Title: Gambling Men: The Novel
Author: Amy Lane
Length: 66,550 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 5 – Off the Charts!
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often
Keywords/Tags: Author Backlist Project, Gambling/Poker, Friends to Lovers, Businessmen
Rating: LOVE it!
Quent Jackson has followed Jason Spade’s every move in business and in poker since their first day as college freshmen. Eight years later, when Jace finally decides Quent is the one man he can’t live without, he sees no reason for that to change.
But as much as Jace believes that poker is life, no one gave Quent the same playbook. After their first passionate night, the real game of love and trust begins, and Jace has been playing alone too long to make teaching the rules easy. Jace only speaks two languages: one of them is sex, and the other one is poker. Between the two, he needs to find a way to convince himself to take a chance on love—and Quent to take a chance on him. It’s a lucky thing they’re good at reading the odds, because they’re playing for keeps, and this is one high-stakes relationship that’s definitely worth the gamble.
Oh Amy! You slay me!! How do you do it? Seriously! Every book I read I think, this is my new favorite couple! And then I think… but what about all the other ones I love, they’re still great! I guess I’ll just have to find room in my heart to love them all, and move over because Quent and Jace have just climbed to the top of the (very sexy) pile.
Quentin and Jase have been best friends ever since their days in college. It has now been eight years (four in school, and four since) and they’re still best friends, yet now also business partners. Quent is devoted to Jase and Jase is a unique man who for all his surly temper and difficulty defining life in non-poker terms, feels very deeply. Their friendship is rock solid, a true bromance. They both are “straight” — well, Quent is straight only because there’s no point who he dates and sleeps with because Jase is all he needs and Jase well, no one really knows anything about him until he lays his cards on the table. They’re both obsessed with poker, but well, Quents obsession is with Jase and Jase’s obsession is really just his way of defining the world around him, which is the way one of the uncles who raised him taught him. This is their adventure into turning their friendship into a real relationship.
I have to say that I didn’t quite expect this story. I don’t know why but the thought of poker made me think this was some sort of underworld gambling ring story and what I found was the epitome of everything I love about Amy’s writing. The story is really only about these guys, but poker is their language — a deadly serious language, sure. But it isn’t a business or career path, it is the central role in how Jase relates to the world and as such how he relates to Quent. I loved both of these guys. They came through for me faster than most characters do and even though it took a while to get to know them, just as in any story, I had connected to them from the first page. Partly this is the way the story is told, heavy on voice and narration, and partly it is the plot. Their history together is shown throughout the story in recollections and memories (not flashbacks), so the story starts right at the catalyst in the transition of their relationship. That drew me immediately.
I am so happy that 1) I got to meet Amy at GRL; 2) I bought this book in paperback at GRL; and 3) that I decided to start reading Amy’s books (one a week folks!). But… I am disappointed that I was talking to Amy about Clear Water (ohhh Whiskey!) and I could have been talking about these guys! Jeez, what was I thinking? I can’t recommend this book enough, especially to those of you who like Amy’s writing but aren’t so up on the angst. I seriously, felt like this books was written for me. I loved it that much. Thank god I can read it again whenever I want!
Sure, this is a fanboy review. I know it. But I deserve one of those every now and then and this one deserves getting one. So, go on now, if you haven’t read it, read it now!