Escapade (Crabbypatty’s review)

EscapadeTitle: Escapade
Author: Dolce
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: April 11, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 380
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Twenty-nine-year-old Lucas Thompson is at the top of the corporate ladder. But when his lifelong friend and ex-boyfriend invites him to his last-minute destination wedding in the Bahamas, Lucas realizes his corporate success can’t hide his private loneliness. Nor will he be able to escape seeing his family at the wedding—and having to explain, yet again, why he’s rich, handsome… and still single.

Fate and a taxi ride change everything when Lucas meets the charismatic and clever Jack McQueen, who just so happens to be a male escort. Jack’s presence on Lucas’s arm at the wedding keeps questions at bay, but their pretend relationship turns into something more after ten days of sun, sand, and sex. And before the trip is up, both men will discover that what started as a simple escapade in paradise might just lead to their very own happily ever after.

In a nutshell, I loved the plot of Escapade. Lucas is a corporate shark with a fabulous apartment, a great salary and an adorable pug named George ….. but no real friends and fewer relationships. He “cute meets” Jack McQueen in a London cab and is captivated by the tall gorgeous male escort dressed like the love child of Captain Jack Sparrow and Mick Jagger. When the mother of all destination weddings suddenly comes up, Lucas realizes that he just can’t appear, once again, at a family gathering without a boyfriend and engages Jack for the 10-day trip to the Bahamas, after negotiating a “no sex” contract.

Baseball Season

Take me out to the ball game!

Have you ever heard the saying “baseball is six minutes of action crammed into two-and-one-half hours”? Okay, maybe not if all the players looked like this! This delightful plot unfolds over 380 pages and as much as I loved the (extremely) slow burn between Lucas and Jack, the pace of the book was frustrating and all the various details and events of the wedding seriously bogged down the flow of the story.

IMHO, somewhere in the midst of all this is a 5+ star 200-page novel waiting to come out.

The sexual chemistry between Lucas and Jack is sizzling, but as noted above, it is an extremely long time before they finally act on it. And when they ignore the “no sex” provisions of the contract?

As Lucas says:

“Holy fuck”, he panted, staring at the ceiling in complete, slack-jawed shock. […] “Jesus. Jesus Christ on a cross. Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Holy god.”
“The gang’s all here, hm?”
Lucas could not manage a turn of his head, but his eyes rolled toward [Jack’s] murmuring voice, satisfaction dripping from every word. “I feel like I’m still coming,” he rasped.

I adored how Dolce describes Jack and his lean build, soft skin (and extensive beauty regime), the long curling hair and gorgeous eyes and yeah, how he rocks a man bun and Ray Bans. Jack is hawt.

Lucas asked, “How does anyone resist you?”
“You tell me.” [Jack] licked his wet lips. “You’re the only one.”

At the core of their relationship, Lucas and Jack are sweet and obviously meant for each other. I admire how Dolce doesn’t “go there” with the oft-seen plot crisis of “OMG, he’s a former escort, how can they overcome this and find true love?” Lucas and Jack are low-angst and there is such a trust and respect between the two. And the ending? It’s everything you want for them.

For me personally, Escapade was too bogged down, but I still loved the story. I would recommend it 100% for a fabulous summer read for its setting and two so very hot men who find love.

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Galley copy of provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.

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