Title: His Convenient Husband
Author: Robin Covington
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication Date: October 9, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 3.5 Stars
NFL football player Isaiah Blackwell lost his husband three years ago and is raising their teen son alone. He lives his life as quietly as his job allows, playing ball to support his family but trying not to draw unwanted attention. His quiet life is shaken up when a mutual friend introduces him to Victor, a visiting principal ballet dancer who is everything Isaiah is not.
Brash, loud, and gender fluid Victor Aleksandrov has applied for political asylum to avoid returning to Russia, where gay men are targeted and persecuted. He’s been outspoken about gay rights in his home country, and if he doesn’t get asylum, going back to Russia is a death sentence.
Their one-night stand turns into a tentative friendship, a relationship they both agree is temporary… until Victor’s denied asylum. Isaiah can’t offer Victor a happily ever after, but he can propose something that’ll keep Victor in the US and safe… marriage He just doesn’t expect his new husband to dance away with his heart.
♦ Personal Thought ♦
His Convenient Husband very much ticks the Harlequin romance feeling for me. Marriage of convenience to avoid deportation is a plot that we’ve read – perhaps – hundreds of times before. What differs is the author’s way of weaving the tale and Robin Covington‘s hits the spot with the likable characters and not overly drama in this book.
Relayed alternately from Victor and Isaiah’s POVs that allow readers into their thought and feeling, this book touched on LGBTQ current issues; such as concentration camp in Chechnya, gender-fluid, the label of queer – whether or not one could passes as straight in society – etcetera without being preachy. It’s a heartwarming story about second chance and new beginnings with not a little help from (nosy but well-meaning) friends and family.
I like the portrayal of characters, a pair of opposites personalities from different background, each with chips on their shoulders. The chemistry between the men is of the chart and rather instant. But their refrains – not letting their actions being led by their nether regions – are more than compensate for the swift start of their relationship. The heat-meter is quite tall, though I say the steamy scenes are strategically spread across twenty-two plus chapters.
Enriching the story are interesting supporting characters; Evan, the couple’s friends and non friends. Even the narration about Isaiah’s late spouse do not irritate me (tbh, I find it easier to get riled by Isaiah’s vapid act or treatment of Victor). I have a hunch Isaiah’s two best friends would tell their own stories (in their own books) in the foreseeable future.
Overall the plot in His Convenient Husband is rather predictable, just like the expected grand gesture nearing the end. But I take it in place for the much needed groveling, considering the number of times Isaiah’s yo-yoing with Victor’s heart. This is the second Robin Covington‘s MM book that I read and her writing style’s clicked with me. In fact, I think I’m gonna look up Playing the Part, the book starring Isaiah’s cousin from a few years back.
Advanced copy of this book is kindly provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.