Secrets and Bow Ties by Lou Harper

Secrets and Bow Ties by Lou Harper
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Mystery/Suspense, Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (135 pages)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Lilac

Who said nerdy can’t be sexy?

Self-confessed gold digger Dylan Price is cooling his heels as a waiter at a trendy West Hollywood restaurant, waiting for the sugar daddy of his dreams to walk through the doors. Someone rich, sophisticated. Preferably old.

Bookish Simon Wainwright couldn’t be further from Dylan’s ideal. Aside from his terrible fashion sense, Simon suffers from a glaring lack of a Beverly Hills mansion. And he’s barely over thirty!

Dylan, however, isn’t made of stone. Coincidence, an obscene candle, even Simon’s dorky cardigan compel him to give the shy academic a very special birthday gift, which Dylan files away as a one-night stand. But when Dylan’s quest lands him in hot water, he runs to Simon to hide.

The two take off for Las Vegas, where Dylan takes upon himself to give Simon a complete makeover. For reasons he can’t comprehend, Dylan begins to reevaluate his life—and what he holds most dear. But with danger not far behind, he might be too late.

A young waiter, whose ambition in life is to become the kept boy toy of a rich older man, finds himself drawn to the complete opposite—and then he finds himself in the middle of a kind of an action movie. Only he’s the reluctant, unwitting star in danger.

The plot starts out awfully unassuming. I thought this tale would be about Dylan figuring out what he really wants: Simon. And not much more. But… there’s a lot happening here. And I mean a lot. Dylan’s pursuit of a rich, older sugar daddy lands him smack in the middle of criminal activities by at least three different parties. There’s guns, drugs, antiquities, you name it. Dylan’s got no idea what’s happening. By the time he does, he’s in mortal danger. Eventually—after almost getting knifed and shot, and actually getting kidnapped—he figures it all out. I also loved the fact that though Dylan claims to be a gold digger, he’s a charming person who I couldn’t help but fall for.

We only get the story from Dylan’s third person POV. But Simon comes across as a fully fleshed nerdy professor with a propensity for bow ties, bad glasses, and old-fashioned clothes. Dylan sets out to give the guy a total make-over in Vegas of all places, and along the way Simon comes out of his shell, revealing the funny, gorgeous guy underneath the geeky facade. The two men suit each other to a tee.

What I liked about the characters was that, despite the crazy plot, they felt real and true to themselves. Their dialogue was a hoot to follow, made easy by Harper’s smooth-flowing writing. Both Dylan and Simon are smart, but in different ways, as one is a professor and the other a former go-go boy. I appreciated that though Dylan knew less than Simon, it was portrayed as a normal character trait, not something to be snickered at or made fun of. He’s got street smarts and a wonderfully open personality despite his bad past.

This is one crazy tale and the characters complete that circle of madness. I loved this, easily one of the best I’ve read lately. While the plot twists boggle your mind and these guys seem ill-suited for one another at first, Harper’s manner of writing, captivating and immersive, keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time. Her men have an inexplicable allure to them, and I read this in one sitting. You might do the same. Recommended.

Speak Your Mind