The Best Men by Sarina Bowen & Lauren Blakely

I purchased this book the day it came out because it was co-authored by two of my faves for M/M and M/F romances. I decided to move it to the top of my TBR list, though, because I recently finished bingeing Schitt’s Creek and I was searching for something to fill the David Rose/Patrick Brewer-shaped hole in my heart. Did this novel do the trick? Not quite, although I think it’s going to be nearly impossible to fill those shoes (they are simply the best, after all) I did thoroughly enjoy this story! It was the perfect escape that provided many swoon-worthy and steamy moments. I devoured the book in just a few sittings.

I loved the setup for this one. Mark Banks – Mr. Play-It-Safe, recently divorced, single dad – is having a hard time accepting his baby sister’s recent engagement and pregnancy announcement. He’s spent his whole life looking out for her and he can’t shake the feeling that she’s headed toward disaster. The night before her engagement party, fueled by a bottle of single-malt scotch, he unleashes a string of drunken texts telling her exactly how he feels. The problem? He not only texted his sister but he accidentally replied to the thread that included her groom-to-be and his infuriatingly sexy wingman – where he actually used the term “super hot wingman” to describe the enigmatic Asher St. James. Mark turns up at the engagement party the next night, ready to eat crow and apologize. It’s here, however, where his sister and her fiancé name Mark and Asher as their best men and ask them to head to Miami ahead of their destination wedding to make sure everything is in order. Will these two be able to fight their mutual attraction when they’re forced to spend 3 nights together in a very small guesthouse in sultry, steamy Miami?

Mark and Asher were very much in the “enemies” category when we first met them. More so driven by Mark and his inconvenient attraction to Asher, the pro-soccer player turned photographer who lives a more lavish life than Mark and his Wall Street/single dad life. Asher’s “up for anything” attitude was a nice contrast to Mark’s buttoned-up existence. They played off one another well and I loved the way they sparred. Their chemistry was ridiculously hot, though, there was no shortage of bits that’ll make you a little hot around the collar. The story was relatively low angst but there were some spots that tugged at my heartstrings. I loved seeing these two men fall for one another.

As I mentioned, I was searching for something to fill the void left by the epicness that was Schitt’s Creek when I decided to read this. Reading this book helped a little but there was one similarity to Schitt’s Creek that I would like to point out because it’s one of the things that made that show so special – it made my heart happy to see the absence of homophobia in this book. Mark was bi-sexual and up until his relationship with Asher, he’d only really had relationships with women but his sexuality was never an issue for anyone and I loved that. I know it’s not the reality for many people but it is refreshing to read stories that support the fact that love is love, whatever shape or form it happens to come in. So, thank you Sarina Bowen and Lauren Blakely for that. And I hope that these authors decide to write together again because this book was a lot of fun!

P.S. I kind of went out of order and read this book before reading the prequel novella, Super Hot Wingman. I had forgotten about the novella until I saw it on my kindle when I was finished with The Best Men. If you wanted to see what led up to Mark’s drunken text rant, be sure to check that out! It’s a quick read and meant to be read ahead of this book but it was kind of fun to go back afterward to where it all started.

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