Title: The Boyfriend Makeover (The Boyfriend Chronicles #3)
Author: River Jaymes
Release Date: November 20, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Noah Tanner loves life and the gay men who live it. Bisexuals rock too. Questioning? Even better. One-offs come and go like dates on a calendar, but his friends and his calling never do. He’s spent years raising money for San Francisco’s homeless in honor of the boyfriend who died. Ensuring the success of his upscale charity event is currently job one. He’s closing in on his goal, but the deliciously scruffy, oh-so-sexy Bachelor Bid contestant, Dr. Kyland Davis, is proving far too distracting.
Former Texan and no-nonsense surgeon Ky Davis prefers his beat-up Stetson boots to Louboutins. He’s sacrificed a lot to help raise his siblings—including keeping his orientation a secret. After a difficult year for his sister, he’ll do anything to see her smile again, even agree to participate in the fundraiser she’s been hired to organize. Unfortunately, the accompanying makeover by the irreverent and gorgeous Noah Tanner might be his undoing…
CONTENT WARNING: This book contains Man-on-Man action, adult situations and *ahem* language.
Note: The Boyfriend Makeover is the third book in The Boyfriend Chronicles series and I strongly suggest you read the first two books before reading this one. You’ll want to read about Alec and Dylan, then Tyler and Memphis, and get Noah’s background before reading his story.
The Backup Boyfriend was one of the first M/M romances I read, and boy howdy was it a great intro to the genre. After reading M/M almost exclusively for the past 2-1/2 years, it still ranks near the top of my Favorites shelf. The Boyfriend Mandate was equally great, and I especially liked how the two books fit together as interlocking parts of the whole. River Jaymes layers experiences, feelings and events, and the emotional payoff is huge and incredibly moving.
For example, during The Backup Boyfriend, Tyler remains a distant presence, only referenced in connection to his relationship with Alec. But only after reading The Boyfriend Mandate do you really understand the dynamics of Alec and Tyler’s relationship, what happened, and how that affected Alec and Dylan. And the history between Memphis and Tyler? The emotions were so intense, and worth waiting for. So to say I’ve been anxiously awaiting Noah’s story for the better part of two years is not an exaggeration.
Was The Boyfriend Makeover worth the wait? Well, in many ways, yes. We meet physician Kyland Davis briefly in The Boyfriend Mandate, and once Ky and Noah reconnect over a fashion makeover Ky needs for the upcoming Bachelor Bid fundraiser, they start to generate some serious sexual heat. Ky is very carefully closeted (and for what amounts to some fairly valid reasons) but he can’t seem to resist Noah’s charm and wicked ways. And Noah loves nothing more than sexy innuendos, fabulous one-night stands and great fashion.
But Noah purposefully wades in the shallow end of the emotional pool and the first half of the book feels slow as Noah flirts non-stop with Ky, while Ky deflects Noah with wry comments and non-answers. Even as Noah and Ky have some pretty damn hot sex (featuring a paring knife!) and later on just about every surface in and around Ky’s family ranch house in Texas, there is still an emotional distance between the two men.
Turns out Noah isn’t past grieving for Rick, and he has “learned to survive and thrive, of a sort, but only in the shallowest of worlds.” But what I missed in this book was learning about Rick and Noah’s relationship, other than one fairly brief scene. Because it’s hard to get a handle on what they meant to each other, it’s equally hard to understand how broken Noah is.
After the slowness in the middle of the book, the ending felt a bit too hurried.
- Once Noah finally agrees to let go of his “carefully constructed reality” and seek counseling to deal with issues around Rick’s death, it’s only THREE WEEKS until Noah and Ky meet again at the Bachelor Ball and it’s as if Noah has conquered his demons and is ready to have a serious relationship with Ky. That seemed too quickly given the number of years Noah grieved and covered up his anguish with blow jobs and fashion tips. Ky has come out of the closet and seems like he’s really centered and ready to move on, but it’s hard to feel the same way about Noah at the end of the book.