Title: Love Conventions
Author: Morgan James
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 248 pages
Reviewed by: ParisDude
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.60 stars out of 5
A happy ending worthy of a TV fantasy… in real life?
Ashland Wells is an actor of sci-fi cult fame but with little direction for the future, when handsome grad student Remy Beaumont lands in his lap at a fan convention. Remy is everything Ash ever wanted and wished he could be—including out and proud. For twelve hours they’re the best of friends. But the convention ends, and saying goodbye to Remy might be the biggest mistake Ash has ever made.
A few months later, they’re reunited on a new production—Ash as an actor, Remy a writer—and though Ash doesn’t plan to let him go twice, being with Remy means going public about being gay. He’s not sure that’s a risk he—or his career—can handle, no matter how great the temptation.
If only they could write themselves the romantic happily ever after they both need.
Ashland “Ash” Wells, dashing, red-haired Scotsman, has been living in Vancouver, Canada, for some time and has become a famous actor. For the last six years, he has been playing a broody werewolf for a successful fantasy TV-show. At a sci-fi/fantasy conference in Toronto he stumbles upon handsome and openly gay grad-student Remy Beaumont during a photo op. Once the conference is over, Ashland runs into Remy again by accident, and the latter volunteers to show him around his home town. They spend a pleasant day together, and when they part ways, Ash is rather surprised to find out he regrets not having asked Remy’s mail address or phone number.
But maybe things are better that way. Ash knows pretty well he can’t afford to make his homosexuality public—not if he wishes to pursue his acting career. Excitingly enough, when he’s back in Vancouver, he’s cast for a new, awesome TV-project where he’s going to play a fairy of undetermined, borderline gay sexuality. When the shooting for the pilot starts, he discovers Remy has been hired to help the scriptwriters. Little by little the two of them spend more and more time together, until at last Ash confesses he’s gay and starting to fall for Remy. The latter can’t believe his ears as he’s also smitten with the actor. Over the next weeks he slowly and patiently teaches inexperienced Ash everything one needs to know about male-on-male sex (they do engage in a lot of teeny fiddle-diddling at first, but that’s kind of cute, I have to admit). They set a routine where secrecy is paramount. Until Remy can’t take it anymore to be forced to hide his love; so, he threatens to end their relationship. What will Ash do? Is his love for Remy strong enough to make him decide it’s time to come out at last?
This is a cute, entertaining, well-written book. I liked both shy and closeted Ash as well as open and warm-hearted Remy a lot. Where the first carries a bundle of fears and inhibitions (but sometimes shows initiative and surprising spontaneity too), the latter is just pure husband-material: witty, intelligent, patient oh so patient (even I growled at one moment, “Ash, dude, take OFF your bloody boxer shorts, for Christ’s sake!”), and an accomplished cook. They both know how to make a relationship work: complicity, tenderness, much talking, and much laughing together. The secondary characters felt genuine and were endearing too, especially Ash’s asexual bodyguard and roomie Etta. Luckily I’ve read the odd Irvine Welsh-novel before (you know, the author of “Trainspotting”), so I dinnae feel like a total eejit for I already kenned most of the “scotticisms” I encountered in this book. All in all, a pleasant read I gladly recommend to all who like romance novels.