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The Boyfriend Chronicles #1

The Backup Boyfriend

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2014)
Professionally, Dr. Alec Johnson has almost reached his goals. As this year’s recipient of a humanitarian award with his ex, Dr. Tyler Hall, Alec’s work with the homeless is about to be recognized. Unfortunately, his personal life sucks because now he has to attend several events alongside Tyler—with his ex’s new boyfriend in tow. In an attempt to lift his mood and break out of his rut, Alec purchases a motorcycle he has no idea how to start.

Dylan Booth doesn't have time for Dr. Clueless and his fickle 1964 Harley, but the cocky mechanic can’t say no to the request for help. Having spent his teen years on the streets, and losing his best friend to HIV, Dylan decides teaching the do-gooder how to ride is the least he can do. But watching Alec flounder in his ex's company throws Dylan into protector mode, and the confirmed hetero introduces himself as Alec's new boyfriend.

The ex suspects Dylan is lying.

Alec claims Dylan’s plan is insane.

And Dylan’s not sure he can fake being gay.

But he’s a master bullshitter, and the phony PDA soon turns ultra-hot. Alec can’t afford to get attached, and Dylan’s learned everyone eventually leaves. Unfortunately, playing the backup boyfriend is starting to feel way too real…

CONTENT WARNING: This book contains Man-on-Man action, adult situations, and language.

279 pages, Kindle Edition

First published November 28, 2013

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About the author

River Jaymes

11 books1,134 followers
By day, River works as a (mostly) mild mannered physician in a remote Alaskan town. And she’s accumulated the wacky stories that come with the job. At night, the author’s inner badass comes out to play. River likes to read and write books with varying levels of humor and plenty of hot, steamy sex between two hunky men.

River's other interests include medicine, snow, sled dogs, snow, snowmachines, snow, medivacs in the middle of the night, snow . . . you get the drift.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,277 reviews
Profile Image for Mandy*reads obsessively* .
2,203 reviews329 followers
April 4, 2014

I admit I was wrong. ( try and keep it together people)
I thought this book would be a regular GFY trope. Alec would fall for the 'straight' guy and pine for him and the unfairness of it all. Dylan would, after an internal war with himself realize that he's actually 'gay', at least for Alec. The ex would be an asshat and be miserable after letting Alec get away. Like I said, I was wrong.

I found this story to be so much more.

Yes Alec, a genius with a photographic memory is clumsy and slightly clueless with his motorcycle ( a-I'm-making-a-big-change-since-my-boyfriend-left-me kind of motorcycle) so his friend Noah sends him to Dylan for help.
Dylan is a rough and tumble kind a guy at first glance, but seeing and feeling the difference between what comes out of his mouth compared to what is happening in his heart made me fall for him myself.
It all does start out as a kind of payback for Tyler, although it's really Dylan who wants to do it, not Alec. As their mutual friend Noah puts it : “Me?” Noah pressed his hand to his chest. “I wouldn’t miss this fake-homo show for all the Gucci shoes on Rodeo Drive. Besides, once Dylan Booth gets an idea in his head, the threat of hell and high water pants won’t change his mind. Hetero or not, he’ll make a fabulous backup boyfriend.”

But soon the 'backup boyfriend' turns into a real friend and then more.
The sex is hot and despite what I thought, Dylan has no problem sleeping with Alec.
He doesn't worry about his 'manliness' or question his sexuality at all. It is as it is. I found that very refreshing.
“What does that even mean?” Agitated, Dylan strode a few steps away before turning to pace back. “Fifty percent gay? Fifty percent straight? Can I be ninety percent of one? Ten percent of another? I’m not part this or part that. I’m just me.” He came to a halt in front of Alec. “A hundred percent whole me.”

Dylan doesn't do relationships, even if deep inside he desperately needs and wants one. He is such a caring and good man, it's a shame he doesn't see it. He's a little dense and a little stubborn. He makes it so much harder on himself and on Alec than it needs to be, but those glimpses of his feelings and his heart really did make me forgive anything.
And Alec has his own issues and although they aren't as obvious as Dylan's.
I loved watching these two men fall for each other, even if there are some very serious issues touched on in this book, but it never felt dark or depressing.
I loved that Tyler, the ex, isn't an asshat, he's actually a good guy too and their friend Noah is hilarious and I really can't wait for his story.

I think this was a great story, I really enjoyed it and read it in one sitting, definitely recommended. The epilogue was definitely worthy of a big happy sigh.

Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,883 reviews5,803 followers
December 29, 2019
**Whoop! On sale for $0.99 at Amazon US right now, 10/23/14**

**3.5 stars**

It is universally known among my GR friends that I LOVE a good GFY/OFY/Gay-virgin story. I loooove it. I'm just pervy like that. However, this story isn't quite what I expected from that genre.

When I think of a sexuality discovery story, I usually think of the emotional journey that the guy goes through to get to the point of coming to terms with the fact that he is attracted to another guy. That soul-searching, that hesitation, that is part of the delicious build-up that I crave. I love the "aha" moment, the tentativeness, the hunger... I get into the psychology of it all. Honestly, this book struck me less as a sexuality discovery story (though technically it was), and more as a "relationship-for-you" story. Dylan was really sexually free and unflappable, so the sexuality discovery aspect was more of a technicality, in my opinion. The entire book, I think, was more about Dylan trying to come to terms with the fact that he had emotional feelings for someone.

I liked a lot of aspects of this book. I thought that the overall lightheartedness was refreshing, and I loved the dynamic between Alec and his mom. I think that the relationship between Alec and Tyler was ever evolving and interesting to witness. Also, I can't forget about the sex scenes- VERY hot! I especially liked it when Alec was more verbal and dom-y, like in the beginning scenes.

