I’m Not In Love (Don’t Let Go #1) by Mia Kerick
ABOUT THE BOOK
I’m not in love…
I’m not in love…
I will never let myself fall in love with Tristan Wilder.
And maybe if I tell myself this a thousand times, I’ll believe it.
Having lost his parents to a tragic accident when he was nine-years old, wealthy hotel heir Remi (Julian Remington III) refuses to form intimate emotional bonds, fearing a repeat of the crushing loss that destroyed his childhood. This means no deep friendships, no heartfelt family ties, and God forbid should he ever fall in love… Well, it’s safe to say that will never happen.
However, as a senior at the top art college in Garner City—his last year of freedom before he’s required to take his place at the top of the Remington family empire—Remi freely explores sexual intimacy with “distractingly” beautiful men. And he does so with great enthusiasm—how better to distract himself from the temptation to experience tender human connection?
Remi’s plans for emotional isolation are shook up when he meets Tristan Wilder, a nude model for his life drawing class. Stunningly beautiful from head to toe—and inside his heart, as well—Tristan struggles to scrape together enough money to support his twin sister, Tara, and her three young children. Like Remi, “Uncle Tris” is unwilling to enter a romantic relationship—his responsibility to his family is all-consuming. As the men take a chance on casual friendship, Remi comes to admire Tristan’s devotion to his family. And with Remi’s surprisingly doting attention to Tara’s children, he works his way into Tristan’s heart.
Tristan is finally all in, but can commitment phobic Remi lower his walls enough to allow Tristan—and the entire Wilder family—into his heart?
I’m a big fan of Mia Kerick who is a whiz at developing troubled characters who find common ground and fall in love unexpectedly (see my reviews for The Scarecrow & George C, and All Boy). I’m Not In Love is the first book in the Don’t Let Go series and it epitomizes the hurt/comfort genre, meaning it “involves the physical pain or emotional distress of one character, who is cared for by another character”.
Julian (Remi) Remington III is an heir to a hotel chain and “indulges in meaningful art and meaningless sex”. Spying his next mark in his live drawing class, he starts planning his next seduction but the joke is on him. The beautiful man with dazzling eyes and devotion to his family has penetrated Remi’s defenses.
Tristan Wilder is a nude model who earns money to support his unemployed twin sister and his niece and nephews. His professionalism is beyond reproach as he spots the hot artist giving him the once over. He doesn’t have time for a relationship. He needs to work and pay the bills, his artist is hiding a lot of hurt, and Tristan doesn’t do well with unstable impulses, so what makes this man so different?
I love the rich man/poor man trope as well as watching two opposites attract. These two beautiful men couldn’t be more different. Remi comes from money. Tristan lives paycheck to paycheck. Remi is cocky and immature. Tristan is controlled and responsible. Tristan and his family bring out the humanity in Remi as he is introduced to a functioning family as opposed to his cold and unloving upbringing by his controlling grandmother and hen-pecked grandfather. Remi’s tragic loss of his parents creates his fear of loss hence his one-night stands and lack of relationships. Tristan is so dedicated to his sister and niece and nephews and I admire his work ethic. It is eye-opening how nude modeling can take its toll on your muscles and strength especially considering how many gigs Tristan poses in a day. Tristan’s past with his mother is tenuous at best knowing he cannot depend on her sticking around so his doubts about Remi are valid considering Remi can’t make up his mind about them. There are so many emotional scenes in this book that ring true and I love how Tristan and Remi work out their differences to become a loving family.
Tristan’s family is adorable as they all stick together. It’s no wonder Remi falls for all of them.
I highly recommend this emotional and captivating story filled with loveable characters.
Thank you to Ms. Kerick for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children–all named after saints–and five nonpedigreed cats–all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.
Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.
My themes I always write about: Sweetness. Unconventional love, tortured/damaged heroes- only love can save them.
Mia Kerick focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young men within the boundaries of blossoming, supportive relationships. She believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. And Mia’s stories are centered around a certain theme: even heroes can be sweet. Sweet, but not completely innocent.
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