Erryn reviews the audiobook version and Wendy reviews the ebook of ‘BFF’ (Best Friend’s Father) by Devon McCormack. The ebook was published February 11, 2018 and is 297 pages.The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Michael Pauley, released by Treycore Films LLC on March 5, 2018 and is 8 hrs and 28 mins long.
Erryn – why I read this book: Michael Pauley is a favourite narrator of mine and I am always up for a sexy read by Devon McCormack. (Oh, and one of the hottest covers I have ever seen.)
Wendy – why I read this book: Like many of my reading friends, I’ve recently developed a ‘Daddy kink’ obsession. As soon as I saw this book, and loving the way Devon McCormack writes, I knew I needed to buy it.
A beach vacay with my best bud since college seems like the perfect opportunity to relax, catch some rays, and enjoy a couple of nights on the town. When I find a girl who’s eager to mess around with me, I figure I’ve got it made.
Then, I meet the intense, hot-as-hell, tattooed Eric Westright, who wrecks my world…in the best possible way.
He awakens something within me – something that’s always been here, but that’s never pulled so powerfully…not until I looked into those solemn blue eyes and felt the red-hot spark of his touch.
There’s something about this chemistry that’s so intoxicating, and the more I get to know him, the harder it becomes for me to resist these impulses that overtake me – that leave me wanting him to show me what it feels like to have a man inside me.
I know he’s fighting too. It’s so wrong, but every kiss, every caress, every stroke feels so right. We shouldn’t act on these urges, but we can’t help ourselves.
First he claims my body, then he claims my heart.
And before I know it, I’m in too deep with my best friend’s father….
BFF is a steamy romance, but one of the main characters has a painful past that may act as a trigger for some people.
Where to start? I love Devon McCormack and his books narrated by Michael Pauley are my favourites. May/December romances don’t bother me – I recently read a book where there was 40 years’ difference between the two men – but I do see where Mr. McCormack’s book is pushing the limits. In the heterosexual world, ‘best friend’s dad’ as a trope has been around for a while. This book is different from those, and not just because the two main characters are men.
Jesse is a smart young man who has been convinced by his best friend Ty to take a break and head to Mexico. They are staying at Ty’s dad’s condo and aren’t expecting company. When Ty’s dad, Eric, shows up, there are ripples. First, Eric’s relationship with Ty is rough. Jesse’s loyalties are torn because he understands why Ty is angry with Eric, but he’s also empathetic with Eric that the rift was not his fault. Sometimes, Jesse is the most mature man in the condo.
Jesse and Ty are 23. Eric is 42. From the beginning, Jesse and Eric know that if Ty discovers the relationship they’re forging, he will be hurt. That is not enough to stop them from moving forward with their relationship.
This isn’t a ‘taboo’ book in the purest sense of the word, but it does raise ethical issues. And, as I suspect Mr. McCormack wanted, I did feel bad for Ty. Yes, he can be immature, obnoxious, and mean to his father, purposely calling him ‘Eric’ instead of ‘Dad’, but Eric could certainly put in a greater effort. He’s doing ‘cool’ things, hoping Ty will warm up to him, but after 6 years, it’s clear the hands-off approach isn’t working. A particularly poignant exchange between father and son hits Eric hard as Ty reveals a bit of how Eric’s parenting technique is lacking. Eric is left reeling, but it’s Jesse he turns to for confirmation and validation of Ty’s comments. This is further proof of the dysfunction between father and son.
I love that Jesse has the maturity to see the rift between father and son and tries to encourage both to bridge the gap. Those efforts are constantly undermined when he hops into bed with Eric at every possible opportunity (and a few other locations as well because, let’s be honest, why be in a tropical locale and not have sex in the beautiful country?) My loyalties swayed, making this book more of an emotional investment than I had planned.
That is a good thing. I like when books push me out of my comfort zone and force me to examine my own reactions to a particular situation. Eric says to Jesse that it’s “more important to know weaknesses than strengths.” Now, that could be interpreted as a businessman scoping out a rival’s frailties in order to strike effectively, or it could be a man who knows why he’s never had a lasting deep and fulfilling relationship because he’s never let anyone see his weaknesses, his vulnerabilities.
Jesse is often more mature and empathetic than many 23-year-old guys, but his own history informs that. He’s known pain and rejection. When Eric needs him most, Jesse is there. Words mean a lot, and Jesse uses them well, but his actions go a long way as well. Not leaving. Doing research. Even just being willing to cuddle and comfort. Those are powerful things and made me adore Jesse all the more.
