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Boys Don't Cry

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Mackenzie Pratt is having the worst luck of his life. His apartment building is being torn down, and since he’s jobless and just weeks away from graduating college, he can’t find anywhere else he can afford to live that isn’t a critter-infested dump. As he’s lamenting the very real possibility of job hunting while couch-surfing, he gets an offer from the coworker of his best friend.

An in-demand mobile app developer and heir to his parents’ fortune, Laurent Beaudry is literally an eccentric billionaire. Even though Mackenzie realizes he’s basically living the plot of a cheesy romance novel, he takes the proffered room in Laurent’s Baltimore mansion. He finds his new housemate to be grumpy, brooding, and, at times, incredibly kind and endearing.

Raised by his brother after their father’s death, Mackenzie spent his formative years plowing headlong through school, focusing on little else beyond earning his teaching certification. He’s never taken the time to explore love and relationships, much less sexuality, so when he finds himself being courted by another man, he has no idea what to do. And when he realizes he might actually return those feelings, his life takes a whole new direction.

230 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 25, 2017

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About the author

J.K. Hogan

19 books291 followers
J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, she found her true passion. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them.

J.K. resides in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and their pets. If she isn’t writing, J.K. can be found designing book covers at www.wickedpixeldesigns.com, or knitting, weaving, watching Hurricanes Hockey and, of course, reading! For more information, please visit www.jkhogan.com.

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5 stars
84 (28%)
4 stars
113 (38%)
3 stars
74 (25%)
2 stars
14 (4%)
1 star
6 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 61 reviews
June 24, 2017
Even though one of the MCs is a brilliant, wealthy recluse and the other a high-strung college boy, this book isn't high on the angst.

There is some relationship conflict, as Mackenzie comes to terms with his sexuality and feelings for Laurie, and Laurie struggles with feeling like he doesn't belong, but Boys Don't Cry is mostly a feel-good read.

Laurie is a bit predatory when he first meets Mackenzie; I didn't like that. I also didn't love how Mackenzie essentially strung Laurie along. Granted, Mackenzie's never had sexual feelings for ANYONE prior to meeting Laurie.

I read Mackenzie as being demisexual. He felt a current of attraction to Laurie almost immediately, and those feelings just intensified as he got to know Laurie and they formed a strong connection.

I loved the secondary characters, including River (Mackenzie's brother) and Taylor (Mackenzie's best friend). I sense an enemies-to-lovers pairing and really hope this will become a series.

Mackenzie was a little bratty at times, prone to anxiety and petty outbursts, and Laurie could be a standoffish jerk, but they were really sweet together.

Bonus: Mackenzie gives up his V card in a spectacular way. Two thumbs up for the intense sexy scenes and awesome epilogue.
Profile Image for Nazanin.
1,101 reviews631 followers
June 28, 2017
4 Stars

Mackenzie is a twenty-three-year-old college student. When his father died, his brother took care of him so he didn’t go into system. Mackenzie did his best to focus on his school because he didn’t want to be a burden on his brother. But now, his landlord needed all the resident to clear out as soon as possible. So two months before his college graduation, he has become homeless. He has no job and he can’t afford for another apartment.

Laurent is a thirty-five- year-old mobile app developer. About him it’s suffice to say that he had a really bad childhood and that made him push people away because he thinks if he let them inside his life they eventually left him behind.

Mackenzie and Laurent knew each other through Taylor (Mackenzie’s best friend and Laurent’s co-worker). Laurent suggested that Mackenzie can live with him until he finds another place and a job and in lieu of rent he can help out around the house.

This story was an enjoyable one. I liked both of the characters. They were sweet and likable. My only complaint is they barely knew each other but Maybe if we had Laurent’s POV too, that would be more acceptable for me. It is told from Mackenzie’s POV, 1st person. It’s a standalone story. All in all, it was a really good read and I hope you like it as well!
Profile Image for JAN.
1,168 reviews793 followers
May 29, 2017

Giving up at 45%

The blurb states one of the MC as an eccentric billionaire. For me, the eccentric Laurent was a weirdo and his weirdness was bordering creepy.

The other MC, ...never taken the time to explore love and relationships, much less sexuality... ok, so the blurb does state that, but I didn't think it would be so incredible unrealistic. A a 23 years old virgin guy? Mackenzie was too much. Out of this world in his naivety.

I thought I would love this combo when I read the blurb but it failed big time.

Not to mention that at 28% the L word came from nowhere. Even the MC couldn't believe he was hearing that.

Not for me.

Profile Image for Jenni Lea.
802 reviews296 followers
May 20, 2017
Adorable book that embraces all of the manga/anime tropes perfectly. If you like BL manga or anime you don't want to miss out on this. I laughed out loud several times throughout and squealed when I caught the subtle references to my favorite anime series', like Yuri on Ice and Junjou Romantica. This was a delightful read that I'm sure will be revisited in the near future.

PS: That cover? It's a scene in the book! *waggles eyebrows*
Profile Image for Elsa Bravante.
1,135 reviews179 followers
June 1, 2017
3.5 pero estoy muy muy dudosa con el rating a este libro, por un lado me han gustado muchas cosas, pero por otro las que no me han gustado tienen un peso muy grande.

Boys don´t cry es la historia de un billonario excéntrico de treinta y tantos, Laurie, y un chico recién salido de la universidad sin ninguna experiencia amorosa, Mackenzie. El libro es dulce, romántico, con partes sexys, la voz del protagonista es adorable, con mucha sensibilidad, me ha encantado leer a Mackenzie. Es posible que algunos lectores no entiendan su falta de experiencia sexual, probablemente es demisexual, o así es cómo le leo yo, y desgraciadamente es posible que otros no entiendan su sensiblidad, pero existen personas así, excepcionalmente sensibles. Pues a pesar de todo lo que me ha gustado Mackenzie y su historia, algo no me ha dejado disfrutarla completamente, Laurie y su prácticamente insta-love, no se ve natural, parece forzado y me ha dejado off en varias ocasiones :/.

Un rato agradable, y ojo a los secundarios, espero leer una historia con Taylor y River de protagonistas.
Profile Image for MaDoReader.
1,370 reviews151 followers
July 3, 2017
Un tres y poco más que decir. Me ha entretenido pero tampoco me ha matado, buenas escenas de sexo, eso sí.
Profile Image for Susan.
2,222 reviews408 followers
May 29, 2017
3.5 stars

An enjoyable read, but sometimes Laurie was just a little too weird for me.

Mackenzie is on the verge of being homeless since he is being evicted from his affordable apartment. But since he has no job, he has trouble finding a new place. He just needs a place to stay until he graduates from college in a few weeks.

Through a friend he meets the eccentric genius, Laurent, who lives alone in his mansion. Laurent offers Mackenzie a place to stay, in exchange for some housework. Laurent could use some help with that since he loses complete track of time when he is working.

From day one Laurie treats Mackenzie as a friend, but he also keeps flirting with him. Mackenzie has no idea what to think of that since he has zero experience with romance or sex. All he knows is that he feels good when he is with Laurie..

I liked that even though this was basically the billionaire taking care of the young guy, this was just a bit different. Laurie was not that old for instance, and he was a genius who got completely sucked into his work. He was kind of a hermit, and I liked that Mackenzie dragged him outside to do stuff. So the relationship felt equal to me. They took care of each other, and not just the rich guy taking care of the helpless virgin (as some of these stories go).

I was having a bit of trouble with how strong Laurie came onto Mackenzie from the start, but I was happy to see Mackenzie took his time discovering his feelings for Laurie an didn’t jump into anything without thinking it through. Although it did start to drag a bit when Mackenzie’s big epiphany about him being gay didn’t happen until the end.

Still, this was a very enjoyable read with no relationship angst and some hot virgin sexy times.
Profile Image for Bookishcat.
33 reviews20 followers
June 25, 2017
I looooooved this!!!It has a hero who is totally devoted from the start and just enough possessive to make me happy!! The other hero is super sweet and hardworking without being annoying! I want more books for this couple!!
Profile Image for BevS.
2,748 reviews2 followers
June 3, 2017
4.5 feel good stars from me. Loved this story of opposites attracting, Laurie and Mackenzie.

