Title: Mister Romance (Love Brokers 1)
Author: L.C. Chase
Cover Art: Mina Carter
Buy Link: Buy Link Mister Romance (Love Brokers)
Length: Novella/26,289 words/91 PDF pages
Genre: Contemporary M/M romance
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
A guest review by LadyM
Review summary: A bit of Holiday fluff.
Jacob Cruz, aka “Mr. Matchmaker”, has an uncanny knack for knowing who would be perfect for whom, which led to his successful matchmaking company, His Perfect Match. His record is nearly flawless, but when it comes to his own love life he always seems to miss the mark.
Brant Hudson, aka “Mr. Romance”, is a hopeless romantic with his own romance consulting business. He knows every move in the book to win a heart and build a lasting, loving relationship, heck, he wrote the book. Even knowing what he knows, seeing his clients’ relationships bloom and grow, his own seem to miss the spark.
Sparks fly the first time Jacob and Brant meet at a New Year’s Eve party, but bad timing and sitcom-worthy mishaps conspire against them at every turn, from demanding clients to current boyfriends, spilled drinks to broken bones, and even a rogue ferret. How can the perfect couple ever hope to make it work when Old Lady Fate refuses to get out of their way?
Imagine my surprise when I realized that this was the first author’s story I’ve read. I think all the great covers L.C. Chase makes fooled me. This cover isn’t her creation, but it’s lovely and fits the story perfectly.
Mister Romance, the first book in Love Brokers series, is ideal for the season. It’s sweet, with some funny elements thrown in; it’s well-written, almost angst-free and easy to read. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. Having said all this, I would have liked that author addressed some elements of the story rather than ignoring them and that the men were able to spent more time together before professing their undying love for each other. Some of the obstacles thrown their way (including a ferret and personal injury) could have been omitted to make this happen.
Jacob Cruz, Mr. Matchmaker, and Brant Hudson, Mr. Romance, each own a matchmaking business. They are very successful and dedicated to their clients. On a New Year’s Eve, Violet, their mutual friend, introduces the two men, believing that they were made for each other. Their mutual attraction is undeniable. But Jacob is in a two-year relationship with another man – Christopher – and, after an attempt to be friends, the two men go their separate ways.
Fast forward five years. Shopping for gifts, Jacob meets Brant again. Six months ago he broke up with his boyfriend and, since the attraction between men is alive and well, they are both ready to act on it. And, here lies one of the problems I had with the story. Jacob has spent seven years in a relationship with another man. Jacob and Brant haven’t met for five of those years and apparently haven’t changed one iota. I found this very hard to believe and it created distance from the protagonists. I know that the author wanted to show how “right” they were for each other, but I like my romance with a bit of realism. Jacob’s relationship or reasons for the breakup were never addressed (though we were given some hints when the men first met); Christopher magically vanished and was never mentioned again. The fact that Jacob has chosen another man and security over Brant was never addressed.
I wish these things were addressed in the story. Instead, the author created the conflict including Jacob’s former abusive client Terry that seemed artificial to me. Luckily, this was resolved quickly and it didn’t stray into Big Misunderstanding territory. I wished we were shown how the men changed during the period of their separation. I wished we were shown that they were “right” for each other in spite of those changes.
The author is, no doubt, talented and with a little effort this could have been an exceptional romance. But, overall, this was a light story which will appeal to the readers who want some angst-free read.