Summary: Jesse can do the math: Ezra’s perfect, he isn’t, and this relationship is doomed. Until the accident forces Jesse to recalculate.
Jesse has never had a real boyfriend before. He’s a firefighter, and that’s all that anyone’s seen before—a quick and thrilling screw, and a story for the future. So when he lands Ezra Pryce, the most beautiful man in the whole of Brighton, Jesse can’t quite understand why Ezra is still here eight months down the line.
Not that he’s going to complain. Ezra’s sexy, sarcastic, and doesn’t treat Jesse like he’s stupid, but Jesse can do the math. Ezra is nothing short of perfection; and Jesse falls a very way short of it. Jesse isn’t going to be enough for someone like Ezra in the long run, and he is living—and loving—on borrowed time. When a disastrous weekend in Norwich introduces Jesse to the staunch disapproval of Ezra’s family and the six-pack of his ex-boyfriend in one fell swoop, Jesse’s fate is sealed. He cannot hope to live up to an ex who has every intention of getting Ezra back, and all the looks and charm to do it too. Jesse is not enough for Ezra and he’s never going to be
Review: Jesse is a firefighter with a seriously skewed view of himself. He considers himself pretty stupid but incredibly lucky to have landed Ezra, a brilliant, beautiful teacher.
When the story begins, Jesse is suffering from a nightmare, which is pretty common for him, and Ezra doesn’t hesitate to come over to comfort him. I loved that. Jesse and Ezra met at a gay bar eight months prior and have slowly become so important to each other, even if Jesse doesn’t realize that he is just as important to Ezra as Ezra is to him. “Ezra wasn’t just a pretty face and nice legs. Ezra was the world.”
There are so many times during the story that Jesse is just adorable. Major league adorable. “His heart hiccupped and Jesse clutched the phone like a brainless newlywed until the toaster popped.”
It’s so funny that as I read this, I definitely didn’t view Ezra as perfect. He’s a great character but he has his flaws. Jesse just doesn’t see them, he’s way too focused on his own perceived shortcomings.
Ezra is a teacher at a school where they briefly had a metal detector to stop the kids from bringing in knives (since I work in a school where the kids go through metal detectors and they are checked, I could relate to this), something that not everyone understands about him. Including his family, who Jesse is going to meet for the first time. This was the first time that I wondered about Ezra – why was he putting Jesse through it, when he states outright that they won’t like Jesse, that sister Grace is basically Satan’s spawn (omg, that woman is nasty!) and it’s just plainly uncomfortable. And they were scheduled there for days and days!
The visit goes pretty much as expected; i.e. horribly. To add insult to it all, they accidentally meet Liam, Ezra’s gorgeous, rich, talented educated, ex-boyfriend. I was uncomfortable for Jesse during the first meeting, as Liam talks about taking Ezra’s virginity and Ezra was sort of a jerk to Jesse, at least to me. Yes, he’s an ex but come on, Ezra!
Most of the problems stem not just from Jesse’s insecurity but from Ezra’s family and Liam, while Ezra’s attitude about it doesn’t help. I don’t want to paint Ezra as a bad guy, he definitely isn’t, but there were often times that I just thought, WHY? He talks about Jesse not sharing things but I felt like he didn’t either.
As they do start to share parts of their past, some questions get answered (I kept wondering why Jesse didn’t say “I love you” back when Ezra said it, when he clearly loved him and this was explained). Ezra’s family situation is explained a bit as well. What wasn’t explained, for me, is why Ezra was keeping Liam around! He had a history with the man, yes, but hasn’t seen him in years and Liam definitely is hostile to Jesse. Ugh! At one point, Ezra asks “Why in the hell do you care what Liam thinks?” But wouldn’t anyone care about an ex that seems determined to get your boyfriend back?
Of course, it all comes to a head and unfortunately coincides with something terrible happening. Not a worst case scenario, but bad enough. What it does, however, is bring into focus Jesse’s strength. His conversation with Ezra’s mom was wonderful and hopefully made her think. He’s got so much more to him than he thinks.
The main focus of the story is Ezra and Jesse, working on being Ezra and Jesse. It works very well and I’d recommend it.