Friday, November 30, 2018

The Husband Gambit by L.A. Witt Blog Tour

Marry me for 1 year. Payment: $1.2 million.

Hayden Somerset is convinced the ad is a joke, but he responds anyway because, hello, $1.2 million. He’s broke, living in a tiny apartment with two roommates, and exhausted from praying his ancient car survives just one more week. His skyrocketing rent and crushing student loans aren’t helping either. At this point, there isn’t much Hayden wouldn’t do for that kind of cash.

The ad isn’t a joke. Jesse Ambrose is absolutely serious. His father, the charismatic patriarch of a powerful Hollywood dynasty, has his eye on politics, and he’s counting on California’s liberals and progressives to elect him. But Jesse knows what his father believes when cameras and voters aren’t around. As the election looms, he’ll do anything to force the man’s hand and show the public who Isaac Ambrose really is.

Anything, including marrying a stranger so his father will make good on his promise to disown Jesse if he ever takes a husband.

Now he just has to wait for his father to take the bait… and try not to accidentally fall in love with his fake husband.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
M/M Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

Hayden is broke. He is educated, but broke. When he sees an ad for a husband, it's just kind of ho-hum. But when he sees what the potential husband is willing to pay him for a year, that piques his interest. When he answers the ad, he never expects to meet someone handsome, articulate, and the son of a potential threat to the very way of life that Hayden lives.

Jesse is through with living a lie. He wants to make sure that everyone is aware that his family is two-faced and willing to do whatever they can to earn votes and sympathy. With as desperate as he has become, his ad will serve one big purpose... expose his dad and stick it to him in the same breath. Jesse is not expecting to have anyone answer, but when Hayden's email comes through and they agree to meet, Jesse is immediately taken with how attractive and well-spoken Hayden is.

This becomes of story of friendship, love, acceptance, and ultimately, betrayal too. Jesse is able to see how his siblings and himself have been manipulated for years. But he also gains a family too. Hayden is able to see how fortunate he's been in family acceptance, perhaps fix a relationship that was broken. and he loves them even more when they embrace Jesse. I really enjoyed this story and would love to read more about his "good" siblings.

I loved this book. It’s the story of Jesse, the scion of a wealthy family who wants to prevent his father from entering politics, and Hayden, a broke actor with two degrees and a minimum wage job. Two sides of LA collide when Hayden accepts Jesse’s money and becomes his husband for a year.

Old school Hollywood glamour meets #metoo morality when Jesse wages a secret war against his powerful father. Jesse’s father is more than a little bit Harvey Weinstein and I thoroughly enjoyed the insider view of a corrupt and twisted Hollywood dynasty. The Ambrose family drama is highly entertaining, and I love that it is a bit of a departure from L.A. Witt’s usual writing.

Hayden’s millennial money and job struggles are captured beautifully, and I really admire the way the author makes Hayden’s voice convincing. I actually had to double check the author at one point because I felt like I was reading something by Quinn Anderson or Roan Parrish. I love Hayden as a perpetual student – an adult still living on minimum wage and exhausted by his daily struggles.

This story works because of the perfect chemistry between Jesse and Hayden. There’s an odd sort of balance between these two. Jesse offers Hayden his first chance at financial security and Hayden prepares Jesse for the realities of life without a trust fund. I love Jesse and Hayden as a couple – and I love them even when they're only pretending to be a couple. As far as heat, there are a couple of crazy hot scenes, but the focus in this story is the relationship, not the sex.

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
This book takes all of the elements of a high dysfunctional family and puts them on a grand display.

Jesse's family is toxic, not only for him as the "gay" son but also to his brothers and sisters. The father, Isaac, is as morally corrupt as they come, and his mother is not much better. It’s hard to tell if she believes the rhetoric her husband is spouting or is just conforming to keep herself in his good graces.

Jesse believes that the only way to stop his father from furthering his political agenda is to expose his true self to the voters. Isaac is contemplating a run for public office and the face he shows the world is one of kindness and inclusion when in reality it’s anything but.

Hayden is a hardworking man whose family has its own brand of dysfunction – nothing on the level of Jesse's family, but issues all the same. His twin brother, Brian, was a successful figure skater until a leg injury stopped his career and any endorsement deals that were on the table. As the child in the shadows, Hayden has felt at times to be on the outside looking in. His brother got all the attention and he got the crumbs that were left. He knows his parents didn't intend for him to feel this way, but it happened.

Now, though, Hayden has a chance for a better life and if it means spending a year married to Jesse, so be it. He doesn't want anyone in office that will stomp on the few rights the LGBT community has gained in the past few years.

Living together, Jesse and Hayden, find a genuine friendship, so much so, that it progresses to the next level. Romance, friendship, and love. That's what life is truly about.

I just loved this book. Hayden and Jesse were so good together. You could feel the chemistry between them. Jesse hit the jackpot when Hayden answered his ad. Heck Hayden hit the jackpot and so did his roommates. This book had drama, love, passion, and one big jerk of a father. It sickens me to think parents are still like this, but I know they are and at times worse. Karma came in this book. Jesse and Hayden are so perfect together and once they hit the sheets, it heats up like crazy. Loved the epilogue and will add this to the re-read pile.

This book provides an unusual reason for a fake marriage. I did find an irony in Jesse wanting to live openly married to a man, yet wanting to do it via a fake marriage – but meeting his family did mean that it made sense.

Luckily for him, the person who answered his advert, Hayden, is a good guy, with a close knit family and friendship group, so Jesse doesn't just gain a husband. Inevitably as the story progresses, so does the realisation that this is more than just a mutually beneficial arrangement. It takes a while for them to act on their interest, and there are actions which seem a little out of character, but overall it works.

If you like the fake marriage genre, then this is an interesting take on it.

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn't lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don't tell Lauren. And definitely don't tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut...

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Husband Gambit by L.A. Witt to read and review for this tour.

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