I had some issues with the writing style of this book. It was a little stiff and literal for my tastes, though as I read more and more it bothered me less. The characters were also really obtuse as times, not picking up on things that were glaringly obvious to me. I also found Noah to be meddlesome to the point of irritating.

In the end, I fell somewhere between "like" and "really like" so 3.5 stars.

**Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for Gigi.
2,156 reviews1,044 followers
November 24, 2018
Second read November 2018. I wish River Jaymes was still around.

So funny, so SEXY, so angsty and delightful! I absolutely LOVED The Backup Boyfriend. Don't just take my word for it, as of this review date, this book has a 4.39 rating racked up with 119 reviewers and the book was only released a week ago. All the M/M romance fans love this one! It's a pretty safe bet that if you are a M/M romance fan, you will like this one too.

The kicker for me was the over-the-top-squeal-with-delight epilogue. I swear I heard the angels sing.

Profile Image for Ingie.
1,358 reviews168 followers
August 9, 2016
Written December 11, 2013

4 Cozy Stars - fun, sweet and so romantic - a lovely easygoing GFY story

Yum, a romantic M/M novel about a recently abandoned gay doctor, Alec and a straight MC guy, Dylan. ~ Just a lovely read.

The Backup Boyfriend is one of those nice romance that makes me warm and happy, I feel good, and read with pleasure every page. Although it is a bit of hassle and takes time for the characters to solve problems - dare to talk openly, initiate a real (official) relationship and talk feelings - I know all the time that this can only end in one way; cozy and heartbreakingly sweet. A perfect read after reading some more intense, tough and emotional novels.
‘The scene was kinda cute. Almost...adorable.
Dylan blinked, the word rolling around in his head. Adorable. Adorable? Shit, next he'd be buying a fucking minivan.’

It all starts with that, the grieving and sad doctor, Alec buys a Harley Davidson. A motorcycle that unfortunately begins to fuss and refuses to start, already the very first day. The HD purchase was a somewhat ill-considered impulse purchase, because of the shock of hearing that his former boyfriend (..to be future husband), who suddenly left Alec after two years, now already after just 52 days have met a new man and lover. Alec is cracked.

Through a friend has Alec received a (hot) tips about a good motor repair shop. A buddy's unknown friend, called Dylan can maybe help him. Once there, he meets a laid-back, tough biker who looks absolutely stunning (but which unfortunately is completely straight). After some persuasion helps Dylan, the very nicely praying Alec (..with all thumbs), to kick start the bike.

Here begins an unexpected acquaintance and pretty soon is also Dylan, to be kind, the fake backup boyfriend at a party where Alec former boyfriend Tyler will be too. Too much (strong) drinking, a still broken heart (Alec's), sympathy (Dylan's), and a new (mutual) budding lust leads to an unforgettable (surprisingly) hot evening.

Pretty soon, they have some sort of friends with sex - no strings attached - relationship. That Dylan is a "straight" guy, is not the problem here ...he is soon caught on with most things, when it comes to the hot part. ~ What a yummy guy! I would love to go for a ride with him on one of his motorcycles. ~ But of course, both Alec and Dylan have some old junk in the trunk and there are a few "rides" before everything in their lifes are in place.


These main characters, Alec and Dylan, are two adorable men who are virtually impossible not to love right away. They have indeed, both of them, a bit difficult to find the right words, or to even say what they feel. Not surprisingly, leads this behavior (male?), quite unnecessarily, to some mess and painful misunderstandings. But, well... what would a sweet romance be, without a lot of hassle and tears, before we put an end to the saga.
. . . . .  photo image_zps1d5f1c21.jpg

“Jesus, Alec,” Dylan croaked, “you forget to mention the part where I'd feel like I got hit by a speeding semi. A very big speeding semi.”

Do you want to read something really entertaining, light and with a witty dialogue (even an inner). Something easy to read, with nice (sweet) steam in the bedroom (and in the motorshop, in the garage, in the...) and overall an adorable charming story - do not hesitate, this is the book for you.

I wasn't completely mesmerized and captivated by The Backup Boyfriend, but absolutely delighted. An obvious four, no doubt. ~ Nicely done Ms Jaymes, I would really like to read some more romances written by you.

I LIKE - charming sweet and fun


# Macky wrote such a nice review so I couldn't help but buy the book at once. Though ... it was expensive and I really should read 100 others (owned) books first. - I have terrible bad character!!
# Extra fun was that my sweet friend Maria (from the wonderful country just a bit west) joined and read it too.
# ...and a new Bonus Chapter to read if you want and need more: http://shhmomsreading.com/review-bonu...
863 reviews231 followers
July 20, 2016

M/M Bingo
Round 8 - Week 1
"Gay Romance Working Class Heroes"


I like GFY.
I like bikers.
I like awkward'ish doctors.
I like good deeds.
I like San Francisco.

And I liked this book...it was fine.

Forget all the hype for just a moment: I found The Backup Boyfriend a decent book. Nothing offended me. Nothing necessarily pissed me off about the writing. The story was alright. The lovin' was hot enough. And by the end, I guess I got, at the very least what I was looking for. Easy enough read.

Now let's add in the hype: Different strokes for different folks. Totally get that. Completely fine with being excited about a book and loving it (I could never judge anyone for this after my own over-the-top behavior with Glitterland). I personally just didn't see...what the big deal was...?

There didn't feel to be anything in this book that sets it apart or head and shoulders above other GFY books (though, this is actually more of an OFY (out-for-you) story). In fact, it's not any more special than Promises or Faith & Fidelity in my mind. They're all similar. So, I was a bit surprised myself to see the reaction to it. And, in my opinion, Dylan's kind of a dick at times (totally get it that his past has made him react this way...but...still...)