Laurie, who'd been on his own pretty much since he was a teenager due to the death of his Canadian parents, and who was more or less forced to live with his Uncle, the disgustingly lecherous Theo [ugh!!]. As his parents were super wealthy, Laurie had control of their money, and Theo took care of the business side of things and felt it was a good idea to move them down to the US, but Laurie was left mostly on his own, and unfortunately has had no-one to call family. Admittedly, I thought Laurie was a little weird at the start, and he definitely gave off 'leave me alone' vibes, but well, you read the story and discover why.

Mackenzie was a driven young man, whose own parents had also died when he was a teenager and he'd been brought up by his older brother River. He didn't want to be a burden to River, and had taught himself to cook and do laundry, but his main goal in life was to become a pre-school teacher, and in order to get his degree, had sacrificed his personal time and had never dated, so yes, he was a virgin at 23...not totally unheard of.

There were several 'ah bless' moments in this story, and I had a huge smile on my face at the end. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Kai.
94 reviews10 followers
June 14, 2017
4.5 stars

I loved almost everything about this book: The writing, the characters, the plot, the low angst, the HOT parts… It was just so good!

I loved Laurie so much! He was really weird and grumpy sometimes and to everybody who didn’t actually know him, he was just a cold bastard. But how a cold person can be the one who offers to a practically strange (Mackenzie) a place to live, just because the guy would be ejected from his place? Can you relate it to a cold person? No, he wasn’t cold. And soon enough Mackenzie learned that.
Laurie was an orphan who didn’t have a normal childhood and was left by everybody that he loved. So he had put a cold mask on to the world. But thankfully he couldn't keep his disguise with Mackenzie for so long.

And we had Mackenzie.
Ah, Mackenzie, I wanted to strangle you sometimes, so you would admit for yourself what I already knew about you. Urgh! But I love you too.
Mackenzie was a guy who had lived so focused on making everybody happy his entire life, that he had never taken the time to be in a relationship. At the age of 23 years old, he had never explored his sexuality. So when he realized he was attracted to Laurie he struggled a little. He didn’t want to admit it even to himself. Good think that Laurent was persistent and didn't let Mack freak out.
Mackenzie doubts and fears felt real and even with a lot of concern and denial he didn’t break apart from Laurent and I really loved him for that. He just took more time to notice that his feelings for Laurie were unquestionable and real.

Laurent and Mackenzie together were so amazing. They were hot, yeah yeah! They were also sweet and felt like a real couple. I can say I absolutely connected with them.

I also loved the other characters; Tayler in special. And even though River was a little of an ass with Laurent at first, I liked him too. So here is a think about these two characters (Tayler and River): I think there were something between them. Did you pick up the sexual tension as I did? I mean, they just snapped at each other but was clear for me that they needed a bed. Seriously, it was just me seeing it?

Anyway, this story was delightful. It was well written with Mackenzie point of view and I really loved how it worked.
Profile Image for Candice.
2,857 reviews122 followers
June 4, 2017
4.5 Stars

I started this book at 11pm and finished it at 3:30AM. Then I stayed up til 5AM thinking about it.

Did I like this book? Yes. I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed Mackenzie discovering himself. I enjoyed Laurie's personality come out into play. I enjoyed how Laurie wanted to do things with Mackenzie that he wouldn't normally do.

What I didn't like? I didn't like Mackenzie not correcting Taylor. It made my heart hurt for Laurie.

I didn't like River. There I said it. Even though I love his name, didn't like him.

Yes, the L word came out of nowhere. Yes it was too soon for me, but it worked. I loved that Mackenzie took his time to figure out the how's and why's.

