Darryl rolled his eyes and gave me a look of contempt. “You’re such an asshole sometimes.” “I’ve been advised of that. It’s good to be consistent.”
“Here are the facts, Austin. You’ve been engaged four times. You’ve cheated on every single one of them.” Fuck the fucking newspapers and their biased articles about me. “You’re cruel sometimes and superficial and spoiled and really fucked up emotionally. You talk about my being inscrutable, but you treat nothing as if it matters to you. Something terrible happens? You make a joke and shrug it off. You feel too much? You get angry and lash out at me.”
Truer words have never been spoken. Meet Austin Glass. Police detective. Trust fund baby. Soon to be married to his fourth fiancé. Snarky, shallow, funny, sarcastic, unapologetically honest. Rude. Bit of a bastard, actually. And I loved him.
The story begins with Austin sitting in a local diner, waiting to meet an informant, hours before he is due to have his wedding tux fitted. It’s here that he first sets eyes on bunny slippers-wearing Peter Cotton aka Rabbit, a red-headed former prostitute who is working as a waiter. Peter couldn’t have been more different to Austin. Loyal, serious and thoughtful. He has no patience for Austin’s over the top declarations or his inability to take anything seriously. But opposites really do attract because these guys can’t seem to stay away from each other.
Literally minutes after seeing Peter, Austin develops a huge man crush on him and almost instantly decides that he must be gay. Well, he thinks he is anyway. He initially seems so flippant about his sexuality that it’s really hard to take him seriously. He’s never been with a man and is about to marry a woman who he seems to be in love with.
All of this would be confusing if Austin wasn’t so hilariously honest about his predicament. On the outside, to his friends, family and work colleagues, Austin Glass is as straight as they come. So when he suddenly starts professing, literally out of nowhere, to anyone who will listen that he is a homo, a faggot (his words, not mine) no-one takes him seriously at all. It’s not until we get a little peek into his past, that we begin to understand how this seemingly straight man has apparently turned gay overnight (because of course, he hasn’t). It’s more like he wakes up one morning and decides to finally embrace who he really is and what he really wants. And it’s not so much that he wakes up one morning as much as that he meets Peter. It was very sweet, if not a little stalker-ish.
The most endearing thing about Austin really was his honesty. He is up front with his feelings for Peter right from the start, even while he is struggling to come to terms with ending his engagement and anticipating his first gay sexual experience, let alone first gay relationship. Although it's also one of the most confusing and intriguing aspects of Austin's personality - it really is hard to tell when he's being sincere and when he's taking the piss. Much to Peter's constant frustration. "You're exhausting me. I'm worn out fighting for this relationship. You need to fight for it. It's your turn."
There are a bunch of interesting background characters who will have spin off books in the future which I’m looking forward to read as much as I am hoping to catch up with Austin and Peter again.
The characters, plot, pace, writing and romance are all strong. All refreshing. One of the funniest and entertaining books I’ve read in a while. I’m tempted to re-read it straight away. It’s early in the year but I predict this’ll be one of my favourite reads of 2013.