MtSnow reviews The Closer I Get (Picture Perfect #1) by L.L. Dahlin and Draven St. James. Published by Draven SJ on January 3, 2017. 176 pages
Note: a copy of this book was received in exchange for an honest review.
Croix Matthews has been hot for his best friend Brayden O’Conner since the moment he rescued the homeless boy from the street as a teen. Since everyone in his world, including Brayden, thinks he’s straight he’s had no luck with his timid attempts at letting his friend know he’d like a shot at being more, but with International super model Brayden finally boyfriend free the time to go full throttle is now.
Brayden hears his friend’s plea for assistance and assumes his straight bestie needs help with the ladies. Although he all but chokes on the task he’d do anything for the man who saved his life. If that means not investigating the meaning behind the shy come hither looks Croix is always throwing at him, so be it.
The closer they get to each other the more they can see how large the obstacles are. Will they stand strong together or will they let themselves be torn further apart?
Why MtSnow read this – This story was one of the winners of our ‘What will the RGR reviewers read next?’ poll we ran a few weeks ago.
First impressions? A sweet friends to lovers story with quite a bit of time between the sheets throughout. Honestly, both of these authors are new to me so I didn’t quite know what to expect, other than the blurb did sound quite interesting, especially for a start to a series.
Having said this, I will say I think I had hoped for a bit more plot than sexy times, because for such a short novel, there was a LOT of sex. Even so, I was happy with the conclusion to the story and was glad things resolved as they did.
So, first off, Brayden is the young, highly photogenic guy that had been ‘rescued’ by well-to-do 16-year old Croix who happened to be out on a joy ride in his new birthday present, going for a bite to eat.
Croix is a very successful photographer who has basically been raised by a nanny, with forever absent parents. He was out on the town when he comes across a 16-yr-old Brayden looking longingly at a picture of a cheeseburger in front of one of Croix’s favorite eating haunts. As soon as he finds out Brayden has been living on the street after being thrown out of his home for being gay, Croix brings Brayden home for a place to eat and sleep. He then fights with his parents to keep helping his new and only friend. The two become rather tight and since they do so many things together, Croix used the opportunity to take many fantastic photos of his new friend and was sharing the results across the kitchen table when Croix’s father sees the images, and gets the bright idea to make Brayden a money maker for him in the fashion industry. Flash forward.
Now we have a pair of 25-yr-old very successful best friends that don’t realize the other has been in love with the other for years, and neither makes a move as they are afraid they will lose their friendship. Then comes the blackmail, contracts, and ne’er do well family secrets that peek out to surprise them all.
The premise of the story was pretty close to others I’ve read in the mm genre between two misunderstood characters being held hostage by preconceived thoughts and family ties. It was a fairly quick story, but didn’t have quite as much character development as I’d hoped for. We do get to meet an interesting supporting character that gets caught up in some pretty shady dealings, and I’m hoping that he gets a good story to help him become a bit less shallow and more likable character who deserves his own HEA.
Recommended for those that enjoy a quick, sexy romp with some sweetness thrown in for good measure.
7/10 pots of gold equivalent to 70% of 100% recommended or 3.50 of 5 stars
Draven St. James |-> Website
Draven St. James is a born and raised Oregonian. She has traveled extensively in search of mischief and mayhem to fill her books. Her ventures have been quite successful in inspiring a wealth of stories. Of course at the end of the day, coffee within reach, laptop at the ready is where she finds her peace.
LL Dahlin |-> Facebook
LL Dahlin enjoys making love…one story at a time. A writer of contemporary romance as Leela Lou Dahlin she’s branched out into one of her favorite Genres Male/Male contemporary romance..