Review: M.J. O’Shea – The Worst Best Man (Dreamspun Desires)

51OQO1OXQpLAuthor: M.J. O’Shea
Reviewer: Barb
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Summary:

It was her special day… but his worst nightmare.

A rekindled romance wasn’t part of the plan.

Despite his American background, August O’Leary is the most sought-after wedding planner in London. Naturally, Libby and Edward come to him for a wedding the city will never forget. But Edward is an international businessman, so the details are left to Libby and her best friend—who happens to be the love of August’s life and the one who broke his heart eight years ago: Christopher Burke.

How’s August supposed to pull off the event of the year with Christopher distracting him and old feelings crashing the party uninvited?

Christopher has let money and status dictate his life, but no more. His failure to stand up to others’ expectations cost him his future with August—one he hoped would include marriage. Now he has to face August’s hurt and anger and prove he’s still the best man to make August happy.

Review:

Long ago, when I first started reading MM romances, I read one by MJ O’Shea that absolutely hooked me on the genre. And though I’ve read a few of the author’s works since then and enjoyed them all, none positively captured my heart quite as much as the first—until this story. I don’t know that it was the plot that engaged me so much as it was the writing style and the rich character development. MJ O’Shea swept me up to new romantic highs, and dropped me down to the depths of emotional despair, and then brought me back up again to that warm and fuzzy place in my heart where I cherish my favorite couples.

August is absolutely fantastic. Super-smart, redheaded, handsome, a Bostoner living in London for over 10 years, grad of Oxford, and top performer in the ultra-chic wedding planning business that is the talk of London, he nevertheless lives a quiet, unassuming lifestyle. He and his coworker and best friend, Will, occasionally head out to the pubs, but on the whole, his life is quiet since the love of his life broke his heart over 7 years ago when he informed August he didn’t belong in his world before he returned to his country estate to please his parents.

Christopher made a life-altering mistake over 7 years ago when he gave up the man he loved to please his parents. Snobby and rich “old money” stoics, his parents looked down their aristocratic noses at the thought that their son might want to commit to someone so far below their station. After that very stupid mistake, Christopher turned away from his family and now runs a small business investment venture while living comfortably in a posh townhouse in London. He doesn’t need his parents’ money as he came into a trust fund several years ago and only dabbles in social events held by his moneyed friends once in a while. The rest of the time, he lives a quiet life, with his dog and his book collection for company.

When his best friend, Libby, decides to finally marry her long-time beau and childhood friend, Edward, it’s Christopher she turns to for help in planning the wedding. After all, Edward is always busy, but Chris has excellent taste and is fun to be with. Get the picture? Who does Libby choose for her wedding planner? Imagine the surprise/shock both men get when they meet again after all these years.

And this sets the stage for the entire story as Christopher tries to win back the only man he ever loved and August digs in his heels to resist. Their friends both help and hinder along the way. And just when it looks like it might happen? Chris and his stupidity bobble the ball again.

It’s a fun story, with lots of slow-burn romance buildup, and plenty of little kisses and sweet looks and attempts to get together. As I said earlier, it’s the character of both men, the excellent and varied supporting cast, the trope of an old romance novel infused with new life, and the very excellent storytelling ability of MJ O’Shea that makes this one perfect. I highly recommend it to all lovers of a light-hearted MM romance with a nice mix of angst to shake it up a bit.

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