Is it a decent read? Sure.
Is it worth recommending? I guess.
Is it memorable and going straight to my favorites list? Not likely (in fact, I remember Dylan's name, Tyler's name, Nick's name...and for the life of me could not remember the other MC's name (looked it up: Alec)

I'm glad to be intro'd to a new author, River Jaymes, and I probably would read another book by her.

Like I said...liked it...nuttin' special...but ok...

Profile Image for LenaRibka.
1,436 reviews418 followers
September 29, 2014

My 4 to 5 stars books are:





Or a nice mixture at least out of two of them.

In other words ---> DEEPLY EMOTIONAL

Never boring.

Never clichéd.

Never ridiculous.

Here it was:




This book was okay. At the beginning.

And it was getting worse and worse as the story moved forward.

The story didn't touch me in any way.
I like GFY stories but I was not convinced by the transformation of Dylan from straight to gay. I couldn't buy it in this way.

I didn't have an emotional connection to the characters.
They were sweet, cute and extremely boring. For my taste. And I think I'll put the word DOCTOR on my no-go list straight after PRINCE.

I wasn't turned on by the sex scenes.
I prefer quality over quantity. I read it as a handbook for a gay technique. Sometimes you read about only one kiss and sexual tension is thick enough to cut it with a knife and sometimes you're drowned in cums and lubricants and feel nothing. Like here.

I had my problems with the writing style.
I like when authors make me think. I want to read how MCs feel BETWEEN the lines. This possibility was taken away from me. I was only a passive observer and it was also one of the reasons why I couldn't build any emotional connection to the characters.

In spite of everything I can understand why this book is so well liked by many readers.
It is a GFY book and this genre is very popular.
In spite of this story is full of cliches and it lacks the originality, it is an easy-going steamy read and if you like contemporary romances without thinking a lot about you can enjoy it.

It was just not for me.
Profile Image for Macky.
1,864 reviews232 followers
December 10, 2013
You know when you just pick a book up and within the first few pages you click straight away? Well that's what happened to me with The Backup Boyfriend. I'd seen a great review ( thanks Eli) and got the vibes, so off I went to buy it and like I said more or less from the word go I was a goner!

GFY might not be everyone's cup of tea because of its unbelievability factor but there's no doubt it generates great sexual tension between its MC's and the ST, which I love, in this little beauty is Off. The. Charts! Not a lot of stories carry off GFY that well but I think this one is an exception. I loved how there's much more to Dylan the ' straight' guy. He doesn't actually believe in labelling himself as any sexual persuasion, even though its always been women he's been involved with, so he has no major troubles entering into a hot and steamy ( and OMG the sex is HOT with a capitol H ) relationship with Alec when he offers to be his ' backup boyfriend ' for one night, all because poor Alec is struggling to get over the break up with his ex Travis. However, that's actually the trouble... he can do the sex — oh boy can he!!! * fans self* — but giving himself fully to a committed relationship is a no no for Dylan and that's where the misunderstandings begin to fall between the two of them. Complete opposites but deeply drawn to each other, despite their differences and backgrounds, the chemistry between them is explosive. I'm still tingling over the garage scene... * shivers*

Dylan is hot, funny, exasperating, contrary, loveable and sex on legs but he also has a poignant backstory that plays a big part in why he acts like he does. Alec is just a sweetheart, who I hearted because he's conflicted about his feelings for Dylan, his ex Travis who I think gets his story next and the relationship he has with his mother which is complicated to say the least. I absolutely adored them both. Then there's larger than life Noah, a friend to both Alec and Dylan who he has a history with because of a mutual friend from Dylan's past who is also a huge part of the story. Great supporting characters who I hope will play big parts in the series to come.

River has taken two gorgeous, endearing but stubborn men and woven a story around them that's made me laugh with its dry wit, sizzling sexy as hell love scenes, delicious UST and gripping ' will they/won't they' give in to their true feelings storyline... Oh and there's motorbikes too. Yum!

Lighter weight but with enough conflicts and poignant undertones to move it away from being just mindless fluff and nonsense, I was entranced from start to finish. So much so that when I finished it in bed at about 1.15am I turned on my phone tethering and downloaded her other book Brad's Bachelor Party which I'm going to get stuck into ASAP.

Another book and author who has gone into my faves of 2013 and I can't wait for Travis' story now. Bouncing up and down in anticipation! Recommend highly.
Profile Image for Ami.
5,865 reviews496 followers
December 15, 2016
3.5 stars

After reading so many MM contemporary romance, finding something refreshing can be difficult. So I must give thumbs up for a different take on 'gay-for-you' (sort of), labels, and relationship in this story. Before that, let's get out the things that not working so great for me first, shall we...

What Could Be Better:

** The writing itself for me was a little bit stiff. It didn't flow smoothly and at times I felt like there were weird sentences, and I had to re-read the paragraphs again. Of course it's all about writing chemistry, so my issue on it might not be yours. I did notice a couple of typos (It's Y-O-U-R not you're!) but I would let that pass since this was a self-pub book.

** The internal monologue could be tone down a bit. I don't mind internal pep talk, but here, it happened in almost every conversations. Alec would ask Dylan something then we got pages of Dylan's internal monologue before him answering, or vice versa. If that happens in real life, I would think that the person I talk to just spazzed out. What I can I say, I like my quick banters when it comes to conversation (I think this also contributes to my thinking the writing as a little stilted)

What I Did Enjoy:

** I really liked how this book challenged the 'ideal' gay and 'ideal gay relationship': that sometimes labels define us, and it ends up making person forget what is important. It was great to see how Alec's perception was thrown out by that -- that all this time he was confined with the idea of how to be gay in relationship, with labels that come with it "a couple, boyfriends, partners" and later on "husbands". I liked how Alec finally realized that he was grieving over the loss of status as couple rather than losing Tyler as a man, and he noticed when it came down to it, it was more important to have Dylan in his life, even without labels.

