Title: Undercover Boyfriend
Series: Dreamspun Desires 12, One Fine Day 1
Author: Jacob Z Flores
Narrator: Rusty Topsfield
Length: 5 hrs, 51 mins
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (9 Aug 2016)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
Blurb: Two men, one lie, and a whole bunch of trouble.
Marty Valdez is in serious trouble. His sister’s wedding is around the corner, and everyone expects to meet Marty’s super-successful underwear model boyfriend – whom Marty invented. Now Marty has to produce a half-naked hottie or suffer the worst humiliation of his life.
FBI agent Luke Myers is in serious trouble. He’s been working undercover to take down a dangerous drug cartel, but his cover’s blown and he needs to disappear. Luckily, a geeky yet intriguing comic book artist gives him the perfect opportunity. Luke just has to pretend to be his boyfriend, and pretending is what he does best. But between Marty’s mother and his ex, Luke might’ve bitten off more than he can chew, and Marty’s knack for finding trouble might ruin more than just his sister’s wedding.
Review: For me Undercover Boyfriend was a book of firsts: the first book I’ve heard/read by Jacob Z Flores, the first time I’ve heard audio narration by Rusty Topsfield. On both accounts this was a book of wonderful firsts. I loved the light-hearted and sometimes funny way in which Flores wrote this story, which really could have gone the way of serious spy mystery. My first impression from Rusty Topsfield is that he really knows how to use his voice to bring the characters to life – he works well with the Latino characters and gives everyone the appropriate depth of emotion.
Undercover Boyfriend is much like the rest of the Dreamspun Desires collection. The stories are simple and sweet, the plots are relatively predictable but not in a bad way and are what I call the MM version of Harlequin romance.
The story follows Marty Valdez. He’s a bit of a loner and since high school has learnt to deal with situations he finds difficult by inventing people (or, yes, outright telling lies). It’s nothing malicious, just something that he does to cope with the fact that he does not have a lot of self confidence. But that’s all about to come back to bite him in the ass. After breaking up with his boyfriend a year earlier, Marty invented Tim – his new boyfriend to show the world (mostly his ex) that he has moved on and doesn’t need his cheating ass. But Marty’s sister is getting married soon and his ex is actually his soon to be brother in law’s best friend. It’s a tad contrived, I will acknowledge that much. So now the imaginary Tim has to be real.
That’s where undercover FBI agent Luke Meyers comes into the fray and he is just as complicated as Marty. He’s found himself in a spot of trouble. His cover has been blown and now a Mexican drug cartel wants him dead. When Marty mistakes Luke for a thief, Marty blackmails Luke (albeit willingly) to pretend to be his fake boyfriend. It’s a comedy of errors and the most contrived situations that most Marty thinks up. But I said that this is a sweet romance and there is an instant attraction between Luke and Marty – even if Luke has to hold back his real identity for a while. The way in which the plot lines converge is also quite predictable but I think I would have been irritated if it had happened any other way.
I totally enjoyed this one. I loved the writing and the plot by Flores and I loved the narration by Topsfield. If you love the Dreamspun Desires series this is definitely something that you will enjoy. If romance with a hot undercover FBI agent is your thing, it’s a great light-hearted take on the genre.