Cardeno C- Perfect Imperfections

perfectAuthor: Cardeno C
Reviewer: Lucy
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: M/M Contemporary
ISBN: 9781627988780

Rating: ★★★★¼ 

Summary: Hollywood royalty Jeremy Jameson has lived a sheltered life with music as his sole focus and only friend. Before embarking on yet another international concert tour, he wanders into a bar in what he considers the middle of nowhere and meets a man who wins him over with his friendly smile and easy-going nature. Accountant slash bartender slash adventure-seeker Reg Moore has fun talking and drinking with The Jeremy Jameson and can’t say no when the supposedly straight rock star makes him a once in a lifetime offer: keep him company on his tour by playing the part of his boyfriend.

Listening to music, traveling the world, and jumping off cliffs is fun. Falling in love is even better. But to stay with Jeremy after the stage lights dim, Reg will need to help him realize there’s nothing pretend about their relationship

Review: Jeremy is a world famous musician, from an incredibly famous and moneyed performing arts family who is incredibly talented and incredibly lonely. He comes across throughout the book as very young and/or very innocent. He has been groomed for fame since he was a small child and so really that’s all he’s ever known. He’s about to start on yet another international tour where he will be making the music that makes him happy, staying at plush hotels with amazing foods and seeing what he can of a new place all by himself. Lonely.

His choice of bar in a road trip before the tour is a small place in a little no-where town called Munds Park. It is here he meets (and pretty much immediately offends) the bartender, Reg. He is having a great time, talking and laughing with Reg and getting too drunk to drive and Reg is sweet and invites Jeremy to chill out on his couch. Of course, this is when Jeremy offends, noting that he’s in “Whatever Park…Why would I know anybody here?” Luckily he realizes it and Reg is an easygoing guy and forgives him, after some teasing.

Turns out even though Jeremy has been playing incognito, Reg has recognized him. As they discuss through the night, Reg’s dream of travel and adventure combines with Jeremy’s aching wish to have someone to talk to and Jeremy comes up with the idea of hiring Reg to be his “pretend boyfriend”, some on the road with him and spend time. Awesome for Reg and comforting for Jeremy. After waiting to make sure Jeremy is serious and it wasn’t the alcohol talking, Reg agrees and here really is the first time Jeremy’s innocence (or sheltered life) is apparent, when he “widened his eyes and parted his lips. “An adventure?” he gasped.” Poor Jeremy.

And so begins the adventure of Jeremy and Reg and it is absolutely lovely. Reg may seem too good to be true but about time Jeremy had that. I thought it was sad that Bill had been Jeremy’s manager for eight years and Jeremy knew nothing about him. Of course, Bill comes across as a major asshat, though he seems to have Jeremy’s interests at heart. His initial meeting with Reg, well, it just highlights how being The Jeremy Jameson might just be a pretty tough way to live.

What Reg does, through the glamour and otherwise that is the life of a rock star, is treat Jeremy like a “buddy, an equal, a regular guy.” And this pampered, lonely rock star loves it. And if he starts questioning himself and who he is, well, even better.

Have to say – Jeremy is an adorable drunk. “Raising his hand to rub his eye, Jeremy punched himself in the nose instead.” I laughed at that out loud, even more when Reg helpfully points out, “You hit yourself.” They are just cute together, bickering and teasing. “Is that supposed to be an impression of me?” Jeremy asked incredulously. “Because I so don’t sound like a dying, constipated, one-nutted squirrel.”

Let’s put it out there – Jeremy of the purple hair is a wonderful thing. Purple hair gets me every time. But Reg? I loved him. He’s patient, kind and adventurous but he is also loyal and sweet. Win-win with Reg, Jeremy. I saw this not as a gay for you on Jeremy’s part. I saw it as an awakening of the real person, not just the stage persona. Jeremy himself questions, “I’m thirty-two years old. How did I not know this about myself?” Maybe because you’ve never had the chance to actually be with someone who wanted you for yourself.

I did want to know – why did Jeremy’s mom support him like she did? That wasn’t addressed and since Mama is clearly a selfish Hollywood diva, I really wondered. I’m glad she did, even if there was trouble later, but still wondered why.

I loved Reg’s declaration, Jeremy’s fit in Bill’s office at the end, even Bill’s voyeuristic streak that was sort of ewww. But mostly, I just loved the maybe too perfect coming together of Jeremy and Reg.

On just a random note, I felt the cover for this book fit the story perfectly. Reg is bigger and protective, Jeremy is in need of that circled arm and the guitar plays a prominent role. Kudos for that, Reese Dante.

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