** I also enjoyed how Dylan didn't really care about labeling himself too -- he acknowledged that loved the sex with Alec, and he didn't really care that Alec was a man. I thought Dylan was very interesting as a character, he definitely had baggage which made him refused to be in 'committed relationship'. But again, when it came down to it, what was important was Dylan wanted to be with Alec, and he wouldn't simply walk away.

My favorite part would be near the end:

Alec gave the moment the consideration Dylan's concession deserved. “Actually, there's really only one thing I need you to call yourself.”

Dylan tipped his head curiously. “What's that?”


Because seriously, introducing Dylan as " My Dylan" was is wonderful as using the other labels, right?

** That conversation between Alec and his mother? I LOVED that. I loved when Alec said that he fight for Prop 8 for the "right to choose" not simply fighting so he could get married, and there was a difference between the two. Heterosexual couples can be together without marriage but they also know that if they "choose" for it, they can. Not so with homosexual couples. Loved the nuance of that.

** I really liked that it's not just black and white when it came to Tyler (Alec's ex). It would be interesting to read his story next, especially since it would with Memphis. 'The one who got away' is one of my favorite themes). I loved Noah too -- and it would be great reading his story next.

** Sex by bringing up Leonardo Da Vinci's "Vitruvian Man"? Gah, I would give extra stars just for that

Final verdict:
I really liked it, though I couldn't say I loved it due to the writing issues, which sort of reduced my joy of reading it. I hope it would feel better for the second book. However, I could definitely recommend it if you want to read an atypical gay-for-you story.

Besides, fake-relationship is exciting (admit it, you all read at least one fake-relationship male/female romance long time ago, like when a girl asks her male friend to be her pretend boyfriend, and they end up falling in love. It was fun, right? )
Profile Image for Eli Easton.
Author 76 books2,658 followers
December 5, 2013
This was a super enjoyable read from a new author to me. It was very well-written with strong characters. The UST was nice and the sex scenes were fresh and not repetitive. One of the best GFY I've read in months.

The 'straight' character of Dylan had a very trouble past, being homeless for years as a teen. He has a lot of mental blocks about getting close to anyone, yet is an engaging charmer. I loved how the sections from his POV were so committed to his way of life and unable to see his own issues. The other MC, Alec, is recently out of a break-up and longs for committment and stability, almost irregardless of the other person involved. This is not a good match on paper, and yet the power of their love and attraction keeps these two coming back for more and finally resolves their differences.

The author did a great job of building backstory for these two characters and the secondary characters of Noah and Tyler were interesting. I'm definitely putting River Jaymes on my buy list.
August 23, 2014
3.5 stars

This one grew on me. I liked both Alec and Dylan, although I wanted Dylan to pull his head out of the metaphorical ass and stop pushing Alec away. I was proud of Alec for realizing that he was too focused on the idea of being part of the perfect couple and for accepting Dylan as is, oil grease and all. And the lovin was hot, as were the motorcycles (men on Harleys, baby).

Even though the GFY theme (always a downer for me) was present, it was dealt with fairly realistically, and I bought the change of heart (ok, almost...).

What's stopping me from rounding up to 4 stars is the writing, which was a bit awkward, especially at the beginning, with some grammatical issues and odd word choices. The sentences didn't always flow, and the style felt off, a little amateurish maybe.

Not sure I'd read Tyler's story; I didn't much like him. Noah, though, was adorable, if a bit meddlesome at times.
Profile Image for * Meli Mel *.
856 reviews655 followers
January 19, 2014

♥♥♥ 4.5 "No to Labels" STARS ♥♥♥

●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●

"Backup boyfriend?"

"You know. The Boyfriend substitute, at least that's how I use the term. He's not a real boyfriend, just a convenience. For display purposes only. Sometimes used to make the ex jealous."

●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●

This book was SO good. Seriously, didn't expect it to be this good. But the characters... I just LOVE Alec and Dylan. And, if they are together... EVEN BETTER!!

Alec has broken up with his boyfriend. He is sad, and still hoping to get him back. But then he finds out his ex Tyler has moved on and is dating someone. Alec is even more depressed and wants to change things up in his life a bit. So, he "impulsively" buys a motorcycle that does not work very well. His gay friend Noah recommends going to see Dylan, the owner of a motorcycle garage, to help him with his motorcycle that won't start. Somehow, these two form a friendship. Then Dylan comes up with a plan to pretend to date Alec, in order to make Tyler jealous. They didn't count on both of them developing feelings for one another.

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"Right now I'm choosing to be with Dylan."

●  ●  ●  ● ��●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●

Alec, the sweet, adorkable Alec. I LOVED him! Alec was a doctor that focused on gay health, who had problems somtimes when it came to thinking about himself and his wants. I was sad for him about his split with Tyler. But once Dylan entered the picture... I was like "Tyler, who?" I loved how Alec was around Dylan. He was carefree, sometimes bold, and I loved his quirky intelligence. He made me smile so many times. Any scene with him and Dylan... always made me giddy like a school girl, that I was SO happy with how much time together they were spending.

●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●

"What does that even mean?" Agitated, Dylan strode a few steps away before turning to pace back. "Fifty percent gay? Fifty percent straight? Can I be ninety percent of one? Ten percent of the other? I’m not part this or part that. I’m just me." He came to a halt in front of Alec. "A hundred percent whole me."

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I friggin' LOVED Dylan also. He had his issues and was quite broken from his past... which was not a great one. He lost his best friend to HIV and hasn't ever really recovered from it. I loved how possessive Dylan could be at times. I loved how goofy and funny he was with Alec. And it was quite refreshing to see a character that is "straight" be gay for someone without so much hesitancy. So there was no drama about... "I'm not gay.. I love boobs and vajayjay, blah, blah, blah." He was definitely shocked, but went along with his feelings for Alec. I really liked that.... A LOT.

