Title: Frankie & Al
Author: Sue Brown
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Frankie Mason, Al Stoneham
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Dumped by his boyfriend, Frankie Mason goes out with the girls, gets totally trashed, and ends his night by falling in front of a taxi. He’s rescued by a man with beautiful green eyes who takes care of him until he’s put into an ambulance. Frankie curses himself as he realizes he doesn’t have the man’s phone number. Still in pain a few days later, he is dragged out to a club only to be saved by Green Eyes once more. This time, he isn’t letting the man go.
Unfortunately Frankie has to attend a team-building exercise, nicknamed Womb Weekend, organized by his company. Al is working so he doesn’t mind, until he discovers who the team leader is. Al has a lot of explaining to do!
Frankie is accident-prone, plus he’s been dumped by his boyfriend with a text and has had too much to drink. Naturally, at his lowest point, that’s when he meets the perfect man. And that’s just the start of the story.
Most of the story, Frankie’s physically broken, his hip making his life hard. That, plus the dick at the office and the mandatory work weekend, and he’s in living hell. The only plus side is Al, the man with the green eyes who keeps saving him time and again. Both men, as the whole story, are realistic, the kind you just wanna hug.
In fact, characterization is where the story shines. Frankie’s friends and coworkers, like Jonno and Charlotte, are fun, smart, and so entertaining you turn the pages for them as much as for the romance. Dialogue reads true, with casual shoot-the-breeze and the all-powerful emotional stuff of forever-kind-of-love. These men aren’t afraid to love rough and show their vulnerabilities when sad.
There’s a lot happening here, and yet it felt at times as though nothing is happening at all. A working weekend while wounded. That’s basically the gist of it. And yet, Ms. Brown imbues every nuance with a kind of amiable glow in praise of everyday life and finding love in the most surprising places. It’s sweet and captivating in the truest sense of literature. There are laughs, tears, growls, happy moans. All that jazz.
As is, I have nothing negative to say about this book. It’s well written, it’s realistic, engaging, sexy and sad, and riveting even if the men are just sitting on a couch in front of the TV watching Law & Order. Highly recommended.
Reviewed By: Susan