It helped to smooth out some of the uncomfortable edges of jealousy and selfishness and that felt good to me.
This book lacks the deep character connections needed to pull off the erratic plot line. I couldn’t believe that Nash would give up his job, at the drop of a hat, since it was the only solid thing in his life. Also, would he just drop all of his desires and become a live-in houseboy after just a single chat with his would be boss?
And, unfortunately their first sexual encounter happens during the same time the whole “arrangement” is made. It felt like a business transaction but, of course, it was – Amazing. Too much all at once.
Marriage to Emmit would instantly take care of everything fucked up with his life.
Craziest damned story.
THREE QUESTIONS FOR OJ
- How long do you think Emmitt had loved Nash?
- I didn’t bring up secondary characters in my review, but who was your favorite? Did one stand out more than the others?
- Believeability factor? Am I just being too harsh?
We would like to thank Addison Albright and JMS Books LLC with providing Gay Guy/Straight Girl Reviews with a copy of this book in exchange for our honest review.
Addison Albright lives in the middle of the USA with three peculiar cats. Her stories are gay (sometimes erotic) romance, and tend to be sweet man-love in contemporary settings. Her education includes a BS in Education with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Chemistry. Addison loves spending time with her family, reading, popcorn, boating, french fries, “open window weather,” cats, math, and anything chocolate. She loves to read pretty much anything and everything, anytime and anywhere.
For more information, visit Addison Albright