Review: Love and the Real Boy by JK Hogan


My rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Beneath the expensive suits and tough as nails attitude, up and coming Seattle ad exc Rich Langston hides the scars from a hellish childhood. Buried deep under all of that is his heart, tightly armored and protected.

Having been homeless, he’s not about to let a former tenant, abruptly kicked out of his apartment, live on the streets and surprises himself by taking on a roommate, whom he over time later considers family—replacing the corrosion where his childhood family used to be, and blames himself for destroying.

But when Rory begins planning his wedding to Maia, Rich starts lashing out. When he purposefully blackmails Rory’s best friend Justice into letting Rich be Rory’s best man, he’s gotten as low as is possible for him. He’s alienated everyone connected to Rory and now Rory himself.

Rich’s punishment and penance is to volunteer his time helping in the restoration of a sailboat that was nearly wrecked in a storm. The boat belongs to Justice’s partner Nic.

The brothers O’Dowd own the boat restoration business given the task of bringing the battered boat to life as a surprise for Nic. It’s to Patrick O’Dowd managing the job falls to, as the brothers have a job that entails sailing, and Patrick hasn’t been out to sea since the terrible accident he was in.

Patrick is living and loving his life out loud and to the fullest. He can’t help but push Rich’s buttons. He’s also a rugged Irish charmer full of the wisdom that comes from growing up O’Dowd.

This is a great story! Well-written, well-plotted, and once Patrick is on the scene—electrifying.

They’re attracted to each other almost immediately, but it takes far longer for Patrick to break into Rich’s heart and set him free. Rich does not go easy, and Patrick does not give up. Someone has hired a PI to find Rich, and Rich does what he does best, runs away, avoids, and makes excuses not to confront the past. Patrick believes in family and his family believes in him; there’s a fantastic scene where the family and friends include Rich in a rugby game—a test to see if he has what it takes.

This is a tightly woven story with many layers both subtle and brutal. The details of boat restoration are fascinating, a wonderful backdrop and motif for the restoration of Rich’s heart.

This is also the second book in the series “Coming About” though you don’t have to read the first one to enjoy the second. However, I just bought the first one, “I Survived Seattle” and can’t wait to start it!

Publisher: Wilde City Press



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