Book Review – Jared by RJ Scott and Meredith Russell

Boyfriend For Hire #4
Publisher: Love Lane Books
Pages: 125
Characters: Jared/Nate
POV: 3rd
Genre: Contemporary, Series

Jared’s world is turned upside down after Luka hands over his pocket money to hire him as a friend for his lonely, widowed dad.

Jared is good at his job, but his soft heart means that he often finds himself in the weirdest of situations. A kind-of-threesome, a disappearing swan, and a destroyed hotel room are just the tip of the iceberg, but he is a popular boyfriend-for-hire and always in demand. He dreams of working as a family psychologist one day, and as his work with Bryant & Waites is funding his studies, the last thing he wants is to lose his job. At a make-or-break meeting, Jared vows to focus on being strictly professional. Still, almost immediately, he meets Luka sitting on the office steps with pocket money in hand and with a sadness that melts Jared’s resolve. Luka explains that his mom passed away some years ago, and his hardworking father needs a friend. Jared has no intention of taking Luka’s pocket money, but he wants to make Luka smile again, and if being hired as a friend for Luka’s widowed dad is what it takes, then he’s all in.

Being a single dad to eleven-year-old Luka is the best thing in Nate’s world, but add running a bar with long hours, and his work-life balance is screwed. There’s certainly no time for relationships, and even though Luka worries about his dad’s love life daily, romance is the last thing on Nate’s agenda. Owning Rhea’s Bar and keeping his head above water is second only to his love for Luka. His entire world consists of his son and the bar until Jared stumbles into his life. Even though Nate won’t admit it, he’s lonely, and Jared is the first friend he’s made in a very long time. Could their friendship become something more?

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I’m already a fan of this series, and I loved Jared and Nate’s story, which is very sweet and feel good with wonderful characters. I’m already hanging out for the next one in the series.

I thought the set up for this story was very different, and I liked how the authors used the trope of fake boyfriend in a unique way. Jared and Nate are both nice guys, and Nate is a great dad. I enjoyed the scenes with him and Luca, and also how Jared bonded with Luca too. This is very much a story about family and found family, and I liked how Nate’s father-in-law helps him out and also encourages him to find happiness again.

I particularly liked how Jared and Nate’s friendship progressed, and how they became friends as well as having a physical spark. Their connection was very sweet, and felt real. I also liked how the story didn’t take the easy way out in a couple of situations, and built something far stronger by not following a common storyline of misunderstandings and misconceptions.

I enjoyed the glimpses of Gideon and Rowan, and also Ethan. I wanted his story as soon as he appeared on page so am very happy that he is getting a book. I liked Nate’s bar staff too, the relaxed friendly workspace, and how that part of the story was resolved.

I loved the mix of romance, and humour. Jared is really not cut out to be a boyfriend for hire, especially with his caring about others leads to constant disasters.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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