Thursday, September 7, 2017

Release Blitz Review: Be My Best Man by Con Riley

Be My Best Man
by Con Riley
Release Date: September 7, 2017
Genre: M/M Romance

~ Will Jason’s third time as a best man lead to first-time love for Vanya?

After fleeing violence in Moscow, student teacher Vanya Petrov winds up lonely in a run-down London hostel. At least visiting the Bond Street store where his roommate works lets him practice his English, but as Vanya's vocabulary expands, so does his isolation, especially when he sees happy couples planning their perfect weddings.

According to Jason Balfour, weddings are a waste of time and money. After all, he’s been best man for his brother twice already. Saying that a third marriage will end in divorce too leads to an angry ultimatum: to save his relationship with his brother, Jason must meet his fiancĂ©e, at last, and make a good first impression.

Jason’s need to dress to impress brings him and Vanya together. Language is no barrier to falling in love with the young and fragile Russian, and neither is their age difference. But Vanya’s bruised soul carries secrets that could rip them apart. As the wedding draws near, Vanya must confess, and soon, or risk losing Jason—his own best man in Britain.

The first half of the book was really good. I find young Vanya very likable especially with his sub-par English conversation skills. He fled Russia and was forced to leave his family behind after being targeted in a hate crime. He is still waiting for the UK authorities to grant him asylum. Meanwhile, he can't work, he is living in abysmal condition and always goes hungry. Thanks for his Estonian friend, Kaspar and Anna, at least he make two good friends. 

Jason in his 40s, had a decent construction business, but didn't bother much with his appearance. A misunderstanding and a chance meeting brought Jason and Vanya together. Jason thought Vanya is a freelance personal shopper and he hired Vanya to help in a makeover.

I enjoyed Vanya and Jason's interaction right from the start. Vanya spoke limited English and had problem expressing himself in the beginning, but Jason was always patient and even help improve his conversation skill. In return, Vanya's compassion helps Jason to mend his relationship with his foster brother, Andrew and his fiancee, Chantel. 

Somewhere in the middle, it get a bit draggy for me because we focus too much on Andrew and Chantel's family woes. Her family is not receptive and the wedding needs help etc. Vanya and Jason played a big role in helping with the wedding as well. I guess I won't hold a grudge if we are actually spending so much time on Jason and Vanya's wedding instead.

Another issue that frustrates me to no end is Vanya's inability to come clean about his situation. Vanya is squatting in an abandon building with his friends and he can't legally work in UK, but all this was not known to Jason. I understand why he can't be truthful in the beginning, but it was simply being dragged on too long and if you ain't honest, there is no relationship. There are so many opportunity for him to come clean, Jason even confronted him, but all Vanya did was keep mum. Yeah, he did have to eventually tell Jason everything, but it was near the very end. I'm beyond frustrated by that point.

I wish we actually get to explore more on Vanya's growth and his possible future as a teacher. We should see how Jason and Vanya relationship develop as a couple who support each other. Instead we spend too much time on Andrew and Chantel's wedding and their horse giving birth. Gah! Priorities, please. 

Con Riley lives on the wild and rugged Devonshire coast, with her head in the clouds, and her feet in the Atlantic Ocean.

Injury curtailed her enjoyment of outdoor pursuits, so writing fiction now fills her free time. Love, loss, and redemption shape her romance stories, and her characters are flawed in ways that makes them live and breathe.

When not people watching, or wrangling her own boy band of teen sons, she spends time staring at the sea from her kitchen window. If you see her, don't disturb her—she’s probably thinking up new plots.

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