After I read emmalita’s review (which in turn was inspired by Orleana’s), I immediately downloaded this book. I was just super in the mood for it. The premise, the descriptions of food, smoochies, clichés . . . just the whole thing. And it didn’t really disappoint, though the writing style isn’t my favorite.
Said premise: Henry is thirty-five years old, and has just been dumped by his boyfriend of eight years, who left him stating that Henry had become old and fat (even though they are the same age). Henry is heartbroken and devastated, and not just because he’s been dumped. Without Graham (who he amusingly refers to as Voldemort for a large portion of the book) in his life, he realizes that he has let his life stagnate, and he has settled for complacency rather than trying for happiness and self-knowledge. It’s pretty on the nose. That is really my main complaint. Nothing subtle at all about this book. But honestly, I can forgive that when I get to picture this guy being a total sweetheart:
So Henry goes to the gym and signs up with a personal trainer named Reed, ostensibly to win Graham back (see above Hemsworth gif for visual reference on Reed; the book is set in Australia, so just go ahead and picture him the whole time). And this is a romance, so yes, they fall for each other. But to the book’s credit, it’s not romance that makes Henry’s life better. It’s his effort to change, to reach out to people, and to be open and honest with others and with himself.
Henry was an overall endearing and relatable protagonist who could be a bit annoying at first (very insecure, and uses humor and whining about exercise at times to compensate), and Reed was almost *too* perfect. But like I said, totally willing to forgive all of that due to fun premise and heartwarming romance.
This is no mindblowing romance, and the writing isn’t that great (like I said, I like a bit more subtlety in my books), but it was exactly what I was in the mood for: a sweet m/m romance with a ton of talk about food, and fun side characters (Henry’s best friend, Anika, is a highlight).