Oh Art you are a deliciously complex man and I adore you!
Employing Patience by Saxon James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
So, so good, my favourite one yet.
This book was everything I wanted it to be and so much more.
We get a couple of time jumps to show both their initial meeting and a period six months later, before the book carries on in the “present day” and it works well.
The pacing is fabulous, the slow burn of sexual chemistry which sparks and crackles like a popping fire is delicious, there’s so much UST pouring off the page it’s palpable.
Art’s been there throughout the Divorced Men’s Club, not in the background, oh no, he’s larger than life, full of himself and not afraid to tell everyone how amazing he is.
And, you know what, he absolutely is. But not for the sexual prowess he’s always bragging about. No, Art is much, much more than his surface would lead you to believe.
He’s a deeply caring man, he’s passionate about his family, he has oceans of depth he hides away because he’s gun shy of making a commitment to someone and being utterly broken if things don’t work, so he hides this away with one-night stands, a loud man who needs nothing.
Art’s niblings are the cutest pair ever, who let Joey see a completely different version of the man who catches his eye every day.
Joey, on the other hand, oh that man might have the outward arrogance and cocky self-sure attitude which he uses to tease and flirt with Art constantly, but he’s drowning in responsibilities he won’t let anyone else help him shoulder.
He is an absolute sweetheart, he’s helping his sister through college, helping his younger sister with her final year of high school before she goes to college and trying to study for the GED he never got because he left school to look after his sisters.
The flirting and teasing with Art comes naturally to him, but what he’s confused and fighting is the genuine attraction and need to explore more. Joey considers himself straight because, while he’s had crushes on other men, they’ve been fleeting and have disappeared quickly.
Art though, he’s fascinated by the older man, he sees him, he looks beyond the outward braggadocio to the kind-hearted soul beneath and he realises that while Art is off taking care of everyone else, he won’t let anyone do it for him.
There’s plenty of humour too, alongside the more serious side of Joey’s dragging struggles to keep things going.
My one “scratch head” moment actually came with Joey and his family’s background, slight spoiler (but not enough to spoil any important plot elements) coming up here:
We’re told once he was old enough to take guardianship of his two younger sisters, they all moved away from his drug-addicted parents.
Okay, so towards the end of the book, Joey tells us he doesn’t want to see his parents again and he doesn’t want them to move close or try and reconcile. Still with me?
But, earlier in the story, we’ve been told Art remembers Joey from growing up as a young baby, a child and then as a teenager however, because of the age gap (Art is around a decade older), he never paid attention to the younger man, surely then the family must have lived locally for them to be around Art’s childhood/teenage years?!
Maybe I’m just overthinking it, anyway it doesn’t really affect the plot, I just found it confusing.
Overall, this book delivered on all I’d be hoping it would. Art was such a fascinating character and Joey is his perfect match.
Now I’m eagerly waiting to see which of the two possible candidates are going to be up next. We’re possibly getting a son’s best friend age gap romance or a second chance/divorced partners reconciling one I think!
#ARC kindly received from the author via Foreward PR.
YAY! Thrilled to hear you enjoyed it so much. THANK YOU for sharing the love too!
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