Title: I’ll Be Your Man
Author: Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid
Publisher: Self Published
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: Soap opera sensationalism in this overblown but fun OFY and older/younger romance.
Blurb: Richard Lynch is a 50-something executive with an ex-wife he’s still hung up on and a son in grad school who only calls when he wants something. In his professional life, Richard’s successful and in control, but his personal life consists of little more than sitting down in front of the television set at seven and being in bed by nine.
Then he meets his son Kyle’s best friend and roommate, Paul Watkins, the handsome gay son of a former rock-star. Richard’s bland, predictable world is thrown into chaos by Paul’s sweetly determined pursuit of him. To some Richard’s new lease on life seems like a mid-life crisis and Paul’s infatuation seems motivated by daddy issues, but to Richard, Paul is his chance to explore a part of himself he’s kept buried all his life. With friends, family, and their pasts threatening to keep them apart, what will it take for each to become the other’s man?
A starting reference point to describe the general feel of this book would be made for TV mini series rather than a well-developed movie. The emotional tone of the relationships displayed reminded me of strangely of the TV programme Dallas, partly perhaps because of the age of the main character. There is a rather brash and coarse, but vigorous energy to this OFY story, which also explores the attraction between an older and much younger man.
The retro vibe I got from this work clearly comes from Richard. An extremely affluent business executive in his early fifties, for all his contemporary knowledge, his life view seemed oddly anachronistic. I think this comes from him at the start of the book still being infatuated with his ex-wife, thus he is still somewhat invested in the social mores of his youth. Hence my Dallas reference! His wife went into the marriage following that het archytype of being a good girl saving a boy after he’d sown his wild oats. Come a more permissive age she decided that she had been short changed regarding sexual experimentation and the demands an open marriage which leads to eventual divorce. This leaves Richard still thinking himself in love with her and hoping that after she has scratched all these itches she’d return to him. So the story starts after ten celibate years for Richard, and the phrase pussy whipped really crossed my mind. However in the interests of OFY it becomes clear that Richard has had sexual thoughts about men, but has never acted on them.
It is only when he meets his beyond irritating, unlikable and immature son Kyle’s roommate that things change. Paul is primarily described in reference to Kyle, so he is the thoughtful, kind, mature young man that Kyle is not. Later he moves into the role of son substitute and young friend with similar interests. Finally after some fairly determined flirting by Paul and some horribly uncomfortable flirting by Richard, the relationship totally changes.
I liked Paul very much as a character; neglected by his drug abusing has-been rock star father, his attraction to Richard is not hard to explain. However he has amazingly well-balanced insights into his own emotions and this lifts the attraction above the mundane. His hot housed maturity has left him with an appealing vulnerability. I liked Richard most when he was with Paul, which was when he moved away from his persona as an establishment father figure and became simply Richard. However he is still protective of Paul and a frantic car ride to the rescue scene was a lot of fun.
I found other characters were drawn with a heavy hand and an over-emphasis on sensation with all their greedy motivations. Paul’s father was bad enough but Catherine’s personality is bluntly and unbelievably overdrawn come all the tawdry revelations about her life. Though her offer to Richard at the end of the book added a certain amount of robust humour.
This is not a book of subtle nuances, but it has its own escapist and brightly coloured charm. Suspending disbelief before reading is probably a good idea.