Series: Loving You 03
Author: Renae Kaye
Narrator: Joel Leslie
Length: 7 hrs, 53 mins
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (27th February 2017)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts
Blurb: Aaron Hall has never been able to remain faithful to a single woman, and for most of his life, he’s dated two women at once. Recently his girlfriend tracked him down and knocked on his door – and his live-in girlfriend answered. Now he has no girlfriend and a mortgage he can’t pay by himself.
Vinnie Rosello needs to change his life – get a better job, stop drinking all his money away, find himself a serious boyfriend…and move out of his parents’ house. Aaron needs help with his ex-penses, so they become housemates.
Even though Aaron harbors some misconceptions about gay men and Vinnie misses his large Italian family, both men find comfort in their friendship. It’s a good arrangement until everything between them changes.
Vinnie falls in love with Aaron, and Aaron is shocked to realize he feels the same. There’s only one problem – he’s still straight. He’ll have to overcome his fear of labels in order to love the man who’s captured his heart.
Review: The Straight Boyfriend is the third book in Renae Kaye’s Loving You series.
I’m going to keep my comments on the author and the narrator quite short, because this is a feeling that echoes throughout the whole series for me. At this point I am warming up to her Renae Kaye’s writing. Since we’re not here for an Australian geography lesson, suffice to say that I connect with the very Aussie tone in her writing because I am Aussie myself. I feel the humour and love hearing the slang that is part of my everyday life in my favourite genre of book. So far there’s been a bit of a pattern in her writing where we have at least one main character who doesn’t want to come out of the closet because of his very blokey workplace (lots of miners, industrial workers) or his very manly-man type father. Not that it’s a bad thing, if you like a book with that sort of storyline.
The narration for this book was by Joel Leslie, who only narrates books 2 and 3. After listening to his two performances for this series, I feel that he fit the books really well. While I enjoyed Gilles narration in the first book, it annoyed me when his Aussie accent slipped a bit (I know it’s a stupid of me) and I also just remembered that his pronunciation of the name Aaron was odd. However, I loved Leslie’s Aussie accent, it was really well done. I also am a fan of pretty much all of Joel Leslie’s performances because I always feel the emotions from the characters and hear their distinct voices, this book was no different.
The Straight Boyfriend. The title says it all. By the time I got to this book, I had a pretty good idea about Vinnie and Aaron because they were so prominent as secondary characters in the previous books. The set up for this story happened in book 2, so there isn’t much point listening or reading this one before at least going to the previous book.
Vinnie is a sweet guy from an unconventional, Italian family. He has a thing about epiphanies, and a subcategory of which being epipoofanies. He’s really a wonder and fun loving. He has a big heart, with a complicated family and is lonely. Wanting to get out of his parents’ home, he moves in with Aaron – a friend of a friend whose house he would often drink at after watching amateur football games.
Aaron is a manwhore and a serial cheater, he is unapologetic about the fact, although he now feels a sense of shame. He wants to better himself, he wants to be a good boyfriend/partner, but is unsure if he could even be faithful to a girl. After all, it was this that led him to a mortgage he could no longer afford without a roommate. Having Vinnie as a roommate would help him with that mortgage, but hanging with the gay man, although he is determined that he is straight, does have a positive effect. Aaron is adaman that he is straight. But he has *feelings* when it comes to Vinnie. Add to that, Vinnie, who has never been alone in a house in his life, often spends the night in Aaron’s bed, completely platonic.
It’s just awkward because Vinnie is in love with a straight man and he knows he has to get rid of those feelings because he was pining for something that would never happen. Yet, for Aaron life with Vinnie is slowly opening his life to much more than he thought. Aaron has a lot of angst, because it has to be a mind fuck to be straight, a manwhore and now suddenly falling for a gay man. Aaron has a long journey and Vinnie is strong. These guys have a serious connection and it is completely wonderful.
This book had a lot more angst and confusion compared to the previous book in the serious, but it worked well. However, the ending was sweet and poignant and totally worth all the drama. It was great to catch up with all the characters that we’ve met through the journey as well. This is a wonderful end to a wonderful series.