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Twenty-nine-year-old Lucas Thompson is at the top of the corporate ladder. But when his lifelong friend and ex-boyfriend invites him to his last-minute destination wedding in the Bahamas, Lucas realizes his corporate success can’t hide his private loneliness. Nor will he be able to escape seeing his family at the wedding—and having to explain, yet again, why he’s rich, handsome… and still single.

Fate and a taxi ride change everything when Lucas meets the charismatic and clever Jack McQueen, who just so happens to be a male escort. Jack’s presence on Lucas’s arm at the wedding keeps questions at bay, but their pretend relationship turns into something more after ten days of sun, sand, and sex. And before the trip is up, both men will discover that what started as a simple escapade in paradise might just lead to their very own happily ever after.

380 pages, ebook

First published April 11, 2016

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About the author


1 book65 followers
Dolce is a thirty year old New Yorker who loves to write, cook, sing, and laugh. She got her start writing fan fiction and is excited, and a touch frightened, to make the jump to original fiction. She is a big fan of the band Muse, who inspired her to choose a single word for her pen name: DOLCE. Plus, Cher has the one name thing going for her, too. Everyone loves Cher.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 89 reviews
Profile Image for *J* Too Many Books Too Little Time.
1,921 reviews3,457 followers
October 17, 2016
4.5 Stars!

This book. I avoided reading this one because of the length #lengthaversion, it's a thing. But it had such high reviews and the blurb kept calling to me. I had no idea what to expect. But I picked it up and started it....and then I didn't want to stop.

This book definitely won't be for everyone. I'm kind of surprised it was for me. It was LONG. Really long. And the whole book really only spanned over a relatively short period of time.

The MCs aren't a couple most of the book. In the beginning, Jack and Lucas run in to each other a few times. They are snarky with each other - which quite honestly was the winning factor of this book. They didn't really like each other but they were both apparently attracted to each other.

Jack accompanies Lucas to a wedding and that's where things change for them. This is where things slowed down or dragged for a lot of people. I happened to love this part. I loved all of the wedding activities. I loved all of Lucas' family.

Things you should know:

--this was a slow, slow build. But it was so worth it IMO. The build up, the tension, the chemistry was spot on. This is not an erotic book. It's a butterflies in your stomach every time they kiss or touch type book.
--this has banter galore. Nothing can make a book for me more than great banter.
--virtually no angst or conflict. This is almost unheard of. Some people won't like this - I for one loved this.
--steam wise there is no actual sex until 80%. They kiss and do other stuff before that. But I was not at all bothered by this. Again, their chemistry and the tension more than made up for the lack of steam.

IDK, this one just worked for me. I loved everything about it. Minor deductions because I felt like the ending was a tad bit rushed. But overall, I am so so glad I gave this one a go.
Profile Image for Marci.
451 reviews180 followers
August 1, 2021
marking this as read because it came up on my feed just now!! i read it on Ao3 as it's original before the published changes (harry styles & louis tomlinson fan fic) and what i remember is i enjoyed the beginning and then it slogged on and was kinda boring 🤷‍♀️ but the family relationships!!!! TOP TIER.
Profile Image for Chelsea.
879 reviews7 followers
June 2, 2016

Love blooms in paradise.

This story has everything I love about rent-boy stories, and none of the added angst. This was such a light and fluffy book that I had the goofiest sweet grin on my face when reading it.

When Lucas is invited to his lifelong friend’s wedding, where he will be surrounded by a hoard of loving but meddling family… still single, he finds himself seeking some sort of an escape route. Jack (aka Teddy) feels an instant kinship to Lucas when they meet, and therefore finds himself accepting Lucas’ offer to be his pretend boyfriend for the 10 day wedding extravaganza.

I’m really going to struggle putting my thoughts on this book in articulate words. The way this was written was so detailed and subtle that one or two lines can’t convey the connection that was built between these two. It's through conversations that last pages, with Lucas and Teddy noticing small moments where their lives are starting to intertwine.

Jack laughed and perched on top of the kitchen island. He crossed his ankles, gently tapping his heels into the cabinet below.

