Erryn reviews Deal Maker (Mixed Messages book 2) by Lily Morton. Published December 22, 2017, 2318 pages. The audiobook was released September 28, 2019, is 11 hrs and 8 mins and is narrated by Joel Leslie. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read it: I loved book 1.
Sometimes your mouth makes deals that your heart can’t honour.
Jude is a highly successful model, but a very reluctant one. His life is full of casual hook-ups with pretty men in glamorous locations, but it’s still empty. However, circumstances decreed a long time ago that this was his path, so he’s resolutely stayed on it and accepted his fate with good grace. He made a deal with himself and his hook-ups. Get in, get out, and no ties with anyone.
However, an accident at home one night leads to him making a new deal and accepting the offer of help from an unlikely source. It leads to an unexpected summer of falling in love with a larger-than-life man and his child. But by the end of the summer his reasons for not staying are still valid. Will he turn away? Can he?
Asa is a talented actor who has spent time away from the scene to look after his son. But now he’s back, and the last thing he needs are complications from the gorgeous man who is staying with him. Scarred from too many betrayals, he has no intention of forming a lasting tie with anyone. However, he can’t resist the beautiful man with secrets, and to his horror he develops feelings.
But a deal’s a deal and they said it was just for the summer. What can Asa do with a man who has forever in his eyes and goodbye on his lips?
From the Amazon best-selling author of Rule Breaker comes another scorchingly hot romantic comedy.
This is the second book in the Mixed Messages series but it can be read as a stand-alone.
I loved Lily Morton’s Rule Breaker and so was pleased to be able to seize Deal Maker and gobble it up in almost one sitting (okay, it’s more than 11 hours so it took two days…) I am so glad I listened to this book.
Each chapter begins with a letter ‘Asa’ is writing to a ‘fan’. For example:
I’m very honored by your proposal of marriage. Unfortunately, I am unable to accept as I am married to Jesus.
Okay, I have to admit I began to look forward to each chapter change just to see what creative and inventive response to some crazy fan letter would be next. I would love to share more, but I don’t want to give away too much.
This book involves the model Jude and the actor Asa. Two men working in artsy professions should get on, right? Well, maybe not. Both take a quick dislike to each other which makes it all the funnier when they do start to work together. As Jude says, “if he wants a bird-brained model, I’ll give him one”. He’s used to being judged on his looks and his profession. Modelling certainly hadn’t been his first choice, but it paid the bills and given his financial situation, he needed all the help he can get. Asa used to be a big star but has essentially taken time off to raise his young son. He’s now ramping his career back up. He has a thing against models and for good reasons. Asa is jaded right up until he observes Jude interacting with Asa’s son Bill. It’s hard to be an airhead and be so good around children. Children often have a built-in BS detector. Bill likes Jude. A lot. And so Jude stays in Asa’s employ.
The point of view in this book skews heavily to Jude but there are snippets of Asa scattered in and around. This alternating works because there are times you just need to be inside Asa’s head. You need to see how he sees Jude. He’s also an amazingly observant man who sees things that others miss.
Gabe and Dylan, the lead couple from the first book are back and play substantial roles in the story. Dylan and Jude were besties growing up and have remained close. In fact it’s Dylan who first recognizes Asa. Former spank bank material, apparently. I love the tightness of the friends and, again, how important family is. Jude’s parents mean everything to him and it was endearing.
I feel like this review has been a little scattered, but I don’t want to give too much away. I want the listener to be able to sink into Ms. Morton’s witty banter and snarkiest of snark. I want them to enjoy Joel Leslie’s performance, especially his handling of the five-year-old Bill. Narrating children’s voices can be challenging, but somehow Joel makes it work. He also has distinct voices for each of the characters so I was never lost. Just another wonderful performance.
I was again intrigued by Henry and am glad to see his book comes next. Hopefully it will be out on audio soon as I’m really enjoying this series.
10/10 Pots of Gold – Compares to 5/5 Stars
Lily lives in sunny England with her husband and two children, all of whom claim that they haven’t had a proper conversation with her since she got her Kindle.
She has spent her life with her head full of daydreams, and decided one day to just sit down and start writing about them. In the process she discovered that she actually loved writing because how else would she get to spend her time with hot, funny men?
And finally, she believes that love conquers all. Except the heat index in July. Nothing can conquer that bastard.