Friday, May 30, 2014

Review: Legally Wed by Rick R. Reed

Legally Wed Title: Legally Wed by Rick R. Reed
Genre: M/M Romance, Contemporary
Published January 3rd 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
Length: 216 pages

Rating: 3 Stars
Review Copy Provided by Publisher


Love comes along when you least expect it. That’s what Duncan Taylor’s sister, Scout, tells him. Scout has everything Duncan wants—a happy life with a wonderful husband. Now that Seattle has made gay marriage legal, Duncan knows he can have the same thing. But when he proposes to his boyfriend Tucker, he doesn’t get the answer he hoped for. Tucker’s refusal is another misstep in a long line of failed romances. Despairing, Duncan thinks of all the loving unions in his life—and how every one of them is straight. Maybe he could be happy, if not sexually compatible, with a woman. When zany, gay-man-loving Marilyn Samples waltzes into his life, he thinks he may have found his answer.

Determined to settle, Duncan forgets his sister’s wisdom about love and begins planning a wedding with Marilyn. But life throws Duncan a curveball. When he meets wedding planner Peter Dalrymple, unexpected sparks ignite. Neither man knows how long he can resist his powerful attraction to the other. For sure, there’s a wedding in the future. But whose?

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Duncan gets publicly embarrassed when he proposed to his boyfriend but got rejected and broke up. He really wants a happy marriage like the rest of his family who had already found soul mates, so he posts an ad on Craigslist to find a straight woman to marry. Marilyn answers his ad and they hit it off as great best friends. They start to plan their wedding but they each can't help an attraction to other people. Tragedy strikes and maybe marriage between a gay man and a straight woman isn't such a good idea anymore. 

Duncan's a really sweet guy that teaches 4th grade and lives on a houseboat. Marilyn is a tough girl that know what she likes, goes to ogle hot men at gay bars, and is an animal lover. They are very quirky characters with developed back stories. Their jokes and funny commentary brings another highlight into the story. 

Despite the jokes and funny commentaries on the surface, the story goes deeper and discusses love and the fundamentals of marriage. Marilyn and Duncan each have their doubts on whether if they should get married. They will never have sex and so they can never give each other the "whole package" that comes with marriage. They love each other but not in a romantic way, so is that enough reason to get married?

This is a very interesting and unusually start on a romantic relationship. As I was reading, I was afraid Duncan would really marry Marilyn. They get along so well and have so many inside jokes about hot men, it isn't unbelievable for them to give up on finding their own soul mates and marry each other instead. Thank goodness this is m/m romance and Duncan's potential boyfriend appears about a quarter of the way into the story. As for their romance, it's slightly disappointing because it feels like another love at first sight and their development is not as developed as I would have liked. The author is juggling three relationships in this story: Duncan and Marilyn's friendship, Duncan and Peter's romance, and Marilyn and Ben's romance. Duncan and Marilyn's friendship is the most prioritized and it's a bond that can weathered through and be strengthen by various challenges in the story. 

This is a thoughtful story about two funny people in a contemporary setting dealing with gay marriage and love. It's a delicate balance between Duncan and Marilyn's friendship and their individual love relationships. The spotlight isn't fully on Duncan and Peter's relationship, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Everybody gets a happy ending and a wedding does happen! This is not the usual m/m romance novel and not everyone will like it but it definitely have its strong points. 

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