The Problem with Perfect

 The Problem with Perfect
Author: Philip William Stover
Publisher: Canelo Hera
Release Date: May 10, 2023
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance, Fake Boyfriend
Page Count: 336
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 

Okay, I loved this book. Every snarky aside, every astute comment about the horrors of celebrity worship, Uncle Clams and the rests of the glamorous Giblet Triplets, Fire Island, etc. It's all very good stuff. 

From page one, the (okay, very implausible) story grabs your attention with the tale of Ethan, who quickly learned "I couldn't control the big things but I could make the details of my life shiny" and as the creative genius behind gay lifestyle show Myles of Style, strives for his next big network promotion to VP of Diversity Programming while keeping his star Chase Myles engaged and charming, not to mention stopping him from using an iron in a segment about getting rid of facial wrinkles ("So what? I wasn't going to plug it in") or claiming he is a queer role model like "Harley Milk." 

But when Chase jets off to "Dabu Bobby" ("It's in the Middle East somewhere ...") with a Greek fishing tycoon, Ethan realizes the only way he can finish all the promotional material he needs yesterday is to find a Chase Myles substitute ... one Beau Myles, Chase's twin brother who lives in a yurt in upstate New York ("His hair must have been cut with a rock, his beard makes him look like he should drive a buggy or brew his own ale in Williamsburg ...") and is desperate enough for money he is willing to be manscaped, tweezed and spray-tanned to within an inch of his life. 

What follows is a sweet, sexy, irreverent adventure (no explicit on-page sex but the perfect touch of lusting and longing) complete with a fake/fake boyfriend plot, a weekend on Fire Island (more Cherry Grove than the Meat Rack), and the realization that, as Beau says, "You don't have to be perfect, you just have to be yourself." 

Granted, it takes a while (okay, far too long) to get Ethan to fully understand how he is not living the life he wants to, but the perfectly lovely epilogue and HEA is like the icing on the cake. 

4.5 stars for a great read with plenty of heart mixed with gobs of snark (and topped with "Power Top Pop" - a ghastly "combination energy drink and personal lubricant" [...] in four fabulous flavors. Each one inspired by a different Golden Girl.") Let's just say I adore Philip William Stover's snark. 

I received an ARC from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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