Release Date: April 22, 2013
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Irresistible Attraction #4
ISBN: # 978-1626490123
Genre: LGBTQ, M/M, Contemporary Romance
Book Source: NetGalley
Steve Campbell used to be a player, until a mid-life crisis opened his eyes to his long-repressed love for Connor, his soon-to-be-married best friend and business partner. Coming out at thirty-eight means learning how to date all over again, and this time, Steve’s not willing to settle for empty one-night stands. He wants the real thing.
Gil Alvarez has never had it easy, struggling through childhood and rejected by his family for a body that didn’t match who he was inside. A skilled driver and mechanic, he’s working hard to make his auto shop a success. The last thing he needs is a rich white guy in a candy-apple-red Ferrari tempting him, but Steve’s ready smile and easygoing manner prove irresistible.
One brief, intimate encounter leaves them both hungry for more. Gil’s not ashamed of who he is, but he’s terrified that Steve will reject him—or worse—when he discovers what Gil can’t find the courage to tell him.
Having lived a seemingly sheltered existence until coming out at the age of thirty-eight, Steve Campbell has a lot to learn about his new life as a bisexual. Tired of one-night stands and the disappointment of looking for more in all the wrong places, what he wants most is to find someone special he can commit to. But, just when he’s almost ready to give up, he gets a helping hand from an attractive stranger, and realizes he has a chance at a love he never anticipated, and one that may never come along again.
Passionate, talented, and determined, Gil Alvarez works hard to keep his auto repair shop afloat and his dreams alive. After the assistance he offers the poor, hapless car owner he met at the beach comes back to bite him, he’s determined not to let the man get under his skin. He’s got enough problems already, thanks. But, even though he knows it’s going to end in disaster, he can’t stay away from Steve, realizing too late that the secret he’s kept hidden could cost him the only real happiness he’s ever had.
While Flawless works well as a standalone, I do wish I’d been able to read the other stories in the series in order to better understand Steve’s origins and his emotional evolution. Steve is certainly well meaning, but his social skills could use some work. He is aware of his own shortcomings well enough to seek outside counsel when he goofs up, at least, and readily owns up to his mistakes. When he realizes how badly he’s offended Gil, he attempts to make amends, rather than turn his back on their tentative relationship. He’s a work in progress, but I like where he’s headed.
I really loved Gil, though. He’s a fighter and a survivor. Though he doesn’t look much like most people think a mechanic should, he owns his own business and is very good at what he does. That Gil is hopeful about what he feels for Steve, understandable wariness aside, really pulled me in, and I very much wanted everything to be okay for him, even though I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.
Flawless is a short, but very sweet story, especially once Steve and Gil work past their misunderstandings. Although I really loved Gil from the beginning, Steve grew on me, too, after a while; particularly as he began to piece together for himself just exactly how difficult Gil’s life has been to this point. Eventually, the two resolve their differences and realize that they don’t have to fit the rest of the world’s expectations in order to be happy. In Flawless, Ms. Grant gives welcome attention to a much-neglected topic, and does so with sincerity and heart. I only wish their story hadn’t ended quite so soon.
Liked it a lot – recommend (B+)