Title: Making His List
Author: Devon Rhodes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link: Amazon.com
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Length: Novella (76 PDF pages)
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
A guest review by Lily
A wonderfully written holiday story about a man who’s sure he’ll find what he needs if he follows his ‘wish list’ and doesn’t realize until it’s almost too late that he had it all along.
This title is part of the 2010 Advent Calendar: Naughty or Nice
When his young niece Bailey moves in, Cory knows he needs to end his casual fling with Ken. Bailey’s had enough upheaval in her short life, and Cory doesn’t want her to get attached to a “friend” who won’t be sticking around. Even so, Cory finds himself continuing to let Ken into his life, but a one-night-stand gone serial isn’t what Cory wants, and so he makes The List: his requirements for the perfect partner.
Helping out during a difficult time, Ken finds himself being pulled into the family unit despite Cory’s previous emotional distance. He hopes he’s finally breaking through, on the verge of convincing Cory to make their relationship more than a casual one. Then, while helping Bailey write to Santa, he finds Cory’s list and takes it as his cue to bow out—just when Cory needs him the most.
Cory is a man with defined expectations for his future. He’s taken his sister and young niece in and is now ready to look for a life partner. Knowing that he’s the only one really looking out for his niece Bailey due to his sister’s drug problems he’s determined to find the best match. To accomplish this he’s made a list of what he expects his perfect man to be like. And unfortunately that’s not Ken, his lover of the past few months. He’s sure Ken isn’t looking for a relationship and so has kept the man away from Bailey and has decided that he can’t continue with their casual sex hook-ups. After a bout of illness ends his rule of keeping Bailey away from Ken he begins to doubt his choices. But just as he’s re-evaluating what he really wants Ken finds the list and decides to give Cory what he wants, an end to their ‘non-relationship’. Just then a complication with Bailey arises that will show Cory that love can’t be found by simply following a list. But has he learned that lesson too late?
I really loved this Christmas themed story although it’s more a journey of self discovery than carols and presents under the tree. It’s easy enough in real life to be like Cory, looking for the ‘perfect’ person without seeing what’s been right in front of you all the while. Cory’s determined to give his niece everything her own mother can’t, and that includes a loving family, and to that end he has to find the perfect person for them both. Ken, in love with Cory but unaware of what’s going on in Cory’s thoughts, has meanwhile been giving him space and letting their time together be casual.
I really liked both Cory and Ken. I was engaged by them from beginning to end and found them and their relationship quite interesting. Cory is set on doing the best he can for his niece and like a lot of people couldn’t see what was in front of him until he almost lost it. I did have a bit of hesitation about him in the beginning because of that but I quickly saw the real man behind the all important ‘perfect’ list and warmed up to him. Ken for his part made the sometimes easy to make mistake of just letting things coast along instead of talking about his real feelings with Cory. These things served to make them all the more real to me and added depth to the story as they slowly worked towards a happy ending.
As with the previous books I’ve read by this author Making His List is a well-written story that will appeal to a wide range of readers. My only complaint is that I would have loved a more detailed ending. I know everything will work out for Cory, Ken and Bailey but I’m greedy and would have liked to have read about it. Aside from that I found this story entertaining, sweet, emotional, humorous, sexy and quite hot at times. Highly recommended.