Title: Keeping House (Truth or Dare #1)
Author: Lee Brazil
Publisher: Self Published
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Length: 22,412 words
Rating: 4 out of 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: Light, frothy romance—escapist fun.
Blurb: Donovan Holloway, advertising executive, newly made vice president of the company where he’s worked for twenty years, grew up in a free love hippie commune, taking care of the parents who should have been taking care of him. He’s worked hard to put himself through school and achieve the American dream. All he’s ever wanted was a normal family life—house in the suburbs, two cars, two kids, a shaggy dog. A family to come home to—to care for, and to care for him.
Mischa Blake is the green eyed, liberally-pierced, black-haired, Mohawk-wearing spoiled youngest son of a Hollywood producer and his actress wife. Mischa has made a terrible mistake. In a fit of childish pique, he’s accepted a dare from his older brothers. The dare? Live on his own, supporting himself completely for a year without accessing his trust fund. No problem. Except Mischa has never worked a day in his life, hasn’t finished college, and has absolutely no skills that he can bring to the table.
So when he sees Donovan’s ad for a housekeeper/gardener, he has nothing to lose by applying, because really…how hard can it be?
This novella has been written with a light touch bringing some fun to a quite traditional heterosexual formula—an older man looking for domestic love meets an unconventional younger girl. Yes, there is a certain Mills and Boon’s romance vibe here, however I never felt this was an awkward M/M rewrite of this stereotype. The character of the ingenue Mischa has a certain amount of originality and a very contemporary, young feel. A lot of my preconceptions about this book never materialized, in particular the thought that Mischa was going to be a flaky boy in need of being rescued.
Mischa is an engaging, sexy and enjoyable character. His novel and intelligent approach to housework was amusing and again not quite what I’d expected. The friends who standby him when he has left his financial comfort zone, are quirky and add to the young, outre, atmosphere that he represents.
The character of Donovan is well drawn and there is enough back story to allow him to stand out from the crowd of sympathetic male leads. He is kind, thoughtful and strong with some vulnerability to season his personality. Mischa’s manipulative brothers are written with just enough detail to have separate personalities and I did wonder if there are going to be any spin offs from this book, given Terry’s reaction to Mischa’s naughty friends, the twins.
I enjoyed the anticipation of the set up part of the story, but felt that the latter stages were a little sweet for my taste. Refreshingly there was no flouncing or big, silly misunderstandings. The sex was only a touch more than standard fare, but hot enough. However there was almost instant love and a frighteningly short time scale on the complete domestic package, that felt rather rushed towards the end.
Nevertheless, with a good cup of tea and possibly iced buns, this was a pleasant way to spend some time.