A guest review by Jenre
A nicely written story with sympathetic characters and a swift moving plot.
Jamie is an accountant who lives by a strict schedule: every day is planned; the future is predictable. And that schedule includes one night a week when he allows himself to blow off steam at a gay dance club in the City. One Friday night he gets more than he bargained for when he meets Matt, an out of work stranger with long dark hair and rough hands. The attraction is undeniable but Matt does not fit Jamie’s idea of the perfect man to share his carefully ordered life.
Instead, Jamie longs for a date with his dream man: handsome, sophisticated Keith, a successful Vice President at his prestigious New York accounting firm, a man on his way up.
But everything changes when Jamie discovers a suspicious error in one of his accounts. Suddenly, he finds himself on the run from both the mob and the FBI — and the only man who can help him is the tall, dark-haired stranger he rejected. Because Matt is not who he seems — and neither is Keith.
During the week Jamie is a self controlled, hard working accountant. He knows that on the surface he seems like a dull man and with his regimented life and love of number patterns, it’s difficult for him to find that perfect man, especially when, for Jamie, that man is his charismatic boss and nephew of the firm’s CEO. However, on Friday nights, Jamie throws off his dull accountant look and dresses to kill, spending his one night of the week partying at the gay clubs and in back alley encounters. It’s during one of these nights that Jamie meets Matt, who wants to throw away Jamie’s rules and see him again. Jamie isn’t ready to step away from his routine though and it takes a crisis at work and Jamie’s life put in danger before he can start to allow Matt into his carefully regimented world.
One of the things I liked most about this story was the character of Jamie. I thought the author did a good job of showing him as a man who, after a turbulent childhood, needs the safety and security of a controlled life. It wasn’t overdone either, just in the little details such as Jamie’s rules about never bringing anyone back to his home or his worries when circumstances disrupt his routine. I also liked that he wasn’t so mired in his routine that he couldn’t relax and let it go a little when necessary. When Matt comes into Jamie’s life, he quickly understands Jamie’s need for control, and I thought it very telling that Matt was willing to let Jamie get used to him. In this way the men were perfect for each other as they anticipate the needs of the other and work round any difficulties in a mature and sensible manner. The sexual attraction between them is hot, especially in their first encounter, but that quickly moves into a more emotional and tender feel to the sex scenes that I found very lovely and romantic.
In contrast with the controlled way Jamie runs his life and his relationship with Matt, was the suspense plot which draws Jamie further and further out of his comfort zone and into circumstances over which he has no control. This part of the book was fraught with danger for Jamie and Matt and showed a good difference in pace. My heart was in my mouth a number of times as I wondered how the men were going to get out of the situation. For most of the time, this plot was exciting and realistic as Jamie’s dogged determination to discover the truth in the financial anomalies he discovers, turns from mere accountancy to murder. If I have any complaints it’s that I didn’t think the actions of the FBI officers were wholly true to life, and it all got a little over the top by the end. However, that led to an exciting finale, so I just suspended my disbelief and went with it!
If I have any niggles about the book it’s in the way that Jamie was so naive about some things, especially Keith. Given his experiences in life, I expected him to be more wary and streetwise than he was and this gave the occasional false note to Jamie’s character. It wasn’t enough to totally spoil the story for me though, just a little irksome at times.
So if you like thrilling suspense plots, sympathetic and sensible characters, and a sensual but tender romance plot, then you can’t go wrong with this book. I shall definitely be looking out for more from this new-to-me author in the future because Friday Night Jamie was a real pager turner for me and I recommend it.