Erryn reviews ‘Say You’ll Be Nine’ by Lucy Lennox. The ebook was released June 2, 2020 and is 274 pages. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Michael Dean, released June 5, 2020, and is 8 hrs and 18 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: Lucy and Michael? Count me in.
One dilapidated cabin in need of renovation.
Two stubborn men pretending to be a couple.
Three summer months to get the job done.
Four tangled legs in only one bed.
Five cameras catching it all for YouTube.
Six hundred thousand Instagram followers.
Seven nosy family members with opinions.
Eight thousand reasons they should never fall in love.
Nine million reasons why they will.
Say You’ll Be Nine is a standalone novel.
I enjoy forced proximity as a trope – two guys stuck together, reliant on each other, bickering and falling in love at the same time. Throw in some snarky dialogue, Nacho the dog, and you’ve got the recipe for a good book. Another fave trope is fake boyfriend because that one can be so much fun. Watching the men struggle to remember the world is watching and perceiving them one way while the reality is something different. Until everything changes, of course, and they fall in love.
Nine’s real name is Isaac but hardly anyone uses it. He is the ninth of ten children and has always struggled to find his place in the world. He’s viewed as the nice one. The dependable one. The one who will be there no matter what. The one who will always put aside his own needs in order to make sure everyone else is taken care of. Sometimes I think he feels like a doormat. Don’t get me wrong – he loves his family and his community. But he has dreams of his own that virtually no one knows about and certainly no one supports him in. They’ve got him labelled and locked into a world that constrains him. He’s looking for a chance to do more with his life than work at a hardware store because that’s what it’ll take to make enough money to build a place of his own.
Cooper is all flash. After obtaining his drama degree in Wyoming, he headed to L.A. to make it big in the film industry. He knew it would take hard work and he was willing to put in the time and effort. But nothing really took, and in the end he came home to Denver because his twin brother was sick and there was something Cooper could do to help. Their entire family has had a raw deal because of his father and he just wants to make things easier for his mother and his brother Jackson. But life isn’t easy. He needs to come up with ten grand for a medical procedure and that seems impossible.
Until the perfect answer lands in both their laps.
A tool company is looking to hire an LGBT couple to renovate a cabin in the woods. Nine has been making YouTube DIY videos that have gone viral and they approach him. The problem? He needs a partner. His brother Eli’s solution? His old college friend, Coop. Who also happens to need money. Next thing you know, the two men are in a clearing with a dilapidated cabin, an RV to share, and the need to get the project finished as quickly as possible.
Now, I’m no good at DIY but I love a handsome guy as much as the next gal (or guy, depending on your persuasion). I can totally see Nine in his work boots, jeans, and shirt, toiling away. I was glad Cooper wasn’t too much of a prima donna that he wasn’t willing to dig in and do some of the hard work as well. Pretty soon, their videos are a hit, the work is getting done, and…well, something happened along the way and they got to know each other. Cooper is unabashedly out, but this is new for Nine. He’s never been attracted to a man before. Heck, he wasn’t even really all that attracted to the women he dated (what few there actually were). But something about Cooper speaks to Nine and soon things are heating up.
But they were never destined to be alone in their bubble forever. Hollywood comes calling, as does another sponsor, and suddenly it looks like they might be headed in different directions.
Until Jackson needs Nine and then all the other noise gets drowned out, nothing mattering but taking care of his brother.
I love how many obstacles were thrown in the men’s way. How many things they had to overcome. How much adversity they had to face. At every step I wondered how they were going to make it work. Even as the fake boyfriends became real boyfriends, that didn’t solve all the little problems like how to make a relationship when each man had a competing goal.
But this is a Lucy Lennox book, so OF COURSE things worked out. What was all that stress about? The worry? Because she’s a good writer and giving them an easy out would have cheated both them and me.
Okay, a quick shout out to Michael Dean. I’ve raved about his performances in so many books and this is just another great one. Well done. Off to the next Lucy book…
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
Lucy Lennox is finally putting good use to that English Lit degree earned way back in the 1900s.
She enjoys naps, pizza, and procrastinating. She has some snarky kids and is married to someone who is better at math than romance but who makes her laugh every single day and is the best dancer in the history of ever.
She stays up way too late each night reading M/M romance because that stuff is hot.