Everyone admires Michael Lamont for being a nurse, but his part-time work as a gay sex surrogate not only raises eyebrows, it's cost him relationships. Michael is small, beautiful, and dedicated to working with people who need him. But what he really wants is a love of his own. He spends most of his time reading science fiction, especially books written by his favorite author and long-time crush, the mysteriously reclusive J.C. Guise.
James Gallway's life is slowly but inexorably sliding downhill. He wrote a best-selling science fiction novel at the tender age of 18, while bedridden with complications of polio. But by 28, he's lost his inspiration and his will to live. His sales from his J.C. Guise books have been in decline for years. Wheelchair bound, James has isolated himself, convinced he is unlovable. When he is forced to do a book signing and meets Michael Lamont, he can't believe a guy who looks like Michael could be interested in a man like him.
Michael and James are made for each other. But they must let go of stubbornness to see that life finds a way and love has no limitations.
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Equal parts sweet, funny, sexy, and touching.
I read the ebook several months ago, and while I loved it even back then, the audio version just made it even better.
Even the parts which I thought made the ebook drag in places (namely the excerpts from James' novel between chapters) didn't bother me in the audio version and actually made me interested in reading the full version of that story.
It's hard to say since I haven't read a lot of romance stories where one of the characters has a disability. But I guess, "The Rebuilding Year" by Kaje Harper, "Dance With Me" by Heidi Cullinan, "Never a Hero" by Marie Sexton and "Puzzle Me This" by Eli Easton have similar themes, but they weren't as sweet as The Mating of Michael and had different conflicts.
Michael Stellman just has the kind of voice I enjoy listening to. It's nice, deep, slightly husky and he reads at just the right pace.
Yes. I listened to it for several hours and would have kept going till the end if it weren't for the fact that my ears needed a rest from being squashed by my headphones. Pain was the only thing that kept me from listening to it in one sitting.
If you're looking for some hurt/comfort with lovely, likeable characters who also happen to be SciFi geeks with a dash of snark and great chemistry, with a good narrator, you'll love this. When I first read the blurb for the ebook, I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it since I'd never read a romance where one of the main characters has a major disability or where the other character is a sex surrogate (which was something I'd seen in a TLC documentary before, so I knew what the profession entailed). It was a new dynamic that made me pause for a bit, but since I'd already bought all of Eli Easton's other stories and enjoyed them, I decided to trust her and read it. There were times I felt Michael (the character, not the narrator :D) was too good to be true, but he does have some flaws that keep him from being completely perfect.
Definitely worth the credit.
Another great story by Eli Easton. She has consistently delivered with each book of hers that I've read so far. Even managed to get me to cry this time too. Loved, loved, loved it!!
The hurt/comfort in this story is immaculate. When I first met Michael in The Trouble With Tony I thought he was an irrepressible little flirt and I liked him very, very much. When I got to see a bit more of him in The Enlightenment of Daniel I fell just a little bit more than in like with him. But now? I am totally all about Team Michael. I love him so much! His loneliness and vulnerability just cut through me. I wanted him to get his HEA. (Spoiler: He does!)
For me, this book is all about Michael (and Lamb). James and his flashbacks are all right, but frankly, if he didn't make Michael so happy I wouldn't like him very much.
The narration is terrific!
Michael Stellman doesn't do a lot of voices; he doesn't strike me as a huge performance narrator. His narration is more emotional. The way he delivers the words to you draws you in and blankets you in the story. He's not about the flash, he's all about the feeling.
And boy did I have the feels.
Eli Easton brings you a story steeped in hurt and comfort, with so many emotions, and then hot sex, and maybe a little too much backstory, but it's all just freaking fantastic. Personally, it's (by far) my favorite story in the series so far.
Get this book! Get the audio! Just...GET IT!