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The Husband Gambit

Saturday, February 6, 2021

The Husband Gambit (2018) L.A. Witt

The Husband Gambit

Marry me for 1 year. Payment: $ 1.2 million. I’m a man looking for a temporary husband. $ 100K per month. Cohabitation, legal marriage, and NDA are required. Sex is not. Contact for more info.

The ad seems like either a joke, or something posted by a serial killer, but Hayden Somerset has absolutely nothing to lose. He and his roommates worry over every penny they spend while they try to find money for rent, food, and their student loans.

I was a little uncertain about this book, because I generally dislike romances where one of the characters is ultra rich, but I also adore fake relationships, so I decided to try it.

It was good. Really good. Much of the start of the story focused on Hayden’s struggles with poverty.

It wasn’t until that moment that I understood just how much my financial insecurity had consumed me for the last several years… money had been a constant source of stress. One that had settled itself deep in my bones and permeated every thought. Even if I wasn’t actively thinking about my financial situation, the stress was there in the tension in my neck, in the perpetual growling of my stomach, and in the compulsive mental calculations that happened any time I drove, ate, turned on a light, took a shower, threw food away instead of just scraping off the mold…

I cannot emphasize enough how true this is.

But what I really loved was this nod to Terry Pratchett and Discworld.

“My coworkers always told me you’re better off blowing a shitload of money on a solid pair of shoes because they’ll last.”

At that point I was all in on this story.

But then, it did everything right. Both characters talked through their problems, and realized that what one lacked in one area, they made up in another–Hayden might have been broke, but he had best friends and his parents loved him. That sounds trite, but since the second character, Jesse, is looking to take down his horrible and manipulative father, it really really wasn’t.

To this day, I got sick to my stomach if my mother was being chillier than usual. Even if I knew there was nothing for her to be pissed at me about, that didn’t mean she wouldn’t flip her lid at me before she finally had it out with whoever had crossed her.

“Is disowning his kids like your dad’s hobby or something?”

Jesse laughed humorlessly. “You have to admit— when it comes to keeping his kids in line, it’s got an eighty percent success rate.”

Because once we get down to it, that’s the heart of the story–how Jesse was going prove to the world just what his father was, even if it cost him almost everything.

The romance was lovely. Like I said, both Hayden and Jesse talked about their problems, and if they didn’t talk about their feelings for each other, they had good reasons for doing so.

Even better, there were no stupid misunderstandings between the two. I hate stupid misunderstandings, and was very afraid this book was going to use one to ratchet up the tension, but it turned out more than enough tension came from Jesse’s father.

And I also appreciated that despite everything, Jesse wanted his father not to be the monster he had always shown himself to be. It’s extremely hard not to be hurt by the words and actions of a parent, no matter how much you have prepared yourself.

It was an excellent story, and I definitely recommend it.

Rating: 8.5/10

Categories: 8.5/10, LGBT, Romance, Sexual Content     Comments (0)    



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