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"Topping is like the Sky Rocket of roller-coasters, but bottoming is like a wild ride on the Screamin' Demon Express. I promise, you'll love it."

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They steamy scenes were explosive!! Seriously... SCORCHING... CALIENTE!!! Well, too me they were anyways. *fans self* So, that part definitely didn't disappoint. I loved the writing style and how things were described. That is what made it so damn enjoyable to see Alec and Dylan turn from friends to lovers. All the characters were great, even the sometimes annoying Noah was awesome. Heck, I even liked the ex Tyler by the end of this book.

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"Actually, there's really only one thing I need you to call yourself."

"What's that?"


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I laughed, I hurt, I smiled so big, and my ereader fogged up so bad. It was a great romantic story, with just a bit of drama to keeps things interesting without becoming too much. At times a little too sweet, but I don't care. I still loved the crap out his book. I recommend every hopless romantic m/m reader should definitely give this a try. I can't wait to see what else comes out of this series because I will for sure be checking it out.

Profile Image for Erth.
3,623 reviews
November 11, 2019
With romance books, you already know the ending when you buy the book. The question is how will the characters get there. River Jaymes creates an interesting way of getting there. I loved this book as soon as I started reading it. The characters were well written and I could relate to them. Dylan is that bad boy that everyone has always wanted to be able to tame. Alec is the nice guy that seems to have it all together but you know has some issues. Alec is more of your standard character, but Dylan I thought was really interesting. I wish that Ms. James had actually gone into his past some more. (There is a prequel idea!). The only issue that I had (and kept me from giving it a 5 star) was with Alec in the ending. I won't spoil it, but it seems like when he does go through his issues, I don't think that he would have come to the same conclusion as he does. This was a minor thing though. Will definitely be giving River Jaymes another chance.
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,246 followers
July 19, 2016
This book was so cute and funny, but also devious. That's right, it gave me feelings and you know I'm against having those. The author sucks you in with the funny and charming antics of Dylan, the straight guy, pretending to be the boyfriend of Alec, the gay man with a broken heart, in order to fool Alec's ex. Dylan is determined to make Alec's ex believe they are together and it makes him angry that the ex thinks they are lying.

"I'm not letting that asshole call me a liar and get away with it."

"But you were lying," Alec said.

"Hah." Dylan pointed his bottle at Alec. "But he can't prove that, now can he?"

stupid self-righteous truthers..

As is usually the case in trying to prove you're not lying when you are in fact a dirty liar, now Dylan and Alec must do a lot of work to prove that the lie is not a lie. And, that right there is why I tell the truth. I would rather offend someone with my truth than to have to do the work of lying. It's much easier for me which is really the most important thing.

and I'm lazy..

So, Dylan and Alec become friends in order to convince someone that they are lovers. And, we all know that a straight guy becoming a friend of a gay guy will make him gay, right? That's been scientifically proven according to homophobic straight men's brains.

what are you trying to say?

Okay, okay. I'll let that pass because their friendship to romance is pretty adorable. And, Dylan wasn't as straight as he thought he was. And, he did have a gay best friend in his youth, which I loved. So...

this time...

So, everything is going swimmingly well until the author decides to hit me with the feels. How dare you, sir?! Ugh, it was a tough one. You see, Dylan's best friend from his youth died of AIDS and Dylan is still really broken over it. There is a flashback of him at his friend's hospital bedside that really got to me. I needed to go quickly chop some onions in order to allow for my teary eyes. But, I don't know if it will get to others as much as it did me, although it was sad no matter what, because it hit me in a personal way. My brother died of AIDS a couple of years ago so this targeted my heart. I remember many days of sitting by his hospital bed. And, just recently I lost my dad to cancer and the last day at his hospital bed is still fresh too.

Thanks a lot, book!

Still, in spite of the feels, this book is totally fun and worth it if you like the m/m romance genre.

Profile Image for Marci.
451 reviews184 followers
January 4, 2022
this was cute and i didn’t hate it but the writing kept taking me out of the story. i liked the main characters and the side characters were a bit annoying at times but nobody felt unlikable and i still want to read noah and tyler’s stories!! i get easily tired of meddlesome characters so that was my issue with noah but i still like both him and tyler enough to continue with the series for sure. i prefer banter over heavy inner monologue and there was so! much! inner! monologue!!!! dylan was a very interesting character and far more compelling than alec. i liked them both tho even if i liked dylan far more and probably another factor for me was that there was a lot of motorcycle talk which i couldn’t focus on no matter how hard i tried lol. and much of their banter was focused on motorcycles but there were a few things i liked a lot - the jealousy, the sex scenes and the non motorcycle banter was really nice. 😊 have been trying to decide for way too long whether 2 or 3 stars feels right so i’m just gonna do 3! 🙃🤣
Profile Image for Shin Mon Thway.
663 reviews1,503 followers
November 18, 2019
I can see why this book is so hyped and beloved. 😌 And I think the hype is justified because I loved this book. A feel-good, heartwarming, gooey love story with a GFY trope so what’s not to love. 😉

Some people drink and get wasted when they go through a bad breakup. Our hero Dr. Alec Johnson bought a motorcycle he knows nothing about. As an impulse buy, now he’s saddled with a big-arse motorcycle which he doesn’t even know how to properly start. Cue and enter hunky mechanic Dylan, the guy is as straight as they come and yummy AF. When Alec came to Dylan to help him properly handle his motorcycle, Dylan couldn’t help feeling protective towards the vulnerable and kind, gentle doctor who has devoted his life to helping homeless people. Dylan has never been into men or did he? When Alec was super vulnerable when he met his ex Tyler, Dylan volunteered to act as Alec’s backup boyfriend. Two impulsive men, undeniable scorching passion and UST and an unforgettable drunken encounter, these two men are definitely in for a rise.

