Deal Maker by Lily Morton
This was an easy 5 stars to give. In fact, it is the best book I've read in ages. It is the follow up book to Rule Breaker featuring Jude Bailey as the main character.
Jude is a model. He is successful and happy to be earning badly needed money to send home. On occasion he hooks up with his fellow model Dean, and it is while they are in bed together that Jude's life falls in on him, literally. The ceiling in his flat caves in and he is forced to move out while it is being repaired. Dean sets him up with his step-brother, the famous film star, Asa Jacobs. Asa needs a new assistant and lives in a sprawling London house where Jude can stay.
Sounds like a plan. But best laid plans and all that... Seems Asa isn't keen on models. (We find out why later...but no spoilers from me). And so their relationship gets off to a rocky start. Jude is not what he seems - he is very pretty on the outside, hence his success, but he carries a quick wit and is an intelligent man. Asa refuses to believe it and so an hysterical few weeks ensue with Jude pretending to be a vacuous idiot. It's hilarious and made me laugh out loud quite often.
Asa also has a 5 year old son, Billy, who Jude falls in love with instantly. As the weeks progress, Asa and Jude also develop a better relationship and Jude realises he rather fancies Asa. His house is filled with books and flair and is always busy with different people coming and going. Asa is not at all the typical A list celeb as Jude is beginning to discover. Jude is not the typical airhead model and Asa is beginning to discover. That established, the story pushes forward with what we hope is inevitable - Asa and Jude as lovers.
There is much to overcome before they could possible succumb to their desires and the many plot turns and interesting characters make for an engaging and utterly absorbing read.
The author is extremely funny, plus she writes really well. I love the snark and very British feel to her style. It is also incredibly sexy throughout with both the main characters being gorgeous in their own ways. However, parts of the book are also incredibly moving and with such descriptive and evocative narrative, I found my self on quite a roller coaster of emotions.
I loved every single word. I simultaneously wanted to race through the story to find out how it ended, and also to savour each page to delay getting to the finish. I sighed a lot and grinned from start to finish with occasional shiny eyes. It was thrilling, compassionate, romantic, funny and sexy. Perfect.