“All this time I've waited for someone to kiss away the pain, to give me inspiration, how to start to live again…and then there was you and everything changed... I knew that I'd be okay...” ~ Jesse Y Joy - 'And Then There Was You'
I truly believe that Fate has a sense of humor. Often, it seems to pick the oddest possible circumstances to make things happen. Spencer Cohen of 'Spencer Cohen' by N.R. Walker would definitely agree with me concerning how he meets Andrew Landon. Spencer is a professional dater whose goal is to go out with men who want to entice their exes to come back to them. This is accomplished by being seen in public with Spencer and reminding them what they are missing, hopefully making them jealous. Andrew's sister sets up the transaction, but as soon as Spencer sees Andrew, he knows he's in trouble; Andrew is everything Spencer has ever dreamed of in a partner.
Spencer knows this is just a job and he should not get emotionally involved, but his attraction to Andrew is making it difficult. Besides that, Spencer is not sure that reuniting Andrew with his ex is the best move. The more Spencer learns about Andrew's ex, the bigger the fool he seems to be. As Spencer gets closer to Andrew, he knows that Andrew deserves better. Spencer asks himself, who in their right mind could turn down this handsome, talented, artistic man, who is full of surprisingly eclectic interests? How could his ex possibly have thought Andrew was boring? Spencer's “dates” with Andrew end up being far more frequent than necessary and he finds that he wants to be with Andrew more than he ever has any other client. This surprises his friends and clues them in to the fact that Andrew is far more than a typical client; this elicits “you deserve to be happy too” lectures from his friends. Also, Andrew has never introduced any of his other clients to his friends, nor has he brought any back to his place just to hang out. There appears to be a lot of rule breaking in Andrew's case. The closer Spencer gets to the date that will confirm whether Andrew will get back together with his ex, the more despondent Spencer becomes; but he's being paid to make it happen and is determined to see it through.
Andrew isn't sure of Spencer in the beginning. With his hip way of dressing and speaking, he figures his ex will never buy that someone like Spencer would be interested in him; but he goes along with the plan to make his ex jealous. As Andrew begins to see himself through Spencer's eyes, he gains more self-confidence. He begins to enjoy Spencer's company and wants to be with him more than as just a client. Although Spencer is nothing but professional, Andrew can see the spark of interest in his eyes. After a while, Andrew almost forgets why he's with Spencer. Andrew begins to realize that his ex is wrong about him being boring and predictable because Spencer has shown him that he is anything but. Andrew is not so sure he wants his ex back at all! He's beginning to think that who he wants just might be Spencer instead of his ex. When the big night comes, they act out an elaborate show which becomes even more convincing when Spencer dives in for “the big kiss” and Andrew reciprocates. His ex is appropriately unsettled and, as they are leaving, grabs Andrew by the arm and tells him they need to talk. Andrew goes with him, leaving Spencer with a hollow feeling of success. He's accomplished his goal, whether or not that's what he wants.
As I started writing this review, I was thinking about what makes N.R.’s books so magical. Other than the superb storytelling and excellent writing, I came to the conclusion that it's her characters. There are always those little details that hook me in like Spencer's 'Australianisms and his “lumbersexual hipster” look, or Andrew, who appears to be perfectly traditional, yet loves obscure music and is a talented artist. N.R.’s characters usually endear themselves to me right away, making me laugh when they are happy and cry when they are sad. If you like Australian accents, tattoos, artistic, devastatingly handsome young men, deception, and gaining a new perspective, then you may enjoy this story. Thanks, N.R., for bringing Spencer and Andrew together. I look forward to the next story in the series.