I love that this is not insta. The attraction was there but the romance and relationship development between them was slow and sensual. ❤️ And when they finally got together, there was fireworks and the earth shattered. 🔥 I also really love the side characters and background story in this novel. I couldn’t even help but feel sorry and sympathize with Alec’s ex, Tyler. He’s a good guy, he’s just not the right guy for Alec. There was a bit of a drama and a freak out sessions from Dylan before the end but it was not OTT and I enjoyed that a bit of angst. And the epilogue was just lovely. And sex scenes! Gosh! They were scorching! 🔥 And there was popping cherry too! My favorite!!! I love when presumed straight men’s first discovery of Pgasams! 🤣😉 I think Marc Bachmann did a great job narrating this story. I liked his husky voice of Dylan. Although this is my very first River Jaymes, this is definitely not going to be my last. I’ll continue to listen Tyler and Noah’s stories.

4.5 Babies on a Harley stars

Audio rating

Story - 4.5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Narration - 4.25 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨
Performance - 4.5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Overall - 4.5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Profile Image for Camille.
1,613 reviews53 followers
December 8, 2013
I love GFYs. They tie with brats and daddies for being my m/ m favourites.

The blurb and the enthusiastic reviews had me looking forward to what promised to be a great GFY. It was not.

Don't get me wrong, it's not really bad, per se, and I can certainly perceive why so many readers enjoyed it but personally I was never able to immerse myself in the story. The mechanics of writing and the ways in which the author lacked the expertise to wield such remained too apparent for me.

First off, there are grammatical issues, particularly in regards to tense.

Secondly, Jaymes desperately needed to employ the use of an editor who would have banned the writer from utilising her go-to words an embarrassing number of times. I am sorely tempted to run a word count search for the words 'bark', 'wry', 'crinkles', 'huff' and several others. Buy a bloody thesaurus and attend a writing workshop please.

Which brings me to my third point, this read self-publish-y. I have nothing at all against self-publishing; quite the opposite in fact. But one's work need not read amateurishly. It should not. Produce a polished manuscript before putting work on the market, please.

Fourthly, there were too many tropes. I could see them popping up all over the place like mushrooms on a dead tree stump. The end, especially, read chick-litty. I hate chick-lit, passionately.

Number five, there was zero GFY tension. Hello? The entire premise of a successful GFY is firmly hinged upon that tension, internal and external. There was none here, not at the beginning nor throughout. My boy was receiving blowjobs and taking it up the ass with nooooo hesitation. Yeah, okay.

Finally, despite the relationship struggles, the reconciliation came easily. Again, no tension.

So...this did nothing much for me. It's a perfectly reasonable read that quite a few readers will enjoy but my seasoned eyes never got a story that moved off the page.,.the page that contained errors that kept me firmly grounded.

Profile Image for Jo ★The Book Sloth★.
485 reviews433 followers
January 9, 2016
4 Reluctant Stars

“Jesus had two Dads and he turned out okay.”

This comment was just about a perfect sum of a conversation I had recently on whether or not gay couples should have the right to adopt(I'm definitely on the "yes" side, my dad is more conservative on the subject than I thought he would be). Anyway... Back to this book...

The book had every potential for greatness and it was fun but it fell a bit off the mark. If one asked me what exactly it was I'd have to admit that I can't exactly pin-point something partiular that made me like the book less. It was just this overall feeling of detachment I had from the characters.

Both Alec and Dylan lacked "fire". If a character can be called lukewarn I would say it was them. I felt none of the passion, the frustration, the struggle to accept. Dylan was slightly better that Alec in the passion department but maybe that was just because he was the one struggling with commitment.

“I think you’re afraid to admit you’re bisexual.”
“What does that even mean?” Agitated, Dylan strode a few steps away before turning to pace back. “Fifty percent gay? Fifty percent straight? Can I be ninety percent of one? Ten percent of another? I’m not part this or part that. I’m just me.” He came to a halt in front of Alec. “A hundred percent whole me.”

The story was typical. Fake relationship turning into lust and a night of sex that leads to two that leads to a friends-with-benefits deal that never really stays that. Not many surprises there but still a storyline I enjoy a lot. I never get tired of watching friendship develop to more. Although I wouldn't call what they had "friendship" since they only knew each other a few days after Alec's weird attempt to gain control over his life by buying a motorcycle he can't handle.

“Uh…” Alec scratched the back of his neck. “It was kind of an impulse buy.”
“Candy, gum, and porno magazines are impulse buys,” Dylan said drily. “Not motorcycles.”

Not surprisingly my favorite character was Noah, the noisy and weird friend with the twisted sense of humor and the huge heart.
Profile Image for Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️.
1,864 reviews30.2k followers
November 19, 2014
4-4.5 Grease Monkey Stars

Oh, le sigh.

I really liked this one. Alec and Dylan were super sweet and super hot.

Especially Dylan.


He and Alec had a lot of chemistry and I thought the progression of their relationship and their characters was decently fleshed out. Noah was also a really fun character, if a bit overbearing.

I'm definitely looking forward to the next one.

Profile Image for Debra.
2,030 reviews234 followers
March 7, 2016
4.5 stars

I really liked this different take on the GFY story.

Alec, successful, brilliant doctor trying to get over his lover and work partner Tyler leaving him after two years. Prone to at times babbling or being struck silent when he is stressed.

Dylan, the motorcycle mechanic, has had a tough life and doesn't do anything more than a one night stand. His protective streak is brought out when he sees Alec stammering before his ex and the new boyfriend, blurts out that he and Alec are an item. They aren't. They barely know each other. And oh yeah, Dylan is straight but he doesn't mind playing the boyfriend for a few hours at a party.

