Pete Schulz took a tough fall from his high-flying life in Hollywood. But how does a guy whose best skill is getting dirty clean up his act? His new gig with Domesticated Inc seems like a great first step. Keeping house for a nerdy young astrophysics professor is exactly the low-key, no-chance-for-trouble job he needs, right?
Living together is surprisingly easy for both men. And fun. And more than a little hot. It's when they're faced with the idea of living apart that the truly messy work begins…
Comment: I got interested in this book because I read somewhere that one of the main characters was shy and had a hard time making friends. I was really curious to see how the romance would develop in such a case.
In this book we meet professor Marek Janos, a young man known for his amazing genius and ability to reach complex mathematical equations, which enabled him to conquer academics very soon. Now he works in the US but a past negative experience made it necessary for his family to find a housekeeper/companion so he can have meals and routines on time. Pete is that person and he also has something in his past which makes him feel he isn't the best person to have around but when it comes to rules and domestic work, he is happy to perform them, for he found out it allows him to feel in control. The two are young and attracted but Pete knows more intimacy, especially of the sexual kind, can only lead to disaster...however, Marek isn't one to ignore the odds...
I liked the idea of this book. Two people with different personalities but sharing the fact they don't feel always so well in being in public, even if by opposed reasons. I was curious to see how they would go from a work relationship, no matter how unusual, to something in which they could both trust each other. The road wasn't as dramatic nor heart wrenching as I thought, but it allowed for a good read.
I mean, it's not that this would scream overly emotional from the start, but I kind of imagined this from a certain point on, mostly as soon as we learn of Pete's past. He was a party boy, living for the superficial and the glamour, it wasn't something shady or anything (like criminal or illegal) but it had turned him into someone most people might not want to be friends with. I truly thought more of this would play a part in the novel but, in fact, this was here only as a cautionary tale to explain why Pete was reticent to become involved with Marek.
Some aspects of the plot are a little unrealistic, it seems. I'm talking about the work contract Pete has with Marek's uncle which forbids hem from having contact if the work contract ends before its term and how some convenient scenes happen right when they have to...real life isn't that easy. Plus, Marek's personality is described a certain way but apart from that, we barely see it play any role in the book, considering where the focus is, namely the romance.
I also wasn't fully convinced with the romance. I liked the two guys and I liked how hey were portrayed to show case their attraction, of which I think there many examples but, again, when the story begins, it is already established they like one one as more than friends even if they never acted on it and have kept to a work relationship and a casual friendship with some sweet moments in the mix. Personally, I think it would have been better - or would have added strength to the novel - to see their relationship from the start, where, perhaps, they would be both more raw on meeting each other and their pasts would have played a bigger role in shaping who they are to get to where they are now.
In other words, or the story feels as if it didn't start in the best spot or the way things played out wasn't always as well done as it could. A lot of the tension is character-focused, not as much external and although I don't mind it, there are times it feels as if some parts weren't always in par with the rest. However, the rhythm of the story was good enough, but I would have liked even more sexual tension before they finally gave in.
The romance, as a whole, as sweet and both protagonists revealed a romantic side in the middle of all the obstacles they had to overcome. I liked Pete more, simply because he does seem to have more development. After checking some reviews, I see he was a secondary character in another book but because I haven't read that one I had no opinion whatsoever, so I was able to just appreciate his journey as it was, but I see other readers haven't liked him much in that other book. Here, for me, he simply was a conflicted person and someone who didn't feel very worthy... and I'm a sucker for characters like those.