Volume I finds Philip settling in Connecticut in disguise as he doesn’t want to draw too much attention to his true line of work. Despite his caution, he meets and befriends a local rock musician Tommy Sear, who despairs of ever having his band make it.
Quickly smitten by the dark haired, shy Asian male that is Philip, Tommy seeks to make the young man his, but Philip doesn’t believe in love, besides he has a very real problem, he can’t seem to get the victim of his last burglary, green eyed, virile Italian male… out of his mind.
With Philip’s encouragement, Tommy renews his efforts to get his band Sear a record deal. He makes a demo and shortly after a scout contacts him, from Italy no less.
The Italian scout is coming to America hear them play in the hopes of signing Sear to the much sought after label Romano Studios. But Tommy has a secret and he’s afraid that without Philip’s help, they may not get the deal.
Our book opens with a thief sneaking into a house with the sole purpose of, well, doing what thieves do – steal stuff. The thief is shocked to find a beautiful man asleep on a couch in the room where the house safe is because he was told that the occupants were away. The thief takes time to admire the sleeping man and wishes that they had met at another time. Unfortunately for the thief the sleeping man awakes and there is a tense bit where we think that it’s all over for the thief. Instead the thief, who Sleeping Man thinks is a woman, (which he’s NEVER been attracted to) kisses Sleeping Man and knocks his socks off – especially when Sleeping Man feels the erection pressing into his leg.
Sleeping Man turns out to be Julian Romano. He’s been in Europe for the past 7 months trying to recover from a broken relationship – one that had lasted four years and one he thought would last a lifetime. The ex, Justin, was a cheater and when Julian finally saw Justin for who he really was, they slip. Julian was in a tailspin but since the thief kissed him he’s not been interested in anyone else, even going so far as to try to track the thief down. Julian decided to concentrate on the music business that he and his twin, Gregori, run and in doing so finds the band, Sear. Julian heads home to Connecticut to see Sear in person.
Philip is the thief. Philip is a platinum-haired blue-eyed man who’s half French and half Japanese. He’s had mega troubles in the past and is currently working for a dance company that is really an espionage organization. In a strange twist Philip ends up renting Julian’s carriage house without knowing it belongs to him. Even when Julian returns to America they never meet even though they live on the same property. Philip befriends a guy who works at a local coffee shop, Tommy, who also has a band, Sear. You can see where this is going, right? In a strange twist of events Philip and Julian meet again when Julian is scouting Sear but it seems that everything stands in their way, can they be together the way they both want or will they have to part?
Where to start in my review…? I guess I’ll start with the story which I liked, to a point. There are some parts I really liked and others…not so much. I didn’t realize when I agreed to review the book that it was part 1 of 2 and the 2 parts made up a full novel. That was a bit frustrating as there was so much that was left unfinished by the end of part one. I very much enjoyed the way Akira was slowly bringing our two main characters together. It was definitely in a roundabout way but I enjoyed the journey. Now that being said there were parts that I was confused about. Like…why there was a scene with Philip’s “bosses” in the story that led us to believe that their computers were being hacked? Besides the pseudo love scene between the men I couldn’t figure out why that was put in there. What purpose did it serve? There was also information about both Philip’s and Julian’s ex’s that we were told about but never got more information on. I realize, again, that this is book one but at least some explanation would have been appreciated. The story was also told in large part by memories and flashbacks and as it jumped to and fro I found myself frustrated.
Julian and Philip were, to me, polar opposites. Julian was confident and smooth – a man who had it together. Philip could be smooth and confident but I’m pretty sure that was an act. Part of the book Philip was shy but that too was an act. When Philip was honest about his past with Julian I believe we saw more of the true Philip than we had before. I think in order to truly “see” the man I’ll have to read part 2. My biggest issue with Julian and Philip was Julian. For him it was love at first sight and none other would do. He wasn’t afraid to come out and tell Philip this either and though Julian had known OF Philip he truly didn’t know him. After the heart ache that Justin provided for Julian I would have expected him to be more discerning.
In the end I thought it was a fun read. While frustrating at times I found it held my interest and I do find myself wondering what happens in the next portion of the book. If you plan on reading this then I recommend having part 2 handy so you can continue with the story.
Rating: 3 out of 5