I enjoyed watching these two men become friends and lovers. Alec is so used to being gay and being part of a couple, Dylan's friends with benefits attitude is difficult for him to understand. Dylan doesn't want to label their relationship or his sexuality. He is happy being what they are for as long as it lasts and doesn't care what other people think about it. Their two attitudes are at conflict, but neither really want to lose the other. Add in a meddling mutual friend and Tyler's continued presence in Alec's life and the tension mounts. At least there is one time where they are completely compatible, and that is when they are having hot, steamy sex.

The story is at times funny, heartbreaking, super sexy and has great pacing. The secondary characters all play their parts well. I am looking forward to the next book to get Tyler's story.

Profile Image for Shelley.
395 reviews495 followers
August 10, 2016
This book just proves that I should no longer be reading contemporary romance. These tropes are boring to me to death! I can see the appeal of this one ...I guess. But to me, it's all just ...meh. Read it all before ...

2 Stars if I was to rate it because it was okay. I'll refrain from pulling the rating down because it was probably just me. *slumps*

So I'll drag my jaded arse off to find a contemporary with space ships, goblins, or even zombies in it.
Profile Image for Jenni Lea.
802 reviews296 followers
December 18, 2013


This one was hard to rate. On the one hand I really liked this book. It had really good feels and I liked both of the main characters.


So I'll give this one 3.5 stars. It was enjoyable yet frustrating at the same time.
Profile Image for Isabel.
562 reviews105 followers
January 22, 2014
I loved this book, the way how Alec and Dylan's relationship started... how Dylan became Alec's white knight not even knowing what would become from that... how unexpected was the thrill of pretending to be Alec's boyfriend... and mostly how everything felt so right for them! Really sweet!!! Some super hot scenes were a fantastic bonus!!!

And here it is a sweet bonus scene: http://shhmomsreading.com/review-bonu...
Profile Image for Heller.
974 reviews119 followers
December 6, 2013

One of the best GFY stories that I've read. A fresh take on the trope that worked on all levels. Great characters, great chemistry, great sex, and great story.

Definitely picking up the other books in the series.

I have nothing but admiration for how Dylan sees the world and Alec's conversation with his mother about gay marriage was a telling moment. Fab little epilogue as well.
Profile Image for ⊱ Poppy ⊰.
340 reviews296 followers
September 11, 2016
"Backup boyfriend?”

"You know. The Boyfriend substitute, at least that's how I use the term. He's not a real boyfriend, just a convenience. For display purposes only. Sometimes used to make the ex jealous."

If you know me or even know my taste, you probably would've guessed that i have a taste for straight-guy-turned-gay for his partner, i loved how Love can change particularly anything. Plus this book was fun, this book got NO drama of how can i be attracted to a guy, i am not gay, i can't do this. type of drama, and that my friend was a relief.

I thoroughly myself at this expense, this book didn't start well for me as i found myself fighting to have a interest in this book, but after 20% this got picked up, and gosh after that i didn't even got bore or rolled my eyes on them. I loved Alec and Dylan same, well at some time i loved Dylan more and than at some time i loved Alec more. So i still haven't decided whom i love more. Both Men were really really hot and awesome and fun to read.

“I'm feeling pretty motivated," Dylan said. "Cuz the sooner you leave, the sooner Alec and I can get back to that sex swing."

Tyler paused in the midst of picking up the remaining boxes. "Alex doesn't have a sew swing."

The grin that hijacked Dylan's face was huge. "He does now.”

The Backup Boyfriend is story of Alec & Dylan. Alec breakup with is 2-year-living-in boyfriend and a clinic partner and he was devastated and when he got to know that his Boyfriend replaced her with another man. he decided to let go and with this impulse he decided to buy a harley which he got no clue about.

Because of this Harley, Dylan come's in the picture because he is an owner of his own shop. So, their first meting really made me cringe, lol yeah that's why the first 20% was not good for me, but the things really got up when Dylan got to Alec's house when his Harley was not starting ... again. Then he met his Alec's ex and seeing him giving Alec attitude Dylan and this got on Dylan's nerve and he impulsly said that he was Alec's boyfriend and that got him stuck to became his backup boyfriend on a work function they had to attend after 2 weeks.

“This is the messiest, geekiest kink ever.”
Dylan’s voice held a hint of awe. “Why the hell is this a total turn-on?”

The fun start after they got together for Driving Harley classes and their friendship and relationship started as fun and lie, got serious. It was fun reading Dylan's thoughts about Alec and his confusion. the dual POV really helped in this situation when we got to know both side and know what they were feeling. I loved the kinky Alec and the curious Dylan. and the sex scenes were bomb. SO HOT. There was alot of emotions in this book, Dylan's past, Alec's present insecurities, and there was alot of in their own plates. This book really made me all geeky and smiley all the time when i was reading it. I loved all characters even Tyler the ex that got to be saying something about the book. i LOVED the friendship between Alec and Dylan as much as i love their chemistry and steamy scenes. Read this book all of you, a light read packed with alot of emotions.

“Actually, there's really only one thing I need you to call yourself.”

Dylan tipped his head curiously. “What's that?”

Profile Image for Jel.
148 reviews20 followers
December 21, 2022

The latter part of the book was quite underwhelming and I did not like how Dylan suddenly thinks he was in love with Rick when he kept denying it in the first part of the book. How is it that he suddenly comes to the realization that he loved his best friend when he flat out denied it before. When Dylan said he might had just felt a sexual desire towards Rick and he might’ve just loved Rick more than a friend, my interest in the book dwindled. I did like him in the first part but later he was just a total dumbass. I really liked Alec, he was gentle and everything else. I did not feel much for the other side characters tbh. It’s alright.
Profile Image for ☆ Todd.
1,370 reviews1,507 followers
August 23, 2015
I like this book a lot and hope the books to come are as good.

