Publisher: NineStar Press
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Comedy
Brendan Thackeray-Prentiss is an Ivy League-educated trust-funder who Gotham Magazine named the most eligible gay bachelor in New York City. He lives for finding his soulmate, but after walking in on his boyfriend of three transcendent months soaping up in the shower with an older female publicist, he’s on a steady diet of scotch, benzodiazepines, and compulsive yoga. Men are completely off the menu.
Callisthenes Panagopoulos has a problem most guys dream of. With the body and face of a European soccer heartthrob, the vigorous blond hair of a Mormon missionary, and a smile that makes traffic cops stuff their ticket books back in their utility belts, he’s irresistible to everyone. But being a constant guy-magnet comes with its discontents, like an ex-boyfriend who tried to drive his Smart car through Cal’s front door. It makes him wonder if he’s been cursed when it comes to love.
When Brendan and Cal meet, the attraction is meteoric, and they go from date to mates at the speed of time-lapse photography. But to stay together, they’ll have to overcome Cal’s jealous BFF, Romanian mobsters, hermit widowers, and a dictatorship on the brink of revolution during a dream wedding in the Greek isles that becomes a madcap odyssey.
A gay romantic comedy of errors based on Chariton’s Callirhoe, the world’s oldest extant romance novel.
The story this plays homage to is described as high melodrama, unrealistic and even ludicrous. I thought the author did a great job in writing a story which is all of that, and more. Irresistible sets the parody tone right from the beginning, while the plot is still a feasible boy meets boy, and they fall in love. Instantly.
I liked Derek and Cal’s easy friendship at the beginning of the story, although I thought Brendan needed a big landslide of reality and to seriously get a life. The characters are all likeable—even Derek as his attitude is so over the top—and nothing is simple. I enjoyed all the pop culture references and rolled my eyes—in a good way—when one of the characters references being sent far away, and of course it was to New Zealand!
I spent a lot of the story thinking: seriously? And wow, another trope. But that’s the fun of it. It’s full of tropes piled on tropes, and unlikely coincidences. The more unlikely, the more likely it is to happen. A simple seeming romance soon escalates into high farcical drama with mobsters, a revolution complete with gun fire, and everyone—and I mean everyone—falls for Cal.
I thought the author uses POV well, with each change of perspective giving a very different view of characters. The descriptions are great, and I loved the scene where Cal is trying to speak Greek and totally failing at it. The translation of what he’s really saying was hilarious.
I recommend Irresistible to readers who enjoy a romantic comedy with likeable characters and a crazy over-the-top plot that isn’t meant to be taken seriously. 4 out of 5 stars.