TitleA Lie I Can Live With (The Match Before Christmas #3)
Author: Eden Winters
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: contemporary m/m romance, holiday
Length: Short Story (67 pdf pages, 17 k words)
Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars
A Guest Review by Feliz
Summary Review: This third installment in Eden Winters’ “Match before Christmas” series is a sweet and uplifting Thanksgiving story.
Although this short story is part of a series, it can be read as a standalone
The Blurb: With a few extra pounds and a geek reputation, Otis Tucker despairs of ever finding someone to share his life with. When the GLBT dating service GetaDate.com matches him with handsome hunk Garret, he thinks it’s some kind of joke. But the more he learns of Garret, the more he realizes that even gorgeous people can be taken at face value and that Mr. Perfects come in many different sizes.
The Match Before Christmas Series
The Review: People tend to lie about many things on internet dating sites in order to score a date. The catch is, IF they score a date, usually the cat is out of the bag faster than they prefer.
This is what happened to Otis, who thought nobody would want a slightly overweight furry bear-type computer geek, so he created fake persona “Vincent” on his “getadate.com” profile. Instead of getting him a date, though, Otis’ alter ego Vincent helped him becoming friends with Barry (from “The Match Before Christmas” and “Fanning the Flames”). Barry convinces Otis to send “Vincent” into retirement and to post a honest profile in turn. Otis thinks nothing will come of it. Surely nobody out there will bother to look past his outer appearance and find the funny, caring, loveable person inside. Least of all hunky, gorgeous Garret, who seems to be Otis’s match in an almost ridiculously perfect way and, to crown it all, seems to think that Otis is sexy. Otis can’t get over the fact that it’s almost too good to be true. Or is it? Perhaps, if Otis himself can learn to look behind his own outer imperfections, he’ll be able to let himself in for Garret the way the other man deserves.
Otis is only confident in the things he knows he’s good at, like playing video games or solving other people’s computer problems which to him, seem so minor that he actually wonders why someone would pay him for something so trivial. Otherwise, he’s somewhat socially awkward and shy because he’s so very insecure about his looks. However, looks set aside, Otis is actually a catch; he’s a romantic at heart and a family man, he’s intelligent, funny and loyal, he can laugh about himself and – he can cook. When Otis meets Garret, he can’t believe his luck. Apprehensive that Garret’s obvious interest in him must be a figment of his imagination, Otis holds back, taking only what Garret gives of his own accord.
Garret’s problems with his looks are the polar opposite of Otis’s – Garret is so good-looking that everybody wants him. But only as a trophy, as in “see that hottie over there? I had him.” None of his pursuers ever bothered an attempt at looking past the shiny appearance, nobody ever cared for the kind of person Garret is. But Otis is different – undemanding, considerate, and easy to be with. On top of this, what Otis perceives as his own physical imperfections actually makes him all the more enticing for Garret – there’s even a very good, plausible reason why Garret would feel attracted to men like Otis. (and even though in my personal book tastes don’t have to be justified – people are just different that way – I found the solution in Garret’s case totally fitting).
I loved watching those two men slowly getting to know each other. Although the story is told from Otis’s POV, I felt like I got to know Garrett very well, too. He’s not at all a shallow beauty queen, but has depths and personality and his own set of hang-ups (and the most adorable parents, by the way!) Garret literally turns Otis’s head with a good, old-fashioned courtship, which in turn brings out the very best in Otis. Those two made so much sense together and were two so likeable guys, I simply had to take them to my heart.
The story moves along without much drama and, except for Otis’s initial misgivings, almost angst-free. It’s a really sweet and easy read that, at times, even bordered on too sweet for me. The sweetness was balanced by the humor in this story – it was laugh-out loud funny in places, and Otis (the narrator) has this wonderful self-ironic voice that totally keeps him from sounding pathetic. And the tons and tons of good food – this story shouldn’t be read while on a diet!
Most of this story takes place around Thanksgiving, but I thinks it’s still a Christmassy story. What could be a better Christmas present than knowing you’ve found your perfect match? After all, everybody wants to believe that there’s someone out there for them, no matter how unloveable they think they are.