The Best Man

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Title and Link: The Best Man
Author: L.A. Witt
Publisher URL: Carnal Passions
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Novel (233 PDF pages)
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Summary Review: Another well written, well plotted romance from the pen of author L.A. Witt that will engage her fans and win her new ones.
 

THE BLURB

Jon Beatty thought he had the best man in his ex, Craig. But in the six months since their break up, Craig’s managed to find a new lover—a woman—and wants Jon to be a different kind of best man…at his wedding.

Reasoning that the only way to get over one man is to get under another, Jon heads for a local club to get drunk and laid. Bartender Liam Sable is more than willing to help with both.

Their one night stand turns into a rebound fling which enables Jon to move on. Craig, however, is having second thoughts about the break-up. While inconvenient and annoying, Craig’s antics are nothing compared to the danger posed to Jon and Liam’s relationship by another, more sinister threat…

THE REVIEW

I’ll start off this review by saying that I like this author; she writes well, her characters are engaging and for the most part the plots are not over the top. She does a good job of wrapping up her stories, and so far the endings of two of her three M/M stories are credible. I loved Nine-Tenths of the Law reviewed here but Rules of Engagement reviewed here had some flaws which I guess were understandable since this was her first M/M book. 

In The Best Man Jon is trying to get over his breakup with his lover Craig with whom he has lived for a year and thought they really had a chance to make it as a couple. However Craig, who is bisexual, had other ideas and decided that the gay lifestyle was not for him – he wanted the white picket fence - so he broke it off with Jon and six months later announced that he was getting married to a woman. He then heaped insult upon the injury by asking him to be his best man at the wedding. What’s a good friend to do? Of course Jon said ‘yes’ even though it killed him to do so. The night he found out about the wedding he was so despondent he decided to drown his sorrows in drink and went to a local upscale bar where he met Liam Sable, a bartender, who had broken up with his boyfriend 2 weeks prior. They hit it off because there’s nothing like misery to draw people together, and they went home together that first night and had such great sex they spent the night together. 

If there’s one thing that L.A. Witt does well, it’s her ability to write wonderful sex scenes that make my toes curl and raise the goose bumps on my skin, and The Best Man is no exception. Those readers who love a lot of sex in their M/M contemporary romances will have their fill. The other thing I like about this writer is that her plots are not the usual old themes, and even when they are she manages to put a twist or two on the tried and true storylines. In Nine-Tenths of the Law two men who were cheated on by the same man decided that maybe falling into bed together would help them get over the scumbag who had been moving from bed to bed, and this fresh take on the old plot worked exceedingly well. The Best Man offers the theme of two men who had been wronged, and in trying to get over their hurt find THE man of their dreams.  Because both men were on the rebound they decided that they would date casually with no commitment on either side, and that worked for a little while, but their feelings wouldn’t give them an easy fix as more and more they are drawn to each other and can’t stay away. But there was a major wrinkle in the story. Liam was running scared and it seemed that he had a lot issues that were unrelated to the usual angst over a cheating ex boyfriend.

Although I personally don’t like a lot of sex in M/M romances because I’m one of those readers who prefers more plot and the characters interacting away from the bedroom, I recognize that these books, for the most part, are supposed to be erotic, so although it may not be my personal taste I try to read these stories from the  perspective of most of the readers of this sub genre. My point here is that there’s mucho sex in The Best Man but it is novel length therefore it’s not as overwhelming as if all of the action between the sheets were crammed into a 100 page novella. The redeeming aspect for me of all the sex was the tenderness and intimacy between Liam and Jon which was so palpable I could feel it and sometimes it so was intense the characters’ emotions were leaking all over the page. I also loved the excellent dialogue and prose, another trademark of this author, and she’s very funny too. She also had Liam and Jon travel to Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada for a short vacation which was a nice change for me, being Canadian.

One of the plot points in the story involved something we don’t read a lot about in M/M novels – partner abuse – and it was another twist which is something I’ve come to expect from this author. Although I thought that some aspects were exaggerated, there was an element of believability as it could have happened in real life. L.A. Witt’s characterization of Liam in The Best Man needed a bit of work because on the one hand he was strong, and then he would become unrecognizable as a weak shadow of his other self, but I suppose that was understandable given his past. However, his extended family who were very supportive and loving, disappeared off the landscape after one scene which I thought was a pity as they could have been used to greater advantage in the book (you have to read The Best Man to understand what I mean). Craig, who wanted to have his cake and eat it too, got his comeuppance and I was happy to see him with egg all over his face. Jon, who tells the story from his 1st person POV, came off the best of the two protagonists, and his emotions and weak moments were well done in the book.

Overall I really liked this story. This author’s writing continues to be engaging and fresh which is something I find very appealing, and I look forward to her other M/M releases. In case you were wondering, the story did have an appropriate ending for all of you “romance” readers. :)Definitely recommended.

25 thoughts on “The Best Man

  1. simsala

    Hi Wave,
    funny – just finished The Best Man a few minutes ago.I liked the slow buildup from sweet and hot romance to “there´s something bad going on” and that “he”was definitely not the usual victim of partner abuse.It`s not always the little and weak one – nice twist!
    The sex scenes – as you said – were hot ,emotional and very gentle,even in the “rougher” moments – very well written!And how both men stood up to their exes……*purr*!
    Thank you, Wave.Great review!

    1. Wave Post author

      Hi Simsala
      I like the way that this author always gives her stories unexpected twists. I can’t say much because I don’t want to give away any more of the plot but this kind of abuse is not talked about much in M/M even though it’s prevalent in RL. Perhaps more authors need to address it.