Lucas glanced at the front door. Jack’s brown suede ankle boots rested beside his blue Adidas trainers.

“You’ll love them,”Jack insisted. “I’m sure of it.”

The flow of the writing is beautiful. We get so immersed in Lucas and Teddy's conversations as they get to know each other that I didn't notice the page count changing.

In most ‘pretend boyfriend’ books, the men are awkward around physical affection with each other and can barely be civil at times due to loads of sexual tension. Lucas and Teddy are actually like a real couple. There's no deceit between them, they confide in each other and offer support when it's needed. They also spend most of the book kissing, and each kiss is steamier than the last. Yes, there's sexual tension, but these men actually have control of their bodies and don't hide their attraction towards each other. Both are interested in forming a connection with each other before having sex.

Look I won’t lie, it takes ages for these guys to have sex. When they do, it's raw passion and sweaty sex, but I still felt like it was somewhat anticlimactic considering I had been waiting 75% of the book for them to get together.
Also at points I felt like the story dragged a bit, mostly around all the wedding activities Lucas and Teddy attend. It was still enjoyable, just 380 pages of sweet and fluffy romance building.

The humour was refreshingly funny and felt real. I could imagine actual people having these conversations. Thankfully there were no strange one liners awkwardly inserted to try make the book more enjoyable.

“You already gave me a very detailed blow-by-blow of your origin as Spider-Hustle.”
Jack snorted, “Captain Cock or Iron Arse,” and Lucas started to giggle with him.
“I quite like Captain Cock. Does your shield have a cock on it instead of a star?”
“It has cocks arranged in the shape of a star.”

I really enjoyed this, I felt content then entire time while reading it, and as long as you're prepared for 380 pages of fluffiness, I would highly recommend this book!

Profile Image for Josy.
973 reviews3 followers
April 14, 2018
re-read April 2018
~ 4 stars ~

Not quite as good as the first time. I guess this time I noticed more things that went over my head the first time around because I was so anxious then waiting for the big fall-out-moment. Since I now knew it wouldn't come, my mind was free to focus on other things - like the silly nicknames, and the sometimes cheesy choice of words. Also, the day-to-day stuff was a lot more detailed than I noticed when I listened to this the first time. I got annoyed with Lucas's mother, too. Her voice was slightly grating and I found her behavior intrusive sometimes.

Despite all that, I don't regret re-listening to this book because it still made me happy and I smiled a lot.


~ 4.5 stars ~

I was hesitant to start this book - not only because of the length but also because of the rent-boy/escort theme. I shouldn't have been, though, because this story is sweet and light without any of the angst that usually comes with this kind of theme. In fact, there's no conflict of any kind and although I love some angst in my books, once in a while I also like books where I don't have to worry about anything and can just enjoy the ride.

Because of the pretend-boyfriend-trope, it's very slow-burn and filled with lots of sexual tension (there's lots of kissing and touching but no sex until around 80%) with a bit of humor thrown into the mix. I loved the chemistry between the MCs and also the banter and conversations, which felt natural and not stilted. The story only covers a few weeks but because the MCs spend so much time together, they actually get to know each other pretty well even in this short amount of time. That's why I felt the HEA was believable and the sweet epilogue confirmed it.

I never felt that the story was dragging but this might be because I listened to the audiobook and didn't read it. Noah Mason is a new to me narrator and I enjoyed listening to him - once Jack dropped his 'hustler voice'.
Profile Image for BWT.
2,171 reviews222 followers
March 15, 2016
This story is a super slow burn romance between a lonely corporate shark and an equally lonely, for other reasons, high priced escort. Told with some snark, some humor, and plenty of UST it has a likable extended cast, low angst, and some sexy times (finally!) by the end. All elements of which are personal favorites of mine and which I usually love and adore.

So why didn't I love it?

that's a tough question

I honestly don't know why this didn't ring all my bells. All the necessary parts were there...I mean, sure it needs some more editing, and it could have definitely been shorter, but the main characters became more likable as the story went on and the UST was burning bright. I honestly don't know why I didn't connect with the story. Maybe it was an off day?

Anyway, if slow burn romances with humor, UST and likable characters tickle your fancy I would totally recommend giving this a shot, maybe you'll have better luck.


Advanced Review Galley copy of Escapade provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.

This review has been cross-posted at Gay Book Reviews.

P.S.: Fans of dolce_piccante may recognize the bones of the story from her One Direction fan fiction (Larry Stylinson!) story of the same name. It's been edited and cleaned up, and the names changed, but it's still primarily the same story.
Profile Image for Joey.
87 reviews2 followers
May 22, 2016
This is one of my favourite book. It's a Larry fan fiction. The character name is not Lucas Thompson, it's Louis Tomlinson.
Profile Image for MaDoReader.
1,370 reviews151 followers
December 5, 2016
No me puedo extender, pero es una pena que el ritmo del principio no se mantenga. Se vuelve too sweet para mi gusto.
No obstante, de las mejores historias con rent boy que he leído, angst bajo cero y profundidad la justa, es un poco Pretty Woman, pero bien hecho.
Lo mejor es la dinámica entre los MC, sin duda, Lucas y ese clon de Mick Jagger es lo que me han hecho aguantar toda la segunda parte.
Odio eterno a Zamir, Cillian y a los Zillympics, coñazo
Profile Image for CrabbyPatty.
1,588 reviews172 followers
July 4, 2021
In a nutshell, I loved the plot of Escapade. Lucas is a corporate shark with a fabulous apartment, a great salary and an adorable pug named George ..... but no real friends and fewer relationships. He "cute meets" Jack McQueen in a London cab and is captivated by the tall gorgeous male escort dressed like the love child of Captain Jack Sparrow and Mick Jagger. When the mother of all destination weddings suddenly comes up, Lucas realizes that he just can't appear, once again, at a family gathering without a boyfriend and engages Jack for the 10-day trip to the Bahamas, after negotiating a "no sex" contract.

Baseball Season
Have you ever heard the saying "baseball is six minutes of action crammed into two-and-one-half hours"? Okay, maybe not if all the players looked like this! This delightful plot unfolds over 380 pages and as much as I loved the (extremely) slow burn between Lucas and Jack, the pace of the book was frustrating and all the various details and events of the wedding seriously bogged down the flow of the story.

IMHO, somewhere in the midst of all this is a 5+ star 200-page novel waiting to come out.

The sexual chemistry between Lucas and Jack is sizzling, but as noted above, it is an extremely long time before they finally act on it. And when they ignore the "no sex" provisions of the contract?

As Lucas says:
"Holy fuck", he panted, staring at the ceiling in complete, slack-jawed shock. [...] "Jesus. Jesus Christ on a cross. Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Holy god."

"The gang's all here, hm?"

Lucas could not manage a turn of his head, but his eyes rolled toward [Jack's] murmuring voice, satisfaction dripping from every word. "I feel like I'm still coming," he rasped.

I adored how Dolce describes Jack and his lean build, soft skin (and extensive beauty regime), the long curling hair and gorgeous eyes and yeah, how he rocks a man bun and Ray Bans. Jack is hawt.
Lucas asked, "How does anyone resist you?"
"You tell me." [Jack] licked his wet lips. "You're the only one."

At the core of their relationship, Lucas and Jack are sweet and obviously meant for each other. I admire how Dolce doesn't "go there" with the oft-seen plot crisis of "OMG, he's a former escort, how can they overcome this and find true love?" Lucas and Jack are low-angst and there is such a trust and respect between the two. And the ending? It's everything you want for them.

For me personally, Escapade was too bogged down, but I still loved the story. I would recommend it 100% for a fabulous summer read for its setting and two so very hot men who find love.

I received a galley copy from Dreamspinner Press in exchange for an honest review.

Visit my blog, Sinfully Good Gay Book Reviews
Profile Image for Ula'ndi Hart.
918 reviews15 followers
January 18, 2017
Overall book rating: 4
Audio Book: Noah Mason : 2
Book Cover: 3.5

I'm feeling a little like this.....

