Devan walked in on his fiance and brother having sex, the day before his wedding. Several months later he still has to keep a tight lid on his anger, which is made all the harder when said brother announces plans to marry the ex. Since they work together, Devan’s boss decides he needs a break and assigns him to check out a potential hotel acquisition on the Northumberland coast. Jonty is the night manager at the hotel, and is still on duty when a guest he quickly dubs “Mr Impossible” tries to check in at 9:00 am. While the guest, who is Devan, may seem sad and impossible, Jonty also finds him attractive. When the two are thrown together in a life-threatening situation, dislike turns to friendship, but both are keenly aware that it can’t be more than that. Jonty has ties to the area that he’s not ready to break, and Devan’s life and work are back in London.
Firstly, this is far and away the most laugh-out-loud funny book I’ve read this year. There are definitely some very heavy topics in the plot, but the humor makes it well worth the read. Humor and sarcasm are Jonty’s defense mechanism. The twenty-something young man has had a pretty rough life, but he’s determined not to let it get him down. He’s well aware of the risk he takes getting close to Devan, but his big heart won’t let him walk away.
Devan is quite a contrast to Jonty. Yes, he’s had some heartbreak in his recent past, but he’s well off and despite the friction with one of his brothers, his family is otherwise quite close. Devan is just as concerned as Jonty about how difficult a relationship would be between them, and the pain it might inflict on both of them if things don’t work out. His slow progress from being careful to determined to be with Jonty is quite a journey, but it’s written well enough to be believable.
The dramatic turns of the story come mostly from both men’s recent past, namely their ex-boyfriends, although there’s the added issue of Devan’s real reasons for coming to the hotel. While the various situations are a bit extreme, they’re certainly plausible.
“The Making of Jonty Bloom” is available from Amazon.