Book Reviews

Husband Material by Xavier Mayne at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 01-February-2014

Book Blurb

Husband Material is a long-running reality show, where eighteen lucky guys compete for the hand of one lucky lady. Meet contestant number one, Riley. Since being left at the altar, he’s hit the gym to get into the best shape of his life. Now he’s in it to win it. Contestant number two, Asher, doesn’t really want the bachelorette; he needs the prize money for his sister’s cancer treatment. Asher's upbeat personality brings Riley out of the funk he's been in since his breakup. They make a formidable team, with one complication: Asher’s falling for Riley.

Producer Kaitlyn has her hands full when two bachelors are found in the shower soaping up inappropriately, then another live-tweets the entire debacle. If another scandal erupts, the network will cancel the show.

The two bachelors are on a collision course under the watchful eye of a producer torn between wanting them to find true love and trying to keep her show going. In the end, Riley must choose the bachelorette or the bachelor.


Book Review

As soon as I read the blurb for this book I started to laugh. What a brilliant idea, to take an existing show (The Bachelorette, I believe) and do a "what if one or more of the bachelors are gay" version of it? The potential has got to be there. And I think the author did a particularly good job designing the reasons and motivations for each of the gay contestants to be on the show anyway. And, surprise, surprise, there are more than two… I loved the whole story and everything about it: from the setting and all the characters, to the "games" they had to play and how the losers got voted off, to the slow buildup of the romance, to all the contemporary references (like tweeting secrets all over the Internet). And don’t forget the emotional torment and angst the two MCs went through – really, really well done!

Riley broke my heart. He's trying to be all macho, but deep down he is depressed, insecure, and has a hell of a lot to prove to himself. Or so he thinks. His ex-fiancée has done a total number on him when she left him, and he is struggling to come out of that. What better way to prove that he's still got it than to win the show? After all, only the malest of the male bachelors can possibly win. I loved his strategizing as he figured out what to do at each stage. The poor man has no idea where it will lead him, and his objective of winning the bachelorette's heart at almost any cost almost blinds him to the really important developments between him and Asher. To the fact that he may actually be gay.

Asher knows he is gay from the start, but does a brilliant job at hiding it. He has the best motivation possible to win the show: he needs the money to pay for his sister's cancer treatment. I loved that he becomes Riley's closest ally when he decides working together with the seemingly unbeatable man may be his best strategy. Little does he know what kind of heartache he is in for as they both struggle to define the feelings between them. Actually, he is pretty sure what he feels, but having to stay in the game and adhere to the rules means he has to continue hiding it.

Above and beyond those two, some of the other secondary characters were really funny, and some added some depth as well. In particular, the producer, Kaitlyn, and her assistant. Now, at first I was a little irritated to find their point of view included as well. I mean, this is supposed to be a romance, right? But actually, as I got into the story, I could see how their way of looking at everything really added a lot of insight, mystery, and extra tension. Very cleverly done!

If you like reality shows where contestants are voted off every week, and even if you don’t, this book will hold your attention with all the strategies behind every move anyone makes. If you enjoy reading about tortured characters who struggle to understand themselves and what is important in life, and if you're looking for a read that is as amusing as it is hot and intense, then you will probably like this novel.





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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 350 pages/133202 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 24-January-2014
Price $6.99 ebook, $17.99 paperback, $17.99 bundle
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