Can't wait to see more of these two.
Profile Image for Izengabe.
263 reviews
June 25, 2017
Buenooooo, no esperaba que me gustara tanto!
Y es que tiene dos ingredientes que no me gustan nada, por un lado el millonario prendado y entregado y por otra (horror de los horrores) el insta-love.
Por lo general esto último es suficiente para que se me baje todo a los pies, pero qué queréis que os diga, no sé si ha sido por Mackenzie, que es adorable y compensa el WTF que es el personaje de Laurie, o por las escenas de sexo que son *iconos de fuego y volcanes-Elsa*, pero lo he disfrutado un montón.

Profile Image for Maria.
672 reviews37 followers
August 17, 2017
This was an easy, relatively low angst romance reminiscent of Harlequin. It delivered on the formula.

One odd thing. Laurie proclaimed his feelings fairly early on which didn't fit the dynamic at the moment. It was pretty far out there.

Mackenzie couldn't figure out his feelings or desires. The constant denial was beginning to get on my nerves. This in the midst of some very erotic sex scenes. He had no trouble identifying then!

These two manage to work things out and it's done in true romantic style. I loved that. Brooding eccentric loner meets young teacher. They both learn to love. Sound familiar? It should. 😉

Recommended at 4 stars. I'm hoping for another book.

Profile Image for Katrina Passick Lumsden.
1,780 reviews12.8k followers
October 24, 2017

Just kind of all around bad writing. A lot of nonsensical prose like, "she was reading a newspaper - do people even read those anymore?" Or when Mackenzie is talking about his new job as a teaching assistant for a 3 and 4s class (preschool) and mentions that, since he's new, none of the students know him. I'm fairly certain none of the students know any of the teachers since, you know, it's their first day of school ever. Stuff like that irritates me because it showcases a general lack of attention paid by the author, not only to their writing, but to the world in general.
Profile Image for Tamika♥RBF MOOD♥.
1,224 reviews141 followers
May 22, 2017
I had mixed feelings for this throughout my reading journey. I mean it gave me the FSOG vibes at times. Sure that made me want to gag really hard. Other times, it was a fast paced insta-love story. I mean Mackenzie is a little over the place the entire story. Laurie is kinda boring.

Let me explain, we don't get to see much of Laurie's eccentricities. He's suppose to be this broody billionaire, but besides the billionaire. He does not do much. I wanted to see his quirks or a little of his past. Yeah he's closed off at times, and a down right asshole but other then that I don't take much from him.

Mackenzie had so much going on with him, I don't think he knew anything at all. He's about to graduate college, his future career, his eviction, his family situation. Why not just throw his sexuality on top of it? From what I've read his sexuality never came into play. I didn't really see the attraction between the two, but I did like what I saw by the end of the story.

It had its quirky parts, and even by the end I enjoyed it. Some parts moved fast, and I wish it was some expansion on certain topics, but overall I enjoyed it. I am looking forward to a potential River & Taylor book. That much UST needs to be written down. I like Hogan's writing and look forward to more from her.
Profile Image for Antisocial Recluse.
2,712 reviews
July 10, 2018
3.5 rounded up because...

I was torn between parts I really liked and other parts, not so much. This review may sound really negative but it’s still a good story that I enjoyed overall. Mackenzie and Laurie/Laurent/Beau both seemed a bit incomplete as characters, Laurie more than Mackenzie, since it’s first person narrative in Mackenzie’s POV. He’s written as just too clueless, despite the explanation given for his naïveté. I couldn’t understand why he’d be so freaked out about telling anyone he was with Laurie. Questioning how to label his sexuality was understandable but I didn’t buy the issue of him teaching pre-school being his hang-up when it extended into so many other situations.

Laurie’s background came out piecemeal and I guess his upbringing was supposed to have made him lack some social and relationship skills. But the “I love you” from him came waaaay too soon. They had barely spent time together and that leads to the first couple of sex scenes that I wasn’t entirely comfortable with. There was nothing kinky and there was consent but I felt as if it was uniformed consent. Mackenzie is a virgin, there’s no actual discussion between them and Laurie has him bottoming right away. Maybe that’s just me. However, the relationship and romantic development was engaging and I did get enough feels from the characters, if not as much as I’d have liked. I liked the earlier books I’ve read by the author, so I’m sure I’ll be reading the sequels I expect to come from this.
Profile Image for Jane aka Coughy019.
284 reviews18 followers
July 22, 2023
Funny, cute, loved how Laurie was quickly in love/committed/upfront with Mackenzie about his feelings. A keeper. Hope Taylor and River get a story!

ETA - July 17 2018 - I have now read this 3 times since April 2018. I'm pretty sure there was a 4th time too that I just didn't note on gr. This is such a yummy feel good read. I keep rereading books on my keeper shelf since they are a sure hit with me. Time well spent.

ETA - July 21 2024 - reread. Adding a more detailed review.

Tropes: rich/poor, age gap, forced proximity, hurt/comfort, found family
Feels: 5/5
Steam*: 5/5
Kinks: marking
Angst: low
HEA: yes
Pairing: MM
Triggers/potential icks/content themes: dead parents, not so great guardians

Mackenzie is 23, about to graduate with his teaching credentials. His mom left when he was a baby. Dad died when he was 15 or 16, so his brother River took care of him so he wouldn't go to foster care. His brother left as soon as he was old enough to care for himself to pursue his wanderlust photographer dreams. He is poor as can be and has invested all his effort into his schooling. He's a virgin. He's evicted from his rental because the building's getting teared down for gentrification, this happens a few weeks before his graduation. All the other options are out of his price range or rodent infested.

Laurie is about 10 years older. He's an antisocial genius and works as a mobile app developer at the same place Mackenzie's friend Taylor works at. He's super rich and an orphan. His parents died when he was a kid and he was raised by his crappy uncle. He's horrible at cleaning, forgets to eat, doesn't know how to people. After a couple interactions, Laurie offers Mackenzie a place to stay, in his huge house. Mackenzie can just contribute by cleaning and cooking.

Mackenzie is kind. So easy to make blush. Laurie quickly falls for him. And he very quickly tells Mackenzie that he loves him, and he tells him often. They are there for each other a lot and tension/awareness is there. Laurie starts offering up orgasms and getting all over Mackenzie, not expecting anything in return but enjoying the heck out of marking him and having him. Mackenzie is confused about his sexuality, never having really been arsed to feel anything for anyone before, but he's attracted to Laurie for sure and possessive over him. Conflict comes when Taylor and Mackenzie's brother start pressing for Mackenzie to move out and Mackenzie needs to decide how in this he is.

I adore this book. It's been a keeper for many years. I've read it so many times. It's a feel-good story. There's funny moments, there's a ton of passion and I just love how open Laurie is about his feelings, Mackenzie has all the power at the beginning. And Mackenzie is just a kind man who has been through a lot and is good to Laurie. The writing is so casually conveying so much. Little zings of humour, awkwardness, heat.

Some notable moments:

"“It’s…impressive. The artwork is…unusual.” He let out a belting laugh I hadn’t been expecting, so I jumped, but then the rich baritone of it made my toes curl. It was an odd reaction, as I wasn’t usually affected by such things. “Unusual is a kind way of putting it. The artwork came with the house, along with much of the furniture. I just haven’t gotten around to redecorating.” “Oh, that’s…” A relief. “How long have you lived here, then?” Beaudry turned back to his computer and began typing furiously. “About five years,”"

"He leaned in. “I don’t want anyone else to touch you. I don’t want you going home with anyone else. I’ve decided I’m in love with you.”"

"“What the hell kind of name is River?” “Excuse me? What is wrong with you? Where the fuck do you get off talking about my brother like that?” His eyebrows reached for his hairline, and his mouth fell open. “Brother?” “Yes, brother. Who did you think it was?” He looked down at his hands and his high cheekbones stained pink. “You were jealous again, weren’t you?!”"

This sex scene, omg. "He pushed back in with more force, obviously deciding I’d had enough time to adjust. Apparently he was right because the burn began to fade into a delicious fullness and stretch that was like nothing I’d ever experienced. His dick sawed in and out of me, stretching the limits of my body and stringing me out until I was a howling mess. My face and chest were still plastered to the bed, and the sensation of my oversensitized cock dragging against the duvet was driving me batty with the need for…something."

"“What the actual fuck, Mackenzie?” “Huh? What now?” He gestured vaguely at my lower half. “How about how you look like you dipped your dick in honey and got mauled by a hungry bear.” I looked down and saw tracks of hickeys and love-bites all up and down my inner thighs, disappearing underneath the fabric of my briefs. Dear lord, I was going to have to go home and have a conversation with Laurent fucking Hoover, because I did indeed look like some kind of animal had been gnawing on me."

*FYI, I rate steam based on a combination of quality & quantity. I note kink separate from steam because I don't want to underrate steamy reads that don't have much kink."
Profile Image for Tracy~Bayou Book Junkie.
1,490 reviews44 followers
May 19, 2017

Mackenzie and Laurent/Laurie share mutual friends and during a visit to Laurie's mansion, Mackenzie mentions that he's being evicted from his apartment, because the owners have sold it and it's being demolished. Newly graduated from college and still looking for a teaching job, Mackenzie doesn't have a lot of options for apartments he can afford, that don't come with pet rodents. Laurie offers Mackenzie one of his spare rooms in exchange for some cleaning and light cooking. Mackenzie has never dated anyone, man or woman, but he knows he's attracted to Laurie, even if he doesn't want to be.

I adored this book. I really loved both Laurie and Mackenzie, although Mackenzie's denial of his feelings got old after a while. I'm torn, because I can understand him being confused, but the outright denial to even himself got to be extremely annoying and frustrating. I do agree with Mackenzie on one thing, though. Laurie said "I Love You" way too quickly. I did love that Laurie was so patient with Mackenzie, giving him the time and space he needed to come to terms with his feelings.

The story was sweet and at times laugh out loud funny. It's well-written and paced well, if a bit instalovey on Laurie's part. Mackenzie and Laurie had amazing chemistry and the sex, omg, the sex was explosive, hot and plentiful. I may need a reread just for the sex alone!! ;)

This was an enjoyable read I'd highly recommend!!

* Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. *
Profile Image for Leaundra.
1,168 reviews45 followers
June 9, 2017
I loved this one! Loved Laurie and Mackenzie together. I thought this was a sweet love story.
Profile Image for Amanda.
1,387 reviews319 followers
May 22, 2017
3.75 stars

This book is quirky, funny and oddly satisfying. I don't even mind that MacKenzie is an emotionally sensitive bloke that tends to cry and Laurent is not all that interesting despite label as eccentric. He is basically a rich workaholic who live off take out and when he finally sleep, he is dead to the world. This story isn't the least conventional, but I find it weirdly engaging and flipping through the pages in a short amount of time.

MacKenzie is a young graduate who is looking for a job as a preschool teacher. When he got evicted, he is moaning about his life and surprisingly came across an eccentric rich dude through mutual friend and got offered a free boarding in lieu of cooking and cleaning. Sounds like a deal, right?

Laurent loves to hide in his mansion and only went out sparingly. He begrudingly went out for the routine drinking session with his co-workers and that's the most socializing he ever got. When he found out MacKenzie is in the brink of homelessness, Laurent offer one of his room from the kindness of his heart. Okay, I make that up.

It didn't take long for their close proximity for Laurent to start being attracted to MacKenzie and he acted on it. Oh dear, do he act on it with a vengeance. I feel that Laurent seems all very alpha and he didn't even give much chance for MacKenzie to back out. On MacKenzie's part, he didn't say no, but he didn't actually agree to anything either. I find that Laurent is just a tad pushy in that regards.

MacKenzie is totally naive when it comes to anything sexual and he didn't even date much. He haven't even wrap his head around about being gay and then they are already engaging in anal. Seriously? Give the poor guy some breathing room.

But as the story progress, they seems to settle in a routine of 'friends with benefits'? There seems to be a lot of hanky panky going on without their friends knowledge. MacKenzie is in a strong denial mode and wouldn't even want to admit being gay, but he is happily taking up a dick in his ass. Contradict much? Laurent is in an insta-love mode, blurting 'I love you' so early on and he seems constantly vulnerable when people turned judgmental eyes on him. However, the author did took time to address each of the issue that was presented, and I find it quite satisfying seeing that the heroes manage to work through their issue.

Anyway, despite it sounds really messy and all, there isn't a lot of angst. They are actually great to each other, both caring and wanting to protect each other and I find their jealousy sorta endearing to watch. Told entirely in MacKenzie's POV, it came with much humor and I find myself really enjoying this romantic comedy.
Profile Image for Claude.
250 reviews22 followers
July 24, 2017
A really simple GFY. This book was sweet but i didn't really feel it 😬. An instalove and some things were so rushed...but it's good 😊. Mack is really touching man!:)
Profile Image for Joyfully Jay.
7,682 reviews443 followers
June 14, 2017
A Joyfully Jay review.

3.5 stars

I’ll admit, I am a big fan of the eccentric recluse trope. It appeals to me in the same way that the Beauty and the Beast trope does; I like the idea that someone who seems beyond love or companionship finds someone who can draw him out and really see him for the prize that he is. So I was really intrigued by this story and the set up here seemed right up my alley. But unfortunately, the plot didn’t quite hit the high points of this trope for me as Laurie isn’t all that reclusive or eccentric (he is uber-wealthy, though that is basically a non-factor in the story as his money is barely even mentioned other than he lives in a huge house). But the biggest problem for me is that I strongly disliked both this guys from the beginning, and even as things evened out, it was just too much to overcome for me.

So let me start with the positive and that is the set up here is interesting and I liked the kind of opposites attract vibe. I also liked seeing Mackenzie exploring a bit of his sexuality after having sort of buried down all interest in romantic or physical attraction for so many years. I enjoyed his relationship with his best friend and seeing his excitement for teaching young kids. I also think Hogan’s writing is generally smooth and well done. I didn’t love this story, but I think she is a good writer and I would be willing to try another book by the author as she seems to have an nice style.

Ok, so like I said, the characters here really didn’t work for me from the start, and this made it hard to ever get engaged in the book in general, or their romance in particular. As I said, I love the eccentric billionaire trope, but Laurie is less adorably quirky and weird, and more inappropriate and off putting in much of his behavior. When Mackenzie first arrives to move in, he goes in to wake a sleeping Laurie (more on that later) who reacts by grabbing Mackenzie, throwing him face down on the bed, dragging his arms over his head and holding him down, and then groping Mackenzie, saying “Is this what you need?” Laurie’s excuse is then “I get weird when I’m woken up after a marathon work session.” So weird like rapey? Because that is not ok. This kind of stuff continues throughout the book (including another time Mackenzie wakes Laurie up and he responds similarly). Mackenzie clearly has no idea what he wants in terms of this relationship and yet Laurie is a frequent sexual aggressor. When Mackenzie complains to him about visible hickeys he is leaving (Mackenzie is a preschool teacher remember), Laurie grabs him and pulls down his shorts to see and says “Looks like they’re fading. I’ll have to make some new ones.” This is all presented as just fine, which to me, it wasn’t at all. Mackenzie is confused and trying to understand his sexuality, so he just accepts this behavior with curiosity as he decides how he feels about Laurie, rather than running fast.

Read Jay’s review in its entirety here.
Profile Image for Suzy .
748 reviews1 follower
February 7, 2019
Loved Laurie and Mackenzie so much.

Highly recommended <3
Profile Image for Mercedes.
1,100 reviews92 followers
June 3, 2017
Ok, so it's like this. If you like tropey stories you will enjoy this book. If you like the creepy MC who declares his insta love out of nowhere. If you like the dubious consent sex or the weepy, blushing, bite his lip often MC, you will enjoy this book.

If you are just moving into the MM romance and come from mostly reading MF romance books you will probably feel right at home because Mackenzie is mostly a chick with a dick. Coincidence that his name is unisex? I think not. I think this is a marketing ploy to make you newbie MM readers feel comfortable.

So newbie MM readers, welcome to the niche. I hope you will soon move on to better gay romance stories but for now hope you enjoy this.
Profile Image for AussieMum.
1,360 reviews42 followers
June 25, 2017
4.5 stars. This was great.

Yep. Laurie comes off as a bit bonkers, but he's honestly become one of my top 5 most awesome MC ever (and we don't even get his POV). He's almost a hermit, a bit off, a bit rude and very forward, but he's also honest and doesn't lie. I absolutely freakIng love him. Kudos to JK Hogan for creating such an original character.

Mackenzie is younger and he's cute and sweet. He is just perfect to bring Laurie out into the world but he was also a little frustrating. This would have been a 5 star book for me if we didn't have him so conflicted about his sexuality for so long. His repetitive thoughts were a bit much after a while when you only get his POV.

There were lots of great moments here. Lots of getting to know each other. There's almost Insta-love from Laurie, but once you get to know and understand him it's not so odd, it's actually kind of wonderful.

I loved these two men together, or not together, as it were. They build a solid friendship and an understanding between each other that they've been missing. It was really lovely.
Profile Image for Paula´s  Brief Review.
1,011 reviews17 followers
June 15, 2021
La primera mitad me gustó bastante pero conforme iba avanzando fui perdiendo interés hasta el punto de saltarme párrafos al final para acabar de una vez.
La historia es bonita, sin traumas ni angustias, pero no conseguí conectar con Laurent por ello la historia de amor no me emocionó, eso sí, las escenas sexuales muy bien narradas (aunque en mis prisas por acabar reconozco que estas también me las acabé saltando).
Profile Image for Yomi Mi Ri.
1,049 reviews1 follower
June 3, 2019
Me ha gustado mucho por la pareja que hacen los personajes, tan diferentes pero a la vez se complementan muy bien, aunque en algunos aspectos sí que se parecen, ambos son huérfanos y no son tan cercanos como les gustaría a la familia que les queda; el cómo evoluciona la relación precisamente por cómo son ellos. La pluma también es agradable, no se da al drama ni da vueltas innecesarias.
Profile Image for **Kαчcєє**.
634 reviews17 followers
November 15, 2020
4 stars

Opposites attract. Boy, do they!

Mackenzie doesn't have much support, and his only family is his brother who is in another country. He's about to be homeless. With only a few weeks left of college, he needs to figure out something and fast.

Laurent doesn't have much support. Emotionally, he's as adrift as Mackenzie. He puts all his effort and time into his work. Living in a huge mansion and having loads of money does little to put a smile on Laurent's face.

After an incidental meeting through Mackenzie's best friend Taylor, Laurent abruptly offers Mackenzie a suite in his huge house. From that point, you know Laurent is attracted to Mackenzie, because Laurent doesn't really seem the type to want to be around others. Mackenzie, of course, is too inexperienced to really know what's going on at this point.

From there, readers see the attraction building: Laurent the more aggressive one in the beginning.
I wasn't too sure about Laurent's actions towards Mackenzie at first. Mackenzie is a bit naive and has never considered the thought of being gay. Or really considered relationships in general. So, Laurent seems to be too aggressive at times. After a bit I realized it wasn't because of nefarious intentions; Laurent doesn't have the best social skills and fails to read Mackenzie's uneasiness. They both are, in their own way, trying to figure out their own feelings and each other. It was awkward at times, sexy at others.

After the initial failed attempts at getting together, I really felt the pull of these two. I hurt for both of their upbringings. Despite their complete differences finances and age, they were so alike. I cheered them on, drooled at the hot sex, and got frustrated with some misunderstandings and angst. But that was resolved fairly quickly.

I really liked this book and recommend it to others who love age gaps, opposites attract, relationship building, and hurt/comfort.
Profile Image for Rennie.
298 reviews8 followers
May 29, 2017
3.5 stars. Well, this was adorable, even with the Insta-love.
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