I'm a well known sucker for "rent-boy" stories, so I'm thinking I might have had a little bit of a outrageously high expectation when I started this one.
I think it was sweet and cute and all, and I did enjoy the story. I had a lot of fun in most parts in fact.

...but..and I'm sorry for being a wet rag - there was so much detail about every little thing!

I always complain about "wanting More" right? Well....even with all the sweet and nice and how much I enjoyed it, I kinda thought discribing every single quest in the Zilimpics was kinda sorta maybe not entirely ...necessary? Great little ideas that made it fun and interesting, but 2 much?

I'm thinking I could have done with more useful info at some points. Like maybe more about the MC's way of thinking and the situation in their relationship and what to do about the things they are facing with Teddy and his source of income?

Perhaps adding that I had to suffer through one of the mmmmm how to put it...MOST CHALLANGING AUDIO books in the history of recent audio's, I think would help. I didn't like it. Not at all. Jack-aka-Teddy sounded high on something. Something like an overdose of Prozac or worse. He spoke like a tortuous walks. There really isn't any other way of trying to convey myself here and maybe, that is one of the reasons I couldn't get into it as much as I would have liked.

Happy to have "read" it still though.

Profile Image for Susan.
2,222 reviews408 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
June 7, 2016
DNF at 19%

I can't get into this.
The writing doesn't appeal to me at all. I don't feel anything for the characters.

And I have no idea why we also get Albert's POV, Lucas' straight executive assistant, who is not a love interest....


And this book is so loooooooooooooong...
Profile Image for Sara .
1,476 reviews154 followers
April 13, 2016

Writing this review is tough. I am not sure how I feel about this book and it could totally be a you not be deal but...

When Escapade first came up for review I passed on it even though is sounded interesting. When I was told it was pulled to publish, Larry Stylinson fan fiction, I went back and asked for it. You see, I am a Larry fangirl but I don’t read much of the fan fiction so I think that is where this took a wonky turn and the two of us never quite meshed.

From the beginning it was easy to tell the originated from the world of fan fiction as the fandom reads a certain way, not to say it’s bad or good it just has its own vibe and this clearly was vibing with fandom writing. I tried to read the story as just a story but too many roots were still tangled and that for me was a letdown. I love the idea of P2PFF stories but I really wish this had gone through more than simply find and replace of the names etc.


This is a mixed review and I’ll just keep it short.

I loved Jack or whatever you want to call him because he’s totally Harry and I adore Harry. I barely tolerated Lucas and for that I will give credit to the author because I barely tolerate Louis and only really tolerate him because of Harry.

So I liked the setup, stuffy Lucas finally gives in and hires the hot rent boy he met in a cab to pretend to be his boyfriend at his BFF’s wedding. Jack, who is totes professional with his profession wanted Lucas from the start which was really sweet to watch him actually give in as well.

And then we get to the things that dragged for me after the setup. First, this was too long but once again, if FF is not edited enough, it keeps the length and makes for a really long read that failed to keep my attention. Second, while I liked the characters, I had zero connection to them as a couple. I mean, a first kiss should give me the same adrenaline spike as it gives the characters, I should feel it and yet, I felt absolutely nothing.

This was just not the book for me. It got a bit better when they get to the island and yeah, the whole who caved first bit was the hottest the book got for me and that was because of Harry, I mean, er um... Jack, but other than that, I was bored with the story and that bums me out.

Profile Image for Kitten Blue.
730 reviews400 followers
March 3, 2017
Another book that is slooooooow to the extreme ... like, so slow that they only reach the wedding destination HALFWAY THROUGH ... but it's very sweet and totally worth it. In other news, I'm not someone who thinks Mick Jagger is (or ever was) hot ... so I had to work very hard at ignoring those parts ... it must be a British thing ... :D Having just read that it started as One Direction fan-faction, I probably would have enjoyed this book even more had I known to mentally picture Jack as Harry. Oh, oh, oh, BEFORE I FORGET:
Profile Image for ElaineY.
2,171 reviews68 followers
December 21, 2016
Narrator: Noah Mason

Note: I did not continue after three and a half hours so that's what my 3 stars are for.

