Title: Love and the Real Boy
Author Name: J.K. Hogan
Publication Date & Length: October 2014
How much heartache can one man take before he breaks? Rich Langston asks himself that question every day.
A Seattle advertising exec who uses his designer suit and showy car like a suit of armor, Rich refuses to let the world get to him. His traumatic childhood has ruined any faith he had in people, friendship, and love. After a meltdown that led to him alienating everyone in his life, Rich agrees to help with the restoration of an antique sailboat as a form of penance.
Roped into heading up with the boat repair by his mother, marine restorer Patrick O’Dowd finds himself having to babysit a moody, spoiled rich boy with absolutely no carpentry experience. His easy-going nature is sorely tested, but he quickly realizes that things are not always what they seem; sometimes a fancy suit is nothing but an elaborate deflection from what’s real.
Through unavoidable personality clashes and fierce attraction, both Rich and Patrick explore their hidden pain and inner demons, and they end up finding with what really matters—love.
This book was about Rich and I loved it. We were able to learn more about Rich and his issues. In the story it gives us the background on Rich (previous known as Ricky). Rich again started off as being an ass but quickly redeemed himself by help Justice restore Nic boat. This is where he meets Patrick. Rich still came across as a know it all but his relationship with Patrick made him see that he should try and have a relationship with his long lost brother.
I loved how the author was able to bring Rich and Patrick together. There was no instant love in this book but there was instant lust. Most importantly was how the author brought Rich (aka Ricky) and his brother back together.
I really enjoyed this. After Rich’s appalling behaviour in the first book, I was hesitant even to start this one, but I’m glad I did. The author provides Rich with a moving backstory to help us understand some of the off-putting behaviours we saw in book one.
I think I still loved Patrick more than Rich. The chilled marine restorer and his huge family complement Rich’s flashy neuroses well. Never a huge fan of businessmen in fancy suits who drive fancy cars, I was relieved when Patrick’s low key, salt-of-the-earth persona began to rub off on Rich and soften some of his blunt edges. Patrick’s backstory is also heart-wrenching and it comes as a surprise part way through the book. Everything I learned about Patrick made me love him more.
I enjoyed the modern feel to this book. The shagging-but-not-dating thing rings true as does the pointless “we’re not serious” arguments both men keep telling themselves and everyone around them. I still don’t think I understood Rich’s reasons for staying closeted while living in Seattle with a large group of gay friends, but I did enjoy watching his confidence grow as the story progressed.
I keep running into books where American writers write American characters with fake Irish accents. Patrick was at least born in Ireland, but none of his Irishness rang very true. At times his dialect was Cockney; at other times he sounded like a Geordie. I hope this trend doesn’t continue, because I haven’t read an American author yet who can make her characters sound genuinely Irish-American.
Overall, this was a sweet story. I really enjoyed learning about both men’s pasts, and I’m glad Rich was much more likeable in this second book.
J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them. J.K. is hoping to one day have a little something for everyone, so she’s branched out from m/f paranormal romance and added m/m contemporary romance. Who knows what’s next?
J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives in the country with her husband and young son, a cat, and two champion agility dogs. If she isn’t on the agility field, J.K. can often be found chasing waterfalls in the mountains with her husband, or down in front at a blues concert. In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading!