By Leslie McAdam
IOU, Book 4
I’m desperately attracted to my husband.
Which wouldn’t be a problem, except he’s straight.
What happened is, my longtime crush/hero got badly injured saving me from my evil ex-boyfriend. When I found out he (my hero, not my ex) didn’t have health insurance, I did the logical thing: I proposed. To my surprise, he said yes.
I knew that Camden wasn’t interested in me like that. This deal was always meant to be temporary—just until he healed and could get his own insurance and I found a place to stay, since I’m not moving back in with my ex. No feelings involved.
Except Cam kissed me at our wedding ceremony, and ever since, we can’t seem to stop kissing. He says he’s curious what sex with a man would be like, but I don’t want to be another straight guy’s experiment.
Still, Cam is so kind and beautiful, with his dark eyes and tousled curls shoved into a backward baseball cap. His patience makes me want to throw out all my carefully crafted rules. And don’t get me started on how his first instinct is to protect me …
But I’m scared if I open my heart, I’m going to get hurt. Again.
Can I risk telling Cam how I feel before our deal ends? Or should I let him go and lose the best (fake) relationship I’ve ever had?
Curious is a stand-alone contemporary M/M romance novel with a marriage of convenience and bisexual awakening. It features Shelby, a receptionist who’s never met a vision board he didn’t like; Camden, an internet-famous contractor; and a hasty wedding for medical insurance reasons. Happy ever after guaranteed.
Everyone in the room is looking at us, just the way we were looking at the couples before us.
I regulate my breathing. My ankle hurts, but I set that pain to the side. My cheeks are burning, and my hands are trembling. I’m glad my brother is here. I’ve set my crutches down and taken hold of Shelby’s hands. They’re clammy, and I’m trying to warm them up. They’re also steadying me.
But then he looks up at me with those liquid brown eyes, and my chest feels light. My pulse races, and my mouth goes dry.
After asking us a few more questions, the clerk begins the ceremony. “Do you, Camden, take this man, Shelby, to be your lawfully wedded husband, in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer, to have and to hold from this day forward until death do you part?”
“I do.” I say, and I squeeze Shelby’s hands. He gives me a small, genuine smile.
“Do you, Shelby, take this man, Camden—”
Holy ____, I’m getting married. I don’t know why it took this long for it to sink in. Something about that fact makes me giddy, and I want to burst out laughing, but I rein it in. Shelby says, “I do,” and I let out the biggest breath. Part of me—the part still traumatized by Leah—worried that he’d say no. I want to hug him for saying yes. For not humiliating me.
“You may exchange rings, if you have them.”
“Oh. Right.” I pull the two bands out of my pocket, and my fingers tremble all over again.
Reaching over, I again take Shelby’s soft, tan hand in my work-roughened one, and my jitters vanish when he looks up at me, an expression of wonder on his face, his eyes brimming with tears. He swallows, and I want to hug him or something.
Instead, I place my ring on his finger.
It looks good there, and this possessive feeling—that Shelby is mine—rushes through me, even if our situation is temporary.
For now, at least, he is mine.
Shelby slips my ring onto my finger. I’m not used to wearing jewelry, but it feels right. Like it’s always been there. And I like being able to give Shelby some stability … for now.
We hold hands, and I can’t tell if he’s supporting me while my ankle is busted, or I’m supporting him on this wild adventure. Maybe we’re supporting each other.
“… and you may kiss your husband,” the clerk says, and I have to keep from doing a double take.
Of course, I knew this was a standard part of the ceremony. Heck, I just watched a couple go through this exact process. And I have no problem kissing Shelby—even in front of an audience—but, like actually being married, the reality of it hadn’t gone through my brain.
Marriage of convenience with a bisexual awakening? Yep, that's what caught my eye as well.
Camden is a wonderful guy, selfless and protective, thoughtful and sweet. Shelby has had a not-so-great dating life, particularly his last boyfriend before Camden steps into the picture. The unconventional way they end up married is already expected, though it is very obvious that this is being used as a mechanism to bring these two together; to me it felt very transactional.
The two of them do fall into a easy partnership, and there is almost no angst to speak of once Camden’s initial defense of Shelby at the start of the story is past. There are some hints that Shelby’s ex might stir up trouble later, but overall if you’re looking for a mostly effortless pairing, you’ll find that here.
Even as Camden is exploring his previously non-existent attraction to men with Shelby, and Shelby continually goes through his many reasons of why it’s not a good idea, we all know where this is eventually headed—you won’t be disappointed on that part. I did get a bit frustrated with Shelby towards the end where it felt like he was pushing Camden to not stay regardless of how Camden was telling him he wanted to. Shelby’s self esteem is definitely something he needs to work on, as even with every indication otherwise he still must not think he’s deserving.
I’m a little on the fence with this one, but it was still an overall good read and is coming in at 3.5 stars for me. If these tropes are your jam though, you’ll want to check this one out. I’ll note that this is the first book I’ve read from this author, and while it is part of a series I had no problem reading it as a standalone. The supporting characters are a great group, and I am interested in finding out their stories.
About the Author:
USA Today bestselling author Leslie McAdam is a California girl who loves romance and well-defined abs. She lives in a drafty old farmhouse on a small orange tree farm in Southern California with her husband and two children. Leslie's first published book, The Sun and the Moon, won a 2015 Watty, which is the world's largest online writing competition. She's gone on to receive additional literary awards and has been featured in multiple publications, including Cosmopolitan.com. Her books have been Top 100 Bestsellers on both Amazon and Apple Books. Leslie is employed by day but spends her nights writing about the men of your fantasies.