Book Fair by Michael Murphy
Title: Book Fair
Author: Michael Murphy
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Blurb: Jacob’s time working a booth for a gay lit publisher at a huge New York City book convention isn’t turning out like he hoped. One of the publisher’s boxes goes missing, and when he finds it, the box is wrapped up in union red tape. Then he gets into a nasty debate with Toni, a hunk Jacob would rather stare at than argue with.
Maybe his first day at the book fair couldn’t get worse, but it certainly gets weirder when, after an hour-long snarling match, Toni offers Jacob a ride to his hotel. Jacob accepts, but his day does not improve—the ride is nothing but awkward silence.
Over the rest of the week, Jacob’s life disintegrates, and Toni’s repeated offers to drive him to his hotel become bright spots. Silence turns to civility turns to friendship, and though Jacob hopes for more, work keeps the two of them from spending much time together. Finally Jacob is free of obligations—but suddenly he can’t find Toni anywhere, and Jacob’s time in New York is coming to a close.
Review: This story is fun, sweet, and very much a traditional romance with my favorite kind of twist. A quick and easy read full of miscommunication, misunderstandings, and insta-love. It’s fun to see if these boys can find their way through the complications to a happy ending.
Toni’s family is a huge part of his life and this story. You have to love his huge, loud and loving Italian family. There are a few moments that left me feeling mushy and a little jealous. I think Jacob needs them as much as Toni.
The second romance in this book begins when Toni takes Jacob to be fed by his mother as an apology for his part in their rough start. Nothing could have prepared Jacob for the force of nature called Ma. Jacob’s quick wit and quirky sense of humor have him fitting right into the fun dynamic between Toni and his mother.
Though full of flirting and the promise of hot sex, circumstances keep preventing these boys from getting past turning each other on and some making out. When it finally came, there had been so much buildup I have to admit I was a little disappointed. The fun in this one is in the characters and relationship development.
I should warn those of you that are especially sensitive that there is discussion of domestic abuse though not graphic or occurring in the present.
I enjoyed this story. It reminded me of when I first started reading romance novels with their easily remedied dramatic conflicts and the sugary perfection of the characters. While not one to make you think or challenge your beliefs, it makes for a sweet little break.
Reviewed by: Nina