Title: And Call Me In The Morning
Author: Willa Okati
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Buy Link: Amazon.com
Length: Novel (189 pages)
Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
Eli and Zane. Colleagues at work and close friends, though on the surface it’s an unexpected friendship between an odd couple. While Zane took the “high school to college to med school” track, medicine is Eli’s second career and the best choice he ever made. He has work that he loves, an extended second family of colleagues and friends, and Zane.
So why does everyone make such a big deal about the pair of them?
Yes, they spend a lot of time together. It doesn’t mean they’re a real couple. When teased about it one too many times by their colleagues, Zane challenges Eli to set the record straight with a kiss to prove there’s absolutely no chemistry between them.
Neither expected a spark to ignite between them. More than a spark. Desire. Passion.
Zane wants to try getting up close and personal again to see if it was a one-time fluke or something more. Eli thinks he’s too old to jump the fence now, but he can’t say no to Zane and he doesn’t want to.
Truth be told, Eli’s not so sure they can set the record straight after all.
Zane and Eli had been best friends for years and were so close their friends assumed they were lovers and teased them mercilessly about it. The two men could not be more dissimilar as Zane came from a privileged, moneyed background although he never flaunted it, while Eli was working class and had entered the medical field when he switched careers after many years in law enforcement. Eli had been married for years and was recently divorced while Zane’s misspent youth and demanding career did not allow for permanent ties. Even their recreational pursuits were different, Zane loved the symphony and Eli was a baseball fan, but they had a lot in common in terms of other mutual interests so they hung out most nights with each other when they weren’t working.
While they took the teasing in stride, at times it was frustrating that no one believed they were just friends. One day while out with their colleagues the constant teasing became unbearable so Zane suggested privately to Eli one way to put a stop to it. His plan: that they kiss each other and hopefully find it a horrible experience, which would allow them to report back to their friends that there was no chemistry between them and thus debunk the rumours. This would have been a great strategy except for one thing, the kiss didn’t quite work out the way it was supposed to and they got all hot and bothered, which changed the dynamic of their relationship and opened a different can of worms.
After the initial embarrassment of his reaction to the kiss Eli is plagued by sex filled dreams, but being more conservative than Zane he tried to write it off and pretend that nothing had changed. Zane, on the other hand, wanted to explore further and suggested that they try to figure out if the kiss was a one time thing or if they were really attracted to each other – a whole new ballgame. He reminded Eli that they had trusted each other for years and they should treat this as an experiment and a joint effort, the way they did everything else. After much hesitation Eli agreed to test the waters, and their stumbling efforts at man on man sex were hilarious since neither one knew where to start and what to do.
If you can suspend disbelief that two straight men in their forties who had been friends and colleagues for many years suddenly find each other incredibly attractive, you will love this book. The dialogue was very funny and there were many laugh out loud moments as Zane did his best to persuade Eli that he was the man of his dreams by waging his own devious campaign. He had his own agenda since he had been secretly in love with Eli for about a year and this opportunity was not one he was going to miss. One evening he dressed very seductively but Eli, who was no fool, made it clear that he was on to him. Zane asked what gave him away and Eli responded “the part where you flashed your tits.” There were many other funny lines throughout, like the time Zane told Eli “Do you think I’m putting out on the first date? I’m not that kind of girl, you tramp.” 😀 Both men graduated Blow Job 101, and Eli learned that teeth were not permitted anywhere near that most tender part of a man’s anatomy. His dilemma – how to give a BJ without his teeth being in play, since teeth were right there next to the lips, but he eventually became most proficient at this new delight. 😀 The sex was incredibly sensuous even as they bumbled and bungled their way into this new territory, and there was much emotion to go along with the sex and the laughs.
In case you think it was all fun and games, the story contained many poignant and serious moments as Zane battled with the hospital adminstration who wanted to close down the free clinic where he spent a lot of his free time providing medical care to people who could not afford insurance. Also, both doctors were at crossroads in their careers and had to decide whether to stay at Immaculate Grace Hospital or move on to other opportunities which could mean separation, and there were many serious disagreements about following different career paths. However, a major and life threatening health crisis made Eli realize how much he really loved Zane, and the only thing that mattered was to have him in his life forever.
Both protagonists were well drawn, but my favourite was Zane who was much more vulnerable and open and didn’t care who knew how he felt about Eli . Eli on the other hand was not comfortable about being in this unfamiliar territory and he was embarrassed to admit their relationship; he also did not believe in public displays of affection while Zane was the exact opposite. However, when Eli was tested he showed what he was made of. The supporting characters were all three dimensional as well, from Taye the gay intern who helped Eli figure out what was important in life, to Diana, a cardiologist and Holly, a psychotherapist, two of their best friends and colleagues who teased them unmercifully, but were there when it counted!
I really enjoyed this book which was funny, sexy, had great characters, the pacing was just right, it had the appropriate degree of difficulty in the plot elements and the ending was great. Highly recommended