Title: Bear It All
Author: Deanna Wadsworth
Length: 18,000 words (52 pdf pages)
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: m/m contemporary
Travis hired 1 Night Stand hoping for a hot encounter with a sexy older, hairy man, someone to make him feel safe and cherished, and John looks custom made to order.
After losing his partner three years ago, John needs to learn how to open his heart and live again. He thinks a one night stand in the Caribbean might be the answer, but when he sees the young, thin and much smaller Travis, he thinks the agency sent the wrong man.
Can desire overcome misunderstanding when these two bear it all? Or will both men walk away from exactly what they need and desire?
After reading the last story in the 1 Night Stand series by this author, I went and sought out this installment. I still enjoyed the story and the author’s style, however the insta-love ending rather put a damper on my enthusiasm. Travis has written his bar exam and to celebrate has booked an encounter with 1 Night Stand agency at a resort in the Caribbean. He knows what he wants, a big bear who will make him feel safe. He’s got instructions to wear a particular shirt and wait by the pool and pretend it’s an unexpected meeting. His excitement about the whole experience, along with a bit of trepidation, was well done and when John shows up at the pool, Travis’ drool almost shows up on the screen. John is everything he wants, but the guy doesn’t seem to be clueing in that Travis is the one. When he finally makes it clear, he’s the guy’s date, he gets a rather unexpected reaction when the guy storms off, obviously not interested, crushing Travis.
However Travis is pissed, and wants his money back and to talk to Madame Eve, and also go and have it out with John and find out what his problem is. When he finally goes to talk to John, it seems he’s not quite what John asked for, and John is sure a young hottie like Travis doesn’t want an old hairy guy like him. He asked for someone similar to his dead lover, older, bigger, less twinky, but he’s strangely drawn to Travis. Finally they chat a bit and before long, the pull is there and they are making out.
This was where things went a little wonky for me. I get that insta-lust can happen, but Travis’ feelings, and even John’s, who wasn’t looking for someone like Travis, just moved too quickly for me. While neither said I love you, Travis at least was thinking it. Apparently one of the hallmarks of Madame Eve, is you get what you need, not necessarily what you asked for, hence Travis, not a dead ex duplicate. I liked that John was cautious of his size (in all senses of the word) and self-conscious about his body. He was not some big “I’m in charge and the boss” type guy. Travis had BTDT and had not great results. Travis was the one who kind of pushed them forward.
So on the whole I enjoyed it, but I would have preferred if the author hadn’t tried to rush the connection as they had a week to spend together and I would rather have seen them make that strong connection a bit later. Still, it was sexy and sweet, as John was perfect for Travis, and I do enjoy reading about Caribbean resorts.