The book is dual point-of-view and I prefer that because I can see the situation through both men’s eyes.
Finally – and last but not least – Michael Pauley. I was going to try to not gush at the narrator of the book, but I can’t help it. I have listened to dozens of his books and he always manages to give each character something unique. Although Jesse is the character with less power (at least at the beginning), Michael’s voice for him was strong. Jesse might be new to same-sex relationships, but he knows what he wants, and Mr. Pauley portrays that need and desire. And the sex scenes? Well, there are LOTS of them and Mr. Pauley handles each one brilliantly. My only complaint is that the women (Dana and Mandy) come off as dippy. To be sure, most of this is Devon’s writing, but Michael’s interpretation of them doesn’t help. There is nothing wrong with women who enjoy sex. They don’t necessarily have to come across as vapid. Devon (and Michael) redeem themselves with Allison. She has depth and intelligence and is portrayed as such. As Eric’s friend, she helps him admit his real feelings for Jesse.
To be clear – this book does not end on a cliffhanger per se. Jesse and Eric are together. But, there are a large number of unresolved issues and I have it on good authority that Book 2 is being written at this very moment. I won’t pressure the artistic process, but I will say I am waiting in anticipation. So, this is a great listen with more to come. And I might even forgive Jesse for not knowing who Kate Bush is. Kids these days…
9/10 Points of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
Wendy’s Review: I saw my fellow reviewer Erryn, was listening to the audio version of this story and I thought it might be a great place to add my e-book review, giving you both reviews in one place. She kindly let me tag along in her post here.
This book was a great example of what I’m used to from Mr. McCormack’s work. He has a riveting style that captures my attention from the start. I love his style. I’ll start with the fact he’s consistent in bringing erotica to a deeper level. This story is full of places where he brings compassion and thoughtfulness to his characters when he could have just glossed over some of the issues they faced.
Jesse, vacationing with his best friend at the bestie’s father’s luxury condo is a very focused young man. More than I would expect from a twenty something, good looking guy who is freshly single after a long term relationship and in between jobs. He certainly could have been spending his time being wild and crazy guy. But he was written in such a way that his background made his mature, responsible personality fit seamlessly with the situation. His relationship with Eric develops smoothly and quickly even as it is fraught with suspense at the possibility of having his best friend find out about their relationship. This was one of those spots where the author chose to use compassion rather than turn it into something where Jesse could have been riding the high of chance at getting caught. Instead he gave the very realistic feeling of a caring person who doesn’t want to hurt his friend but also isn’t going to give up the opportunity to reach for something more with his pursuing a romantic relationship with his friend’s father.
Another place that highlights this authors style is with Eric’s character. He’s written this man so well that I can “feel” the emotions as I read them. Eric is a complex character, but he’s easy to read and… wow… that is one great sign of the caliber of writing in this story. I loved following this character’s journey. Eric broke my heart. He really had a lot going on and I won’t spoil it for you other than to say that he has a past issue that could be a trigger for some readers. Everything was perfectly broken with Eric, from his past issue to his rocky relationship with his son Ty and his budding relationship with Jesse that has a taboo flavor for him.
As always, Devon can write the steamiest sex. I’m literally a puddle when I’ve read a sex scene of his. And while that is great to read and VERY enjoyable, it’s not the only, or even the most important, thing in this story. It’s an adventure (and one that’s not over yet) with these three men. Mr. McCormack builds their world into a place where you want to be. A book that really delivers!
9.5/10 Points of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 4.75/5 Stars
Devon McCormack spends most of his time hiding in his lair, adventuring in paranormal worlds with his island of misfit characters. A good ole Southern boy, McCormack grew up in the Georgian suburbs with his two younger brothers and an older sister. At a very young age, he spun tales the old fashioned way, lying to anyone and everyone he encountered. He claimed he was an orphan. He claimed to be a king from another planet. He claimed to have supernatural powers. He has since harnessed this penchant for tall tales by crafting whole worlds where he can live out whatever fantasy he chooses.
A gay man himself, McCormack focuses on gay male characters, adding to the immense body of literature that chooses to represent and advocate gay men’s presence in media. His body of work ranges from erotica to young adult, so readers should check the synopses of his books before purchasing so that they know what they’re getting into.