Title: Stay with Me (The PI Guys #1)
Author: S.E. Harmon Narrator: Michael Stellman
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 01-20-15
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
Reviewed by: Lily G Blunt
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Private investigator Mackenzie Williams’ newest client is everything he’s looking for in a guy–charming, beautiful, intelligent, and successful. There’s only one itty bitty problem: the guy’s not exactly gay. In fact Jordan Channing is looking for a PI to follow his fiance. The smart thing would be to thank Jordan for his time, turn Mr. Perfect away (don’t let the door hit you on the rump, thank you very much), and forget he exists.
Of course Mackenzie has never been accused of doing the smart thing. Being a smart aleck is more his MO. Relationships aren’t up his alley, never have been. So why’s he so inexplicably drawn to his new client?
Jordan has always been the high achiever, a man who lives in a focused, controlled, and carefully constructed manner. But for the first time in his life, he has to admit the impossible: another man is getting his engine running on all cylinders. Despite Jordan’s denial, it’s not long before he can no longer resist the strong undercurrents pulling them together. Now Jordan must decide if he can go against everything he’s ever known to have the only love he’s ever wanted.
There was a lot I liked about this story. The scenes with the two main characters—Mac and Jordan, the almost instant chemistry and the UST that builds between them, and then their on-off affair were all smoking hot. The first kiss and all their intimate scenes were all very passionate.
There’s a fair amount going on in this complex story, with its array of various secondary characters and side plots, thus making it a lengthy audiobook. Yes, some of it could have been cut, but I enjoyed Mac’s interaction with his PI partner, his ex, the ex before him, his father, brother, and nephew, as well as with Jordan. By the end of the story, you realize how and why Mac’s past has impacted on his current relationship and his fear of being abandoned. Mac seems to have loved and lost hard at least twice before.
The romantic journey for these guys is not an easy one. They have their ups and downs, but with not too much angst along the way. I loved the way Jordan explores his sexuality and his times with Mac. He’s clearly attracted to him and flirts from the start, but he unsurprisingly struggles with the notion of being gay. “I’m trying to figure out if I’m bi, or if it’s just you.” They mostly spend their time together behind closed doors, although Jordan did invite Mac to his house for a work barbecue as his friend.
Mac, despite his hesitation about their affair, is having fun, but he’s clearly falling for Jordan. Although he does spend a lot of time thinking about his recent ex, Trev.
When they finally get together, we are treated to hot sex scenes where Jordan dives right into man-on-man action for the first time, and boy, do these guys have stamina! Jordan is clearly making up for lost time.
I liked Mac and enjoyed his humorous quips, his snarky and amusing sarcasm that filters through his banter and internal thoughts.
The actual ‘break-up’ conversation, its effect on Mac, and the days that follow are all wonderfully written. In fact, even though some of the scenes were long and you aren’t sure entirely why they are there, I loved the refreshing writing style and dialogue throughout.
I did have a few issues with some of the plot, though. The main one being Jordan’s relationship with Rachel. It came across as a little muddled. I couldn’t understand why he was with her in the first place as he didn’t seem to want to spend time with her. This was no doubt the reason she looked elsewhere and had caused him to hire a PI to investigate her infidelity. Why did he care? Was Jordan looking for an excuse to dump her? When did they actually split? And why would Rachel want Jordan back if she has her new boyfriend? I was also surprised Mac took so long to walk out after Jordan lied to him.
I’m hoping #2 So Into You features these guys so we see how their relationship has progressed and how Jordan is coping with PDAs, which he struggles with for some of this story.
Michael’s engaging narration and sensual voice conveyed the story and emotions well. He has a young voice that matched the age of the main characters, and although I didn’t detect a distinctive voice for each of them, I will definitely listen again. I’m also glad to see he narrated the second story in the series.