      As for the romance, I did like the fact that although there was a lot of very hot sex they decided to go slow on the ‘relationship’ aspect and it was not ‘insta love.’ L.A. Witt did a great job other than those few niggles that I mentioned.

    1. Wave Post author

      Anne
      If you have never read any books by this author I definitely recommend The Best Man and Nine-Tenths of the Law. Since you’re going on vacation you’ll have lots of time to read. :)

  2. Jill

    I have not been reading much lately, nothing has caught my interest. A new author sounds like just the thing I need. Your site and the broad range of books reviewed gives me a great way to keep up with many of the books being released. I had noticed this author and was undecided, but now I plan on going out and purchasing her two latest books.

    1. Wave Post author

      Hi Jill
      Her books are never boring even though she loves to pack them with sex scenes. I like her plots and I would definitely recommend that you try The Best Man and Nine-Tenths of the Law.

      Another new M/M author you might want to try is Katie Allen. She has two M/M books to her credit (she writes het mostly) – Private Dicks and Hide Out.
      Here are links to the reviews. I like her a lot.

      http://www.reviewsbyjessewave.com/?p=6201
      http://www.reviewsbyjessewave.com/?p=19119

  3. thelastaerie

    I just finished Nine-tenth today and thought it’s better than her first book, so I am hoping third one is even better :)

    You’re quite right that she writes really hot sex scenes – although still too much for my taste (I skipped a few…. :P), but that doesn’t affect my overall enjoyment of the story.

    Thanks for the review. This goes to my to-read-list.

    1. Wave Post author

      Hi Eve
      I think The Best Man is about as good as Nine-Tenths, not better. There were elements in both that I liked but I wish she would stop using “smirked” and “wink”. I think she heard us after the review of Nine-Tenths, and I’m hoping her upcoming books won’t continue this annoying trait. Other than that, she’s a pretty good writer – she just has to tone down the sex and give us more plot and the guys interacting more outside of the bedroom so that we could get to know them better.

  4. melissa

    I read this one the other day, and yes the infamous “winks” were in this one too. I think she toned down the “smirks” though since Nine tenths of the Law.
    Other than that tiny niggle, she really is a great author and I think each of the 3 books have gotten better.
    It looks like her next one is m/m/m so I’m a bit disappointed, I can’t seem to get into the menages as much but I like her writing so much, I’ll probably give it a try.

    1. Wave Post author

      Hi Melissa
      I noticed that the smirks were toned down. :)

      I’m not sure if The Distance Between Us is the next book – it releases July 6. I believe there’s another book published by Carnal Passions coming up soon but I don’t know the release date. Maybe L.A. could let us know.

  5. L. A. Witt

    Thanks for the great review, Wave!

    And yes, point taken on the smirks/winks from the previous books. (Though the next book that’s coming out was written BEFORE that review, so don’t hurt me! hehe)

    1. Wave Post author

      Hi Lori
      I promise not to hurt you. :) I’m hoping that the next book will be the last one with these words or I WILL hurt you.

      When is your other book being released by Carnal Passions?

      1. L. A. Witt

        Eep! Okay, okay! LOL

        Fair warning…there is some smirkery (that’s a real word, I swear) going on in The Distance Between Us because it’s kind of a trait of one of the characters. Ironically, something he uses specifically to annoy one of the others. I hadn’t noticed my overuse before then, so…well…duly noted for future books. :D

  6. L. A. Witt

    The Distance Between Us is the next book and will be out on July 6 from Samhain. Cover Me will be out September 8 from Carnal Passions.

    After that, I’m not sure yet. I’ve been working on some of my hetero stuff lately, so I haven’t sold any M/M recently, but rest assured…there’s more to come!

    1. Wave Post author

      Thanks for the information Lori. Should I gird my loins for even more sex in The Distance Between Us since it’s M/M/M?

        1. Wave Post author

          A wee bit!!! There’s so much already when it’s two guys under the sheets. I wonder how much more my heart can stand with three of your guys. :)

  7. TJ

    Great review Wave. I read Nine Tenths and liked it so I will keep this one in mind. I like how this author mixes things up a bit.

    1. Wave Post author

      Hello TJ
      She is different, isn’t she? She writes well and her plots work (except for the first book). I do love her prose and I wish I had more of an opportunity to read more of the snappy dialogue. Maybe we could get her to delete one sex scene and add some prose and dialogue instead. :)

    1. Wave Post author

      Lily
      I really like L.A’s writing and she takes time to develop characters who seem believable. She still has some work to do in that area but considering that this is only her 3rd M/M novel (not novella or novellette, but novel) I think she’s moving in the right direction. If you like a lot of sex in your M/M she does a great job there as well although I wish for more plot and less sex, but that’s just me.

  8. Libbie H.

    What a great review!

    I have to brag a little…I get to beta-read most of Witt’s books so I got to read through The Best Man before it was even sold…it is one of my favorites that she’s written so far. Every time I drive down Broadway past the spot where THE KISS happens in the book, I get a little chill.

    You guys are going to love The Distance Between us and when you read Cover Me you’re going to freak out. My prediction is that Cover Me will be the favorite of everybody on this site, especially Wave. I think it’ll hit all the bases for you, Wave!

    1. Wave Post author

      Well Libbie, based on your unbiased recommendation :) I can’t wait to read both The Distance and Cover Me. L.A. Reid is certainly making her mark on M/M so far based on what I’ve seen to date.

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