It wasn't overly melodramatic, with tons of completely unnecessary moodiness, like a lot of some books tend to be, just for added tension and extra pages.

The story is basically about two grown men who both have a few issues and, for the most part, deal with those issues as well as they can. Plus straight Dylan’s ‘straight, bi, gay, whatever, I’m just me’ attitude when he actually finds himself attracted to another guy was refreshing.

This one actually felt a lot more real to me than a lot of bizarre, left-field plot lines that sound good in the description, then feel contrived and forced when actually read.

The story also moved at a nice pace, without chapter after chapter of 'wah, wah, wah, why me?' bullshit that causes readers to skim over those 'okay, I get it already, dead horse, dead horse' sections.

Plus, the two main characters felt like someone you could actually know in real life -- without wanting to chew your arm off to get away from if locked in a room together for a prolonged period.

The one character that I did feel as a bit cookie cutter and expected was Noah, who I liked, but wasn't surprised by. I've known 5 or 6 real people just like him over the years (yes, I have some really weird friends), so his character was a bit 'meh' for me.

But as I was saying, really good book and looking forward to the rest of the series.

➍ ½ ★
Profile Image for Elizabetta.
1,224 reviews34 followers
July 20, 2016

God, I wanted to like this, the blurb sounded so promising, but in the end, I just didn’t buy it. It starts off with the same old, basically:

*Alec, a gay guy meets Dylan, a straight guy
*gay guy falls in lust with straight guy
*straight guy is soooo straight: he’s a a butched-up, grease-covered motorcycle jockey, and yet…

*straight guy gets all bendy
*lots of humping and sexification ensues

and there’s lots of motorcycle talk

Now, I have liked my share of GFY stories, the strength in the story lies in the chemistry between the two protags, in whether I can get swept into their passion. But this one… it’s a bait and switch. It’s the classic straight-guy-turns-gay-with-the-love-of-a-good-man fantasy...

It turns out that Dylan used to turn tricks when he was younger and living on the street. So all the build up with how butchy-straight he is in the beginning of the story goes out the window. The guy actually has more experience with man sex than we’re led to believe. Turns out he's 'conflicted' and his big ‘issue’ is uncovered in the last ten percent of the story, not soon enough for me. On top of it all, Dylan does a complete, and as far as I’m concerned, pretty immediate 360 when he meets Alec. Kissing, frottage, anal sex, it’s all good to him, no second thoughts at all. Hell, no first thoughts, even.

Also, there's Noah… a common friend of Alec and Dylan who keeps popping up… I just wished he’d go away. He’s irritating and sticks his nose in other people’s business, and doesn’t seem to serve much purpose to the story other than getting in the way.

Finally, the writing style is not my favorite. Everything is explained in such exact, minute detail, we’re lead by the hand through every feeling and observation that the characters have or make. Nothing is left to imagination, there is no nuance, no mystery, no possibility to read between the lines. It’s a catalog of feelz and I was fairly bored through much of it.

There are even moments I felt like I was reading a het rom with either Alec or Dylan taking on the chick part... the writing even points this out more than once...

"Dylan's hand on Alec's Shoulder shifted possessively... Alec suppressed a sigh. Christ. When had he morphed into a teenage girl?"

"'I mean... I think we shouldn't see each other for a while.' (Alec)
Dylan set his mug on the counter. 'Why not?' Holy Christ on a stick, now he sounded like a clingy woman [...] so this was how it felt for a woman when he reminded them that one night was all he'd agreed to."

"Two weeks later, Dylan parked his motorcycle in front of the Front Street Clinic. Jesus, he was turning into the clingy, psychotic girlfriend."

There are some good bits here and there -- I like Alec. He’s a doctor dedicated to working with the underprivileged and HIV patients, he is a big-hearted kind of guy. He also has a sweet kind of vulnerability. Jilted by the guy he thought he would marry, he’s now full of doubt and insecurity. I liked him just enough to get through this, but it’s not nearly enough. My issue is that I really wanted to like these guys together but the storytelling did not sell me on their… story. I’m just not feeling the love.
Profile Image for *J* Too Many Books Too Little Time.
1,921 reviews3,458 followers
December 8, 2013
4.5--Sweet and HOT--Stars!!

This is my favorite kind of book. It left me all happy and smiley.

This is a GFY (gay for you) story...which I personally like. This one had a little different take on the concept.

The Backup Boyfriend is Alec and Dylan's story. Alec is a doctor. He's broken up with his boyfriend of 2 years--not his choice--who he works with and has to see on a daily basis. The story begins with Alec finding out his ex, Tyler has a new boyfriend.

So....what does he do? He buys a motorcycle.

"Candy, gum, and porno magazines are impulse buys....not motorcycles."

Too bad it's a POS. Enter Dylan....owner of Adams' Classic Motors....motorcycle aficionado. Alec and Dylan start spending time together working on Alec's motorcycle and a friendship builds.

During a run in with Alec's ex Tyler....Dylan outs himself as Alec's f*ck buddy in an effort to make Tyler jealous. One thing leads to another and Dylan has now become Alec's backup boyfriend.

But Dylan's straight and he doesn't do relationships.

Mostly Alec and Dylan knew they wanted to be together, they enjoyed being together, it was just a matter of getting past titles and labels and realizing what really mattered.

I wanted to tell Noah to

and mind his own business.

I loved the sarcastic undertones and dry sense of humor that the characters had. There were several lol moments and boy oh boy were there some hot moments. This had one of the hottest non-sex scenes I've ever read!

While I didn't LOVE Tyler in this book--mainly because he was the ex who broke Alec's heart--I'm still interested to read his story with stuntman Memphis Haines!

I'd definitely recommend this book for all lovers of the MM genre. It was sweet and sexy!
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