Best Man, by Lily Morton

dith_kusu's review

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2.5 stars, would probably put in 3 stars if I had been in a better reading mood, or even if the last around 20% of the story didn't go down the way it did, but those last three chapters or so had so much of the unnecessary kind of cliched drama that I hate in these kinds of romance stories that it brought down the rating for me. I suppose this author's writing is also getting repetitive for me- I enjoyed the first few books of hers I've read, but the character types, the premises seem recycled and too similar to the point that I'm getting a bit bored.

kerasalwaysreading's review

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A sexy romance that runs the full gamut of emotions.

I enjoyed this so freaking much!

This book had me smiling like a fool, laughing out loud, gave me that fluttery tug in my tummy, and made me cry. Not every romance can pull me in like this one did. I mean Jesse?!?! Is there anyone sweeter than his adorable soul? And what better to balance him out than the strong and honorable Zeb?

This had everything I love in a great romance. The immediate connection, but the fact they are both unattainable in each other’s eyes. They are drawn to one another from their introductions, but life has other plans. They work together and Zeb refuses to mix work with pleasure... not to mention he has a boyfriend, Patrick. But somewhere along the line, that relationship ends and Zeb winds up agreeing to be Patrick’s best man in his upcoming wedding... Since they are already in the business of providing people with services that include fake relationships for awkward situations, who better to ask to be his fake date than Jesse?

The inevitability of dangerous and very real feelings comes to the surface, though. And Zeb just cannot get past the 20 year age gap between him and Jesse. But, Jesse, again... I mean he is just everything! He is fun and sweet and so full of life! Who could resist????? Definitely not Zeb.

Then, we have that juicy “jealous ex” trope that I can’t get enough of (when done properly, as Lily has definitely done here). Something about an ex that won’t let go makes the romance that much better in the end. It makes it that much more worth it!

I love the supporting characters and the set up for the next books in the series. Charlie Sunshine is one I am immediately starting, followed by an arc of After Felix, which I am so pumped to have gotten my hands on!!

To sum up this review, nobody does a romance like Lily Morton does!

bfdbookblog's review against another edition

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I was hoping we’d get a series about Eli’s flat mates…and it looks like we will, plus I’m hoping Felix gets a book in this series as well! This is a very loose spin-off of Gideon however you do not need to read that book to start this series.

There is nothing earth shattering here. Jesse’s similar to Oz (from the Finding Home series) to me with his over the top quirkiness and lighthearted humor. He balances Zeb’s seriousness and helps him laugh and live. Their banter is entertaining, they have amazing sexual and emotional chemistry and I love them together especially when they go on their dates to get to know each other.

While I liked the book (predictability and all), I had a hard time with a couple of things:
- Patrick…he was a user and a prick, and I cannot believe Zeb was blind to what he was doing
- Patrick’s mother…she was really OTT
- Zeb’s half-arsed apology both times (the second one more than the first) and Jesse’s quick forgiveness; I felt he needed to grovel a bit more

I’m assuming both Charlie and Felix will get books in this series and I’m on board for both of them!

_mery98_'s review against another edition

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The Best Man was the cure for COVID-19 and my quatantine and I’m eager for more of this new ‘Close Proximity’ series. As ever, it was hilarious and tender while the heat simmered hotter and hotter. If you’re not familiar with her books yet this is a lovely place to start!

Zeb and Jesse are easy to like! Zeb’s been invited to his ex’s wedding. Which isn’t a huge deal in itself. What’s problematic is he’s also been asked to be the best man. The most troubling part is feelings may still linger. Zeb doesn’t want complications but he doesn’t want to attend this event alone. Requesting that Jesse assist him with this situation seems logical. Okay, not really but I was glad for this impulsive moment! Jesse is wonderful at what he does and can seamlessly slip by his side and act as if he’s always belonged there. The slippery part is, he feels like he does belong there. Jesse makes him happy and to his utter surprise, Zeb does the same for Jesse. How has he missed what’s been right in front of his face for years? Jesse is beautiful, inside and out and Zeb suddenly realizes he’s about to lose him. But wait? How can you lose what you never even had? Best friends prove to be helpful or just call out bullshit for what it is. I was tickled to find connections within this new series to previous stories. Jesse’s best friend and former roommate is a special nurse we know and love and Zeb’s stepbrother has made an appearance before. More potential couples dangle before our eyes and I’m very much looking forward to keeping up with this new gang.

I’m a sucker for passionate opposites attract romance. I enjoy a well-suited age gap pairing. Fake boyfriends? Yes, please! Top it off with Morton’s signature wit and sