Best Man

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 26 May 2019

Member Reviews

This book was good really sweet it started off by being a fake boyfriend to a real one and coming to conclusions about your life and moving on.  Really enjoyed it.
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Jonathan is engaged to his unfaithful boyfriend marcus, he thinks sleeipng with his long time divorced friend will change things, but he does not know his friend has feelings for him. Jonathan then asks him to be his best man.
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What I liked most of this story was Frank's character. 
- in his 40's
- math teacher
- obsessed with his best friend
- divorced because discovered his husband cheating on him
- some insecurities about his physical appearance 
- hiding from his roommate "a nice guy as far as I could tell, but he felt like an intruder, a stranger who gave me a rent check".
I would have liked that the story had been told only from Frank's point of view and not from the POV of his roommate Julio too. I really hated Julio until about the 60% of the book. After that, his character evolved a lot, and he showed a growing maturity and wisdom.
My favorite scenes: 
- the dream at the beginning of the first chapter. It was sad and nostalgic. 
- the "door" scene towards the end of the book. It made my heart jump.
What I didn't like:
The last kiss described in the book is the one that happened for the wrong reasons between the wrong persons! 
I don't want to spoil the story, so I will call the characters involved in the last scenes Z, Y, X. 
"Z", a secondary character, stole a kiss from Y, a main character. Later Y will meet X, and they will confess their love for each other. But they won't exchange any kisses.
X: " [...] I love you too
Y: and your mother? [referring to something they were talking about previously]
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More LGTBQ+ than the slash fic I often read. This is a serious, often bittersweet romantic novel from the point of view of Frank, a man who has never got over a romantic attachment for a friend and Julio, who is Frank's housemate since he divorced. Poor Frank is in a rather woeful state, locking himself up in his house avoiding Julio, so he is thrown into confusion when Jonathan turns up in his life again planning a wedding to his evil boyfriend Marcus who utterly hates Frank. Julio on the other hand is busy crushing on Marcus at his yoga classes unaware that Marcus is engaged. As a favour for Frank, Julio pretends to be his boyfriend to Jonathan and Marcus.

I liked the characters in this book and the way that the plot kept me guessing, I thought that the first person narrative worked well in the way that the characters were not necessarily what Frank and Julio thought they were. They are all very human and every one of them does things that they are ashamed of (or should be ashamed of!). I loved the way that Frank and Julio grew as people. This is not an explicit book, but I didn't feel like it needed it, this is a beautifully told story.
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I really love this book! Frank is a sweet guy who was married to someone who cheated on him. Frank is love with his best friend Jonathan, who is married to Marcus, but Frank and Marcus don’t see eye to eye. Julio is a yoga instructor and Frank rents out a room to him. Frank finds out that Jonathan is engaged and Frank lies about his relationship with his roommate. I don’t want to go into detail because I might give the rest of the story away. There is angst, cheating, deception, romance, friends to lovers, and jealousy. The book is easy to read with a great flow. I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it. It’s a happy ending and truly enjoyed this book.
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Gah! This book was such a train wreck. It's nothing against the author, but I just really couldn't stand the characters. They were a mess. And the cheating to get revenge! How ridiculous. They were all cowards and jealous little bitches. Even Frank and Jonathan who were supposed to be best friends. What a friendship they had! It was just a mess and I would have put it down except for wanting to provide the honest review. This book was not what I expected and I really did not enjoy the story. :(
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Frank and Julio seem like the most unlikely of matches. Julio rents a room in Frank's house and they pretty much don't speak to one another. But a little while lie snowballs and these two are vying for the affections of two men who are engaged!

I wish that chapters were labeled by whose point of view they were in. Also, for awhile I had a hard time liking anyone enough to root for them. The last few chapters made all the difference to me. I finally got to see a more genuine connection. I would have enjoyed an epilogue, it was just getting to the happy and I wanted more of that. All in all, it was an entertaining story that was well written and easy to get into.
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I thought I knew how the book would play out based on the synopsis but the actual story was so much better than I had hoped. The characters were so well written and believably complex and messy that I kept cycling between wanting to shake, hug, and throat punch them. I went back and forth several times on who I wanted to end up together and at one point just wanted them all to be single and start fresh. At various times they were all villains and victims but in the end everyone's true colors were on display and they all got what they deserved, good or bad. I really enjoyed this book and will be looking for more from this author. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a great story and a realistic view on how complicated love and friendship can be and the lengths people will go to keep it.
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Thank you NetGalley for a copy of this book. Entertaining and an easy read I really enjoyed. I'll recommend to friends
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4 STARS

Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy!

Best Man was unexpectedly enjoyable. I spent the first half of the book thinking I would rate it three stars; it was light and endearing enough, but the characters felt oddly formal and I wasn't banking on much from the opening. But the book subverted my expectations by far and I ended up falling in love with it. I'm in a total book hangover right now, that last chapter alone left me dazed...and grinning like an idiot, pumping my fists in the air and doing a little happy dance in my bed.

So, without giving too much away, Best Man reminds me of BoJack Horseman, one of my favourite shows in the world. Well, it reminds me of BoJack minus the Hollywood stuff and the anthropomorphic animal aspect of it all. Both of them are about a group of peers in their thirties and forties who are tangled up in regrets, bad habits, and emotional trauma, and who are trying to be adults even though we all know that's an impossible job most of the time, and almost all of us are just faking it really well. Julio, Jonathan, Marcus, and Frank, were all oddly endearing, and it was falling in love with them in all their messiness and immaturity that made me really love the book.

Although I spent most of the time ranting at them as they did stupid, stupid shit and refused to just communicate. Let me be clear. These characters? They're like your drunk friend at a party after a bad breakup. You know she'll get back together with her boyfriend in a 3-5 business days, and you're trying to stop her from fucking every random old man at the bar out of jealousy and emotional spite so she won't regret it in the morning. You're playing fairy godmother. But there is something delicious about watching other people act like as big of, if not more of, a wreck than you are.

That said, at the end of it I felt sympathy for all of them, despite Jonathon and Marcus stewing in self-pity and not breaking out of a toxic cycle. I genuinely want another book following them, or at least Jonathon. I'd love for this to become a series, because it's ripe with storytelling opportunities. I want like four or five books, maybe even six, of just Frank and Julio and everyone around them being friends with complicated morally grey relationships, maturing and growing up. I mostly just want to watch their lives develop.

Again, this reminded me of BoJack. I think it would make a great season of TV especially as a Netflix special. And I'm pretty sure it's self-pubbed, too. Netflix or some other company should start investing in self-published books. I'd love a streaming service like Netflix but they produce shows and miniseries based off of self-published books. I think that gimmick would draw in a lot of people, especially the YouTube reaction crowd.

And then there's the cute factor, because damn, is it cute. I don't want to spoil too much, but god, I ship it. I ship it a million times over. The main romance doesn't come into play until late in the game, but before it blossoms you get to see Frank and his endgame really bond and develop into friends and teammates who respect each other BEFORE they turn romantic, it makes you much more invested because you cared about them already, so the romance does feel like it ups the stakes and increases the risk.

I found myself wishing for a few more chapters tacked on the end that were just cute fluff; I wanted to see the endgame couple move in to their new apartment together and adopt some cats and do cute couple stuff, you know?

Anyway, I'll be investing in a paperback of this as soon as possible, because I need it. Definitely recommend!
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Really enjoyed this book.
Would definitely recommend to friends and family.
Read it in one sitting
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Please note: This book was provided to me by the publisher through Netgalley to give an honest review. I never go into a lot of detail in my reviews because why would you read the book if I told you everything that happens with my personal bias that you may or may not agree with if you’d have read it yourself?

When I was looking for a book to review a week or so ago this one caught my eye but I decided to review another one first. And so, when I was finished with the other, I went back to this one. In the meantime, I’d pretty much forgotten the entire synopsis. Which is good. I’ve actually read many books without reading what it’s even about. It’s too easy to anticipate something or other happening from just the short description.

In the case of Best Man, it worked out really well for me. I swear to you I was baffled until near the end of who would end up with who. I mean, the author did the dual main characters as many do when they want to show both sides of the story. But it really threw me for a loop. Frank and Julio were nothing alike. Julio and Marcus seemed like a much better fit. Frank and Jonathan seemed almost fated to be together. Jonathan and Marcus were terrible together. What would happen?!

As I said above there were four main characters. Two points of view. At the beginning you could tell how much pain Frank was in. The poor guy was shattered and a shadow of his former self going through life and his routine as if on autopilot. His only hope for a happy future was Jonathan whom he’d been in love with for over 20 years.

Julio was Frank’s eccentric roommate. Kind of flighty. He based almost every decision on what his mentors would do or say but skewed their supposed responses to what he personally wanted. He had an interesting backstory and once I got to see the deeper side of him I grew very fond of him rooting for him to have a better life.

And then we had Marcus and Jonathan. The very Jonathan that Frank was in love with. They were engaged to be married and Jonathan asked Frank to be his best man. Julio, who was posing as Frank’s boyfriend, and unknowing of the history between the three, pushed him into the role. I hated Marcus from the very first. Perhaps because of Frank’s feelings about him. I did feel a tiny slice of compassion for him near the end but not much.

Jonathan seemed like this weak man who was overpowered by his dominant lover. He even let Marcus sleep around. Total pushover who would be so much better off with Frank. Julio had stars in his eyes. In love with the idea of an exciting life that he was sure he wanted. Marcus could give him that life. I swear to you I thought that the story was wrapped up tidily and then looked and I was only a little over halfway through!

I expected this to be predictable. Just one of those fluff books you read with a happy ending that makes you sigh and smile. It wasn’t predictable. And it was an emotional mess. I cried a lot reading it and I think my only complaint would be that there was no comic relief to break the tension. I always say the best books make you laugh and cry. Despite this shortcoming, I did read the entire book in one day. I kept forgetting to look and see how far I was in the book and thought surely this is close to the end!

The ending was not what I’d expected. It was so much more. Although, I’d have liked there to be an epilogue giving us some sort of closure on the way things went at some point in the future. It was kind of a “let’s do this” and ride into the sunset type ending. Sweet but left me feeling cheated in the end. If this were a series, then I would know there would be some kind of update in the next book on how our final couples did after that ride into the sunset.

All-in-all it was a great book. I can’t think of one spelling or grammatical error. It had a good pace to it even if I did keep thinking it was nearing the end. I enjoyed Chris Delyani’s writing style and would be happy to read more of his works in the future. From his Goodread’s profile it doesn’t look like he’s written much in the past with 4 years between his first and second books and a whopping seven before this will release.
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I struggled with this book a little in the beginning, both pacing wise and with the story. Frank is still recovering from his divorce from Ethan (who left him for another man) however he is in a position where he wants his best friend… who is taken. Albeit by a slimy, conniving fellow I really didn’t like from the beginning, but I digress. I felt that would be in conflict with a man whose entire marriage imploded because of a wandering eye.

This definitely improves as the tangled webs we weave when we lie (the inciting lie would be Frank telling his BFF Jonathan that he has someone, when the closest he had was the yoga teaching tenant Julio… who then becomes his fake boyfriend). Now here everything picked up and I was incredibly drawn to read because Jonathan’s fiancee and Julio manage to be involved in this twisted… well I can’t even say love triangle because it is kind of more of a love square.

There are enough twists and turns that I am going to stay mum on the exact details, but I will just say that you need to stick with it through the first 20% or so of the story where there is a lot of backstory. Once this story picks up, IT PICKS UP.

While the cover kind of made me feel this would be lighthearted, possibly bordering on romcom, the story itself is not. Infidelity is an oft mentioned topic and may not be for all readers. If you can manage that, you’ll find a sweet story at the heart.

And all I can say is… there are two people who get their just deserts and I simply could not be more happy for them.
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I started off really enjoying Best Man. Frank's voice was lyrical and very easy to immerse myself in, and I loved the description of his world, his relationships, and the people in his life. The author very quickly set the tone that drew me in and made me want to get to know this lonely middle-aged guy who finds himself in an awkward situation with his best friend, his best friend's fiance, and his roommate. I really felt for Frank. However, while I loved the characters and was compelled to know how the story ended, the pacing really began to slip after the first few chapters and became quite expository, with lots of time jumps that took me out of the story and made me feel disconnected from the characters and their feelings/motivations. It felt rather rushed and there didn't seem to be enough build-up to introducing the main romance storyline, kind of like the lead got buried somewhere. While I did enjoy the ending, I wanted more of that immersive character writing from the beginning, and more of a feeling like the characters were advancing the plot, rather than just telling us a series of events taking place.
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so this book was slow going at first and all the characters in this book had issues and there was so much drama and all of a sudden I saw myself unable to put it down. I just had to know how it ended because everytime I thought I knew what was going to happen, I was wrong. The two main characters took forever to see what was right in front of them all along and other people seemed to keep standing in the way. Frank was a good guy but he was always falling for the wrong person it seems and he was still recovering from a bad divorce that ended due to infidelity. He started having hope when his bestfriend came back into his life asking to see him more and he thought maybe it was a sign. As it turns out Jonathan just wanted to invite him to be his bestman at his wedding. Marcus was a terrible person that seemd to always get what he wanted and he seemed to always want what Frank wanted and he already had Jonathan but ofcourse that wasnt enough. Frank accidently mentioned he had a boyfriend who happened to be his roommate so eventually he convinced Julio to be his fake boyfriend. I could say after pretending to be boyfriends, the two of them got together pretty quickly and fell in love but that wasn't how things happened. Julio knew Marcus from a yoga class he taught and only agreed to the arrangement with Frank so he could be around marcus more and marcus was only pining after  Julio because he thought he belong to Frank.Marcus hated Frank due to the friendship he shared with Jonathan.It was a bit of crazy ride and sometimes I got so annoyed with the characters that I wanted go throw my kindle against the wall lol. There was so much drama and it was so problematic but I could not put it down. These characters basically went in circles before realizing their mistakes. Julio knew all along that Frank was a good guy and that he deserved so much more than he been through. I guess sometimes you have to be with a terrible person before you realize you were chasing after the wrong guy all along. Also sometimes first you have to walk away from someone toxic in your life in order to see the person in order to notice ther one person you needed in your life. I couldn't stand a lot the characters in this story and I almost hated all of them until the main character redeemed himself later on and I couldn't help but feel bad for him and then I started rooting for him, hoping he'd get his happy ending.This book drove me crazy and the characters were constantly making me mad but I couldnt get enough of the story. Once I got past the slow beginning, I was fully engaged the rest of the way. So even though this book make me mad a lot, I did enjoy the story but things could have been a lot simpler if the characters weren't so stubborn and blindsided. I think  a lot of it had to due to growth and learning to move which is what both main characters needed. Julio needed to grow into a better person making better choices and habits and Frank needed to learn to move on and chasing after the past. I felt like in the end these charcters both found just what they needed even if it took them a lot mistakes and heart ache in between order to get there. Let's just say i had a love hate relationship with this one, I'm still pretty conflicted.
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I finished reading it and I was left with the HEA I craved, but overall I found the book could have been whittled down to far fewer pages and still kept the same story.
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When I read the description for this book, I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. Let me start with the basics.



Frank is recovering… sort of… from his divorce from husband, Ethan. He and Ethan were married for years and then Ethan cheated on him. As if that wasn’t enough, Frank came home and found Ethan and his new husband in bed.

Frank has kept the house he and Ethan shared and manages to pay the bills with the help of his yoga teacher/massage therapist roommate, Julio.

When Frank’s oldest friend calls him up, things begin to get a wee bit more complicated. Jonathan is more than a friend really, at least in Frank’s mind. On a fateful night in the past, he was at a dance club with Jonathan and left for a moment to gather himself. He wanted to admit his feelings and take things further than friendship. When he returns… he finds Jonathan dancing with a man. That man is Marcus and that brings us back to the present and Jonathan announcing that he’s marrying Marcus.

Surprised by Marcus’ arrival at his coffee date with his friend, Frank blurts out that he’s dating someone. After all, who wants to be the pathetic old friend who hasn’t recovered from his losing the love of his life? When pressed, Frank says his boyfriend is…. Julio. It’s the only name he can think of.

Still with me? It gets deliciously more tangled. Julio and Frank strike a bargain. Julio’s new massage therapy business requires space and Frank has an extra room. Frank needs a date for dinner with Jonathan and Marcus. Frank, the poor dear lost soul, thinks that maybe he can make it through the dinner and then withdraw from Jonathan’s life once more.

Julio and Frank arrive at dinner with a well-rehearsed plan for how they’ll pull off being boyfriends. What Frank doesn’t count on, however, is Jonathan asking him to be best man at his wedding.

And wait, did I mention that Marcus attends Julio’s yoga classes?

From this point on – things become a tangled mess of emotion, cheating, mixed signals, and betrayal. All the characters in this novel have their issues, some more than others. What they’re looking for may not be what they need and what they want may not be what they’ll get.

When I first picked up this book, I thought it would end up being much more playful. On the contrary, this story addresses some serious things. Beware readers who may have issues with infidelity; there’s a fair amount of that in this novel. I will say, I couldn’t put it down. Right up until the end, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, and I always enjoy that!

OH! I almost forgot! One of my favorite things about this story is that these men are all in their late 30s or early 40s. It was a pleasant change to read about more mature gay men!
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This is your biggest love triangle (trapezoid?) at its finest. If you like a good male/male tryst, then maybe check this out. If that’s not your thing, then leave this one alone.
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To be honest, I thought this book would be pretty funny by reading the blurb, but it was the complete opposite. 
I was a bit confused in the beginning, but as I continued to read I started to understand some things. 
Wow! This was kind of like, I can't really say love "triangle", but it was  a love something. 
Overall I liked it. It was a nice read, definitely different than what I usually read. The ending was not predictable at all for me. That was a nice change.
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It’s safe to say I struggled with this early on but it wasn’t entirely the books fault. I’d read the blurb and somehow expected a comedy. At no point does it say it’s a comedy so this is all on me. 

Frank wants Jonathan. Jonathan is engaged to Marcus. Marcus wants Julio. Julio is Franks lodger. Franks pretends he’s dating Julio. Julio goes along with it. Julio wants Marcus. 

So I took from that it was going to be some kind of madcap comedy. I pictured the old Michael J Fox film The Secret of my Success. Revolving bedroom doors and Oh Yeah playing in the background.

Don’t ask me why, I’ve no idea.

But this book is definitely not that.

As a result of this I found it depressing in the beginning. Frank lives a dull life and it seems as if he’s a shadow of the man he used to be. His husband Ethan cheated on him in their bed. Now divorced, Frank is trying desperately to hold onto the house bad memories and all. He’s taken in a lodger he hardly sees (Julio). He hides the fact that he sleeps on the sofa every night. Since he can’t face the bed where Ethan cheated. 
There’s no doubt Frank has been dealt a bad hand. But he just seems so dull.

Julio is the complete opposite. He’s full of colour and life.

It took me a long time to settle into this book. The main problem I had is that I just didn’t really like any of the characters. This is a major issue for me and I struggle with any book like this.

There was also one part I didn’t understand. 
So Julio and Frank are pretending to date. Julio hurts his knee and is sleeping on the sofa so he doesn’t have to get upstairs. 

“My knee isn’t giving me any problem. It’s my lower back that’s sore. I’ve been sleeping on the living room couch all week.” 
As soon as those words tumbled out of my mouth, I knew I’d blown it. The surprise on Marcus’s face said it all. Guess that means you and Frank aren’t sleeping together. 

How does that give away the fact that he’s not sleeping with Frank?
He’s hurt his knee. Surely the sofa isn’t big enough for both of them?

(The section above is from the advanced copy and could change in the final edition)

I voluntarily read a review copy kindly provided by NetGalley.
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