Title: The Right Words (Right and Wrong #1)
Author: Lane Hayes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 12, 2014
Page Count: 204
Reviewed by: Gigi
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Escaping an abusive relationship left Luke Preston anxious and spouting panic-induced poetry. Desperate for a fresh start, Luke accepts a job remodeling a tired old beach house for a professional soccer player and his model girlfriend. While his passion is literature, not sports, focusing on the renovations eases his anxiety. Until the job he signed up for turns out to be more complicated than advertised.
Sidelined with a serious injury, soccer star Michael Martinez decides his beach house is the perfect place to recuperate. Remodeling might be the diversion he needs to keep his mind off his busted knee. Falling for the pretty designer with some quirky habits wasn’t on the drawing board. Unfortunately, Luke didn’t build a big enough closet for Michael to hide in. Having a star-powered sports career used to be all Michael lived for, but he’ll have to reevaluate his plans and find the right words if he wants to build more than a beach house with Luke.
I hate to say it, but I was not overly impressed with The Right Words. Yes, I gave it 4 stars, but Ms. Hayes’ reputation is stellar and the blurb had me jumping up-and-down with excitement, so for this to turn out to be a pretty typical M/M romance disappointed me. Yeah, my problem, I know.
Here we have Luke Preston, a year out of an abusive relationship with an older man who had pretty much taken over his life. He is now bunking with his best friend and working on his career as an interior decorator while seeing a therapist to help manage his panic attacks and get his life in order. As he likes to tell people, his life is a “work in progress.”
A series of events lead Luke to American Soccer player Michael Martinez’s hilltop beach house. The house is in desperate need of a remodel and Michael has a knee injury that will need months to heal, so Luke and Michael will be working together for an extended period of time. Michael is deep in the closet, believing he has absolutely no choice in the matter of coming out to his family, team and fans. He honestly believes he will lose everything if he does. All of his sexual relationships are on the down low.
As you can guess, Luke and Michael are attracted to one another and begin a physical relationship that deepens emotionally with time. Well, deepens as far as Luke is concerned. The story is told from Luke’s POV, so we never get a peek into Michael’s feelings until he actually verbalizes them, which was quite frustrating for me. I was left wondering more than a few times just how serious Michael really was about fragile, sweet Luke. Another thing that frustrated me was how slowly the first half of the book went. I really didn’t latch on until the 50% mark. That’s always a bummer too.
But this was a sweet, solid romance, despite my misgivings. I went into this one expecting something more than I should have. Luke was a delight, and his best friend Brandon was the cherry on top. (He will be the subject of the second book in the series The Wrong Man and, get this… His romantic hero is going to be a FIREFIGHTER! AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!) Michael grew on me and everything came together in the end in a bright display of romance perfection.