Author: L.A. Witt
Book: The Husband Gambit
Page/Word Count: 302 pages, 95K words
Categories: Gay Romance, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 15, 2018
Cover Artist: Lori Witt
Marry me for 1 year. Payment: $1.2 million.
Hayden Somerset is convinced the ad is a joke, but he responds anyway because, hello, $1.2 million. He’s broke, living in a tiny apartment with two roommates, and exhausted from praying his ancient car survives just one more week. His skyrocketing rent and crushing student loans aren’t helping either. At this point, there isn’t much Hayden wouldn’t do for that kind of cash.
The ad isn’t a joke. Jesse Ambrose is absolutely serious. His father, the charismatic patriarch of a powerful Hollywood dynasty, has his eye on politics, and he’s counting on California’s liberals and progressives to elect him. But Jesse knows what his father believes when cameras and voters aren’t around. As the election looms, he’ll do anything to force the man’s hand and show the public who Isaac Ambrose really is.
Anything, including marrying a stranger so his father will make good on his promise to disown Jesse if he ever takes a husband.
Now he just has to wait for his father to take the bait… and try not to accidentally fall in love with his fake husband.
4.5✨s – This is, hands down, the best use of the fake husband trope I have ever read. It’s never been a favorite trope of mine but the fact that Jesse wasn’t attempting to save his reputation or keep an inheritance but had a higher, more selfless purpose, made this a delight to read. The author’s writing skills didn’t hurt it either! Jesse is a kind of a poor little rich boy but he balances well with Hayden’s everyman character, both crafted to be intelligent and interesting figures. They discuss all the potential ramifications of their deception that they can think of before finalizing their deal. Of course later on, they get blindsided by emotions they never thought to anticipate and not just those they develop for each other. This is slow burn romance and not sex-heavy, since in spite of their attraction and comfortable dynamic in living together, both struggle with ethics and morals in crossing the boundaries they’ve set. A two week fake honeymoon cruise gets a little too real and sends those reservations overboard. Then the emotional hurdles they couldn’t predict start popping up as momentum builds to the final confrontation. I got all the feels that I could ask for with a romance, even becoming teary-eyed, particularly where Jesse was concerned.
Jesse and Hayden don’t get caught up in major drama between themselves, which was so refreshing. They discuss their differences in mature ways, without angry exchanges. Hayden talks out troubles with his former roommates, Ashton and Luis, and Jesse has his younger brother Alex for a sounding board. All the secondary characters add a great deal to the depth of the story. Ultimately, the crises and some major emotional battering originates from the antagonists, Jesse’s parents and elder siblings. The plot and narrative was riveting in how L.A. had her characters drive the plot forward without any of the cliché devices I’ve often found used with this trope. I did want to see much stronger consequences for Jesse’s father but the results were realistic and in keeping with the background he was given. If you enjoy fake boyfriend/fiancé/husband stories (and even if you don’t, like me), some angst, drama that fits the plot and a glorious HEA epilogue, I would highly recommend this book.
5✨s – You know you’re in for a good story when you pick up an L.A Witt book and this one does not disappoint! Fake husband is a story line I enjoy and this outing is written so well! The characters are fully developed, the story is engaging, going along at a pace that pulls you willingly along. Hayden is the man with very little money, few job prospects but a nice new degree and two best friends he couldn’t be without. Jesse is looking for a husband to help him knock his father off of his political perch and will pay good money for it. A match made in heaven, all planned out…..except for those pesky feelings that rise up. As well as the fake husband trope that this book gives us, there’s such a wealth of sub plots going on with family relationships for men, the political stance Jesse’s father is making and the politics of making it in Hollywood. Every part of the story blends together so well, giving you so much to pay attention to whilst enjoying the emerging relationship between Hayden and Jesse. The two MC’s are unexpected in how “real” the feel in the way the talk/think. Hayden has the chance to show Jesse how those on the lower income scale live, when he is amazed at the world in which Jesse and his family live. The way he comes across in his POV is as though you’re talking to a real person which I love. Whilst Jesse does come from a rich/upper class background he’s quite down to earth but happily learning from Hayden when he can. The two men together are so good! I would put it as a slow burn that then gets put onto a simmer. Emotions run high for several reasons throughout the story and L.A Witt’s writing grabs hold of you from the first page and holds your attention. There are great supporting characters, both the good and bad. Hayden’s best friends are honest, fun and there for him through everything. Jesse’s family…..not so much. As we could guess from Jesse’s need to bring the man down, his father is a real piece of work! A fantastic bad guy. As well as great characters, the different locations that we’re treated to sound amazing. From Jesse’s loft to a cruise, Hayden’s apartment with his friends and the mansion that Jesse’s parents live in. So descriptive and easy to visualise, it helps bring the story to life even more. I really enjoyed this story and our MC’s, I’d definitely recommend reading it. I received an ARC from the publisher and am happily giving a review
About L.A. Witt:
L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…
Where to find L.A. Witt:
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