The Truth About Riley by Henrietta Clark
Riley Aylworth's life has been completely devoid of intimate contact since a fire three years ago left him with horrific facial scarring, so when he finds an ad for a phone sex service, he decides to give it a call. Except that the number is not a phone sex service--it's the revenge Cameron Kirkwood's ex-boyfriend took on the uptight advertising executive after Cam forgot their anniversary and accidentally put him in the hospital. Needless to say, after thirty-nine disturbing calls seeking phone sex, Cameron is at the end of his tether and yells at his fortieth caller. What he doesn't expect is for Riley to hit redial and yell right back.
The argument helps both Cameron and Riley vent about their issues and when they've calmed down, they decide to exchange numbers and talk again. From this decision springs a friendship that, over time, grows into a gentle romance--all over the phone, because Riley is too scared to meet Cam in person. Showing a potential boyfriend his disfigured face is the fastest way to get rejected, right? Even a month of scorching hot phone sex can't change his mind, no matter how hard Cam tries to persuade him that with their phone chemistry, the sex would be so much better in person.
Meanwhile, Cam is haunted by the scarred blond he seems to be seeing everywhere, and Riley can't get the handsome brunet who always seems happy to see him out of his mind. It's a shock to both men to realize that the guy they're falling for over the phone is also the man who brightens their day with just a smile; but it's one thing to let a stranger smile at you and quite another to let him close enough to see into your soul. If Riley can't break down the walls in his mind and believe that Cameron loves him in spite of his scars, their relationship may be doomed before they've even had a chance to kiss.
The book blurb above is really comprehensive as far as the plot for The Truth About Riley goes. What it doesn't tell the reader is how smart this book is. Henrietta Clark has an amazing way with words...she can tug at your heartstrings to the point that it is almost too much but just when it feels as if it might tip over into maudlin she pulls it back. And her comedic timing? Impeccable!! This book made me laugh out loud several times, snickers and snorts were constantly sneaking out, and while that makes me glad that I wasn't reading this book out in public, I still want to shout from the rooftops: GET THIS BOOK AND READ IT RIGHT NOW!!
Cam is dealing with the revenge of a ticked-off ex who had legitimate complaints and Cam owns that. But he also realizes that it was a two-way street and he is sad that four years with a man he truly loved hasn't left him with anything except thirty-nine calls wanting phone sex. The fortieth tips him over the edge and he lets loose with harsh words.
Riley has had a hard hand dealt to him and while he forces himself to live his life to the fullest, there are days he just wants to close the curtains, curl up and hide. He misses basic human contact and so when circumstances bring a phone sex ad into his life, he decides to try it. He doesn't expect a tongue lashing and immediately calls back and gives Cam as good as he just got.
This leads into an amazing story that develops at a realistic pace, with both Cam and Riley giving and taking. I was highly enjoying this story but then they began "dating" and I completely fell in love. The monopoly scene? Perfect. This is the type of book that makes me want to gush about it and I will definitely be book-pushing this book on my friends. I will be eagerly looking for more from Henrietta Clark!
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I purchased this book with my own funds.