Gauging from the writing so far, I didn't think the rest would be any better. What failed for me was the sex scene - okay, no actual sex yet but just Lucas and Jack practicing kissing and physical proximity in preparation for their trip to the Bahamas for Lucas' friend's wedding. It was rather stilted and mundane details preferred over creating chemistry. For someone of Lucas' age (29) and being financially well-off, he is too naive about sex and relationships and his character just didn't ring true. I liked Jack, though. His character was well-done and resonated with me in the three short hours. I didn't think the sex scenes that would come later would be any better written and I found myself longing to return to my police procedurals. I may be wrong, of course, but the first 3 hours were merely okay, not good enough for me to want to give up 16 hours of listening time.

Another issue - not a problem for me but may be for others - is the choice of narrator. Noah Mason narrates the book with an American accent even though the book is located in the UK and the characters are English, even though he is careful to say "arse" instead of "ass". Odd choice on the part of the audio production team. Dreamspinner Press is usually spot-on with its audiobooks.
Profile Image for Zane Kage.
2,636 reviews26 followers
July 3, 2016
4.5 stars

What a delightful surprise this book was! I loved these two. This was a slow burn leading up to a big reward with two very likable MCs that went through the gamut of emotions before ending up where they needed to be. Not a short read, and I didn't get my sexy payoff for awhile, but it was definitely worth my time. I stayed up late to finish this one, and I'm so glad I did! An honest, fun and sexy read - I was smiling, laughing and feeling for these guys in every way. I really look forward to more from this author!
Profile Image for Gloria (in a slump? idk).
138 reviews141 followers
October 26, 2021
4 stars because I really did love it!

Spoiler alert (not really), there isn't any definitive plot. It's more like a play by play of scenes. There's no angst, or suspense, or drama. While it makes this almost 400 page book feel very long, the characters were loveable and it was a nice book to have on study breaks because I could put it down a few times and I didn't feel lost. So if you want to read a lengthy MM book without angst, a fake relationship trope, filled with lots of kissing and witty banter then I recommend!

P.S. The MCs don't do the seggs until like 80% of the book 😅

Honestly, 5 stars for Georgie the dog, and Maggie too! They were adorable 🥺
Profile Image for Amanda.
1,381 reviews52 followers
August 1, 2021
3.5 Stars I liked this a lot more than I expected. It was silly at times for sure, but I really liked the characters both main and secondary. It definitely should've been paired down a little, as it was much too long, but the story was good
Profile Image for Cat.
379 reviews3 followers
April 3, 2016
***4.5 Stars of Slow Burn to Sizzling Adoration***

Lucas is a corporate shark, willing and able to do whatever is called for to ensure success for his clients in takeovers and mergers by day, and by night he’s a loving dad to his furbaby, George Hamilton Thompson the pug. Jack is a “personal consultant” who has a select and elite client list for whom he charges an insane amount of money, and also for whom he dedicates everything he has in him for their benefit. When they inadvertently climb into the same taxi, sparks fly, but Lucas thinks he’s above all that, and Jack just thinks Lucas is delicious - and wants a taste!

When they meet again at one of Lucas’ corporate functions where Jack is on the arm of the ancient Mr. Carson, Lucas can’t help but be drawn into conversation with the stunning escort, wanting him even as he attempts to verbally pierce the younger man’s shell. Fast forward a bit and Lucas is calling Jack for his services in a strictly platonic trip to the ten day wedding extravaganza of his best friend, Zamir and his beloved Cillian in glorious Flamingo Cay, Bahamas. As they learn about each other, can Lucas stay detached, or is the stunningly beautiful Jack a vacation temptation beyond resistance?

I had such fun with this book! Lucas started out characterized as a merciless cretin, seemingly obsessed with success and having very little regard for anything that fell outside his exacting standards. His transformation to an actual human being was a joy to watch, as was that of Jack, who upon arriving at the island dropped his working persona and began to be himself, complete with use of his legal name, becoming the still stunningly beautiful but now infinitely more approachable Theodore.

This is a seriously slow burn book - while they regularly touch and kiss, they don’t actually make it into the big show until 80% through, so don’t expect gratuitous sex - it isn’t going to happen! That being said, I loved how the two really got a chance to get to know each other first. The various activities scheduled around the event of the actual wedding created situations that were by turn hilarious, heartbreaking, and sensual. The peripheral cast, of which there are *many*, each felt very well written and individual, and you really end up feeling like you know each of these characters, not an easy feat.

The reveal of Teddy’s past and the incredible amount of emotion written into said revelation is cause to have tissues handy, as you will fall in love with him even more, and then the epilogue - oh golly, the epilogue! Obviously I’m not revealing it here, but what a perfect wrap up!

Review Copy of Escapade provided by the Author, Dolce for an honest Review.
Reviewed by Cat from Alpha Book Club
description description
Profile Image for Natosha Wilson.
1,274 reviews14 followers
March 27, 2016
I just want to say CONGRATULATIONS to Dolce on a job well done. This was a wonderfully, sweet, romantic read. If you cannot tell I loved this book.

Lucas is a corporate shark that is great at his job but has no life what so ever outside of work and does not even care to have one either. He is happy to be on his own with his pug George (or Georgie) as some may call him. Then he meets Jack McQueen (aka Teddy) who is a male escort. Even though Lucas does not begrudge Teddy for what he does for a living he does not see himself as the type of person to hire an escort for himself, well that is until his best friend decides to up an marry and demands his presents at the wedding.

What starts off on shaky ground between Teddy and Lucas soon turns into an easy friendship.

I loved this book because it made the characters come out of their comfortable lifestyles and open up to one another in a way they normally would not. Even though we all know this is a romance book it is slow getting to that point. They went from barely being able to be around one another to becoming friends, then to fooling around with kisses and such, to finally admitting to one another that they have feelings for each other whether it for the duration of the wedding week or longer. It is not your typical romance where two people meet and then suddenly they are together. Their feelings progressed with one another like it would in real life and that made this book so much better.

I also loved that they each had issues that they had to overcome about themselves before they was ready to move on to the next level in their relationship. Then you throw in all the people of attended the wedding and of course Geogie and it made for a heck of a good book with a lot of fun and humor.

As I said an amazing job. Congrats again to Dolce on an awesomely great book.

Was given this book by inked rainbow reads for an honest review.
Profile Image for Diverse.
1,178 reviews49 followers
April 11, 2016
From the beginning I knew this was a long story. Just look how many pages it is. This was an adventure. A love story. We have two characters who start off one place and end up in another. Teddy breathes life back into Lucas and in return Lucas let’s Teddy accept his dreams, reach his goals, and together they fall into love.

I adored the evolution of these characters. Dolce shows us their lives, their routines, their thoughts. At first I was like, “Oh this is going to drag if we are going to read Teddy’s morning rituals or Lucas’ nights alone over and over.” You don’t. Each description is significant. And it comes together, when you realize WHY you read those it clicks. The beauty of it all.

All the characters in this story from the smallest to the biggest really built this story into what it was. Yes, the destination, the places, the moments; they were all vital but the characters…. How they transform every experience. It is so wonderful.

So, yes it’s a long love story. It is detailed, descriptive, emotional, entertaining, witty, and magical. It doesn’t feel long. It feels perfect.

Reviewed by Meredith for Diverse Reader
Profile Image for Jodi Ciorciari-marinich.
548 reviews27 followers
April 5, 2016
Loved this story. When I read the blurb I was hoping this was going to be a good read and it was. Loved the characters in this story. It was long but I felt it was perfect to tell the tale of these 2 men. Lucas all prim and proper and lonely and Jack the male escort who is up for almost anything for the right price .Lucas needs a date for his best friends wedding and hires Jack to be his boyfriend. You can guess whats happens but it is so much more in my opinion. This book has a beginning, middle and end for this couple. Lucas's family was great as well his best friend and his soon to be husband. Cant believe I read this is Dolce first novel and I am sure hoping there is more from her soon..Congrats.ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review. Reviewed by Jodi from Alpha Book Club.
Profile Image for Maia.
Author 27 books2,524 followers
July 20, 2023
The first half of this book is a simmering but inevitable romance between Lucas Thompson, a high powered London businessman, and Jack McQueen- a male escort he meets by chance in a cab. When circumstances conspire to place them together for ten days in a beach resort, all of the tension melts away into descriptions of a luxurious and prefect vacation. I would have preferred that the will-they-or-won't-they plot continue deeper into the novel, but if you are looking for a sweet and sexy story of two men simply enjoying either other's company in a tropical paradise, then this is the book for you.
Profile Image for Anke.
2,464 reviews86 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
April 16, 2017
So, tried this the umpteenth time and this didn't work for me. It started with this mmpf-author-name and moved on to a story that didn't grab me at all. Nope. Sorry, book, but I'm done.
Profile Image for Kat.
598 reviews107 followers
Want to read
March 16, 2016
Hm, I read this when it was still 1D fanfic about Harry and Louis... I wonder if a lot got changed except for the names??
1 review
April 12, 2016

I couldn't put this down! Great plot, great main characters, and the supporting cast is amazing. You will laugh and fall in love. An absolute treasure!
Profile Image for Pan.
66 reviews19 followers
August 29, 2021
Brilliant! Recommend to all who love this genre. Nice work, Dolce <3 The character development is thoughtful and realistic. I love the full on nature of it all.
Profile Image for Elaine White.
Author 41 books237 followers
April 29, 2016
Book – Escapade
Author – Dolce
Star rating - ★★★★★
No. of Pages – 380

Cover – Pretty, if vague
POV – 3rd person, alternating
Would I read it again – Yes

Genre – LGBT, Romance, Escort

Reviewed for Divine Magazine

Escapade is a riot of fun, laughter and some serious sizzle.

From the minute I started reading to the minute the story ended, I don't think I stopped smiling or laughing out loud. Whether the funny parts are just utterly hilarious or not, the jokes were right up my alley, the humour was on point and perfectly tallied with my own. And, finally!, a British cast. I so miss the Brits, especially when everything finally makes sense (football being football, maths having an s on the end). Thank you for that alone.

When it comes to the characters, I have to admit that I fell for Lucas right away. That fishing story in the boardroom let me know that he was a shark, with a great sense of humour and was really great at his job. Then, later, after a few encounters with Jack, it was so refreshing to discover that he'd also this sad little puppy. He's been kicked a few times, but he's got all this love bottled up, ready to share with the right person, under the right circumstances. So he's hardened himself against everything else in life, other than his pug George, until that happens.

As for Jack, I absolutely got the impress (before it was mentioned) that he was a total mix of Mick Jagger and Stevie Nicks. Then, when that comparison was made, I was vindicated. That's who he is and that was how he came across. Then, later, when we find out more about who he really is, I loved that his entire personality changed. Just like Lucas, he was hiding the true part of himself, not for someone special in particular, but simply to protect himself.

If you think I'm gushing, you're probably right. This book is a big length. At over 300 pages, it's not a one-sitting read, but I devoured it in one day, reading as and when I could slip in a few pages. It was that addictive.

So, you might have read the blurb and thought “Escort? That means a Pretty Women remake.” right? Well, on most other books of this genre that I've read, you'd be right. Not on this one. There isn't one instance that happened in Pretty Women that is regurgitated here. Not. One. In fact, the two are so polar opposite that I did a little Hallelujah at the 20% mark, when it became clear that they were going to have nothing to do with each other. This story is just THAT original.

Underneath the giggles, the quirky characters and the impressive one liners is a serious undertone about self belief and reliance. There's an impression of both MC's having been hurt in the past and trying desperately to keep a brave face, so that no one knows. So, although I laughed out loud a lot, I was also near to tears a lot. Because, let me tell you – the feels! The feels this book has are just incomprehensible.

I love the way that Dolce sympathetically tackled the rent boy/high class escort aspect. Jack is a professional, with clients of all tastes, and the story tackles Lucas' misconceptions about the profession nicely. I thought Jack's set up – background checks, NDA's, security band, phone calls, referrals and such – was all very realistic, logical and plausible in this day and age. Nothing about what he did seemed invasive or ridiculous. All of it was done to protect himself and his clients, not only from themselves but from each other.

When it comes to the relationship aspect, between Jack and Lucas, I absolutely loved that we had 80% of a story. A REAL story, that brought two complete strangers to an HEA, without being forced, impossible or ridiculous. The progression of their acquaintance to curiosity, to trust to friendship, and right through to attraction and love, was so perfectly balanced, even though the actual events only took place over a five day period. There was no insta-love here, just an instant attraction that was allowed to grow into more.

There was flirting, intimacy and a whole lot of friendship blooming, all throughout the story. With awkward moments (of the naked-in-school nightmare kind) and the purely torturous moments of an embarrassing family meeting someone new, there was nothing light and fluffy about this. Things went wrong. Lucas and Jack saw each other at their worst. Lucas never treated Jack like a hooker or someone being 'bought' for his company and Jack never treated Lucas like a meal ticket or tried to take advantage. As two businessmen, they came into this agreement like sharp nosed lawyers, making a binding contract with one another. Nothing more, nothing less. There was respect and a very healthy dose of secret attraction, but for a long time it was all business, as it should be for them both.

There were some really awesome conversations, that had me in stitched – like discussing their fake relationship details, Lucas's mother!, the bedtime story. They all hit me in different ways. Lucas's mother was, however, the most frustrating character, because she kept getting in the way and stopping me from finding out things for a while. She was also a little crazy and unhinged, like a lot of the Thompson family. Saying that, Zamir and Cillian are pretty nuts, too.

The banter is so much fun, the slow sizzle of chemistry constantly had me on my toes as to when things were going to happen and it was just so nice that these two strangers could come together and feel comfortable enough to be themselves. There were no expectations, right from the start, and that allowed these two guys to learn a little something about themselves and about each other. They see each other at their worst and it doesn't matter, because they're in this together.

Albert! Oh, gosh. I loved Albert. If he wasn't straight and taken, I would have loved for him to get with Lucas. They worked so well together and he was adorable! I did love how he was woven into the advancement of the plot, as well, because it made perfect sense! And it took me by surprise, which isn't easy to do.

The Zill-ympics. What can I say? They were hilarious, kind of gross and really fun to read. The whole thing might have seemed like a great bout of laughter for the story, but it showed me a lot about the characters and what Dolce was trying to achieve with the story. Similarly, the bedtime story and the asthma party, were just as illuminating, if much more powerful scenes.

Now, for the part that some people will grip over – the sex. It's a slow burner. A really slow burner. The first bout of MC sex enters in at 80%, though there's some fooling around before that and plenty of chemistry to make that fact obsolete. It was right for these characters and I'm not going to say any more about it.


Overall, the entire plot and charactersation was well though out, planned ahead and set up in great detail. There were no plot holes and, despite some grammar/spelling errors, the story was perfect. I learned everything I wanted to know and got to enjoy some really classic – but realistic – romantic moments in the process.

That epilogue! It was perfect. And the soundtrack? Thank you! I love soundtracks.

This isn't your traditional romance. But it's probably the most real one you can pick up to read on your Kindle. There's weird, awkward moments, secret feelings, damaged pasts and kooky characters. But there's also tenderness, moments of truth, realisation and so much more.

Pick it up. I promise you won't be disappointed. This is a slow burn romance that keeps sizzling right until the end. So, if you want to find out whether Jack and Lucas got together, you'll have to get your own copy and read it. Because I'm not telling.

Most importantly, this is the most bang up, incredible wedding event in the universe and I was so thrilled to be there and be included in it. Now, I wish I could go to one exactly like this, for real. Oh, and can I have another one please? Another book with Lucas and Jack? Pretty please?


Favourite Quote

Now, fair warning. [...] < this means that I've left a line out of the quote. This is for very important reasons, namely being that it will ruin everything, if you intend to read the book. Which you should. So, to make sure you do, I'm leaving you with a half finished quote. Enjoy.

““I hate karaoke.”
“Then why did you do it?” […]
“Because I love you. And sometimes the scary stuff turns out to be the best.”
“Like naked cliff jumping?”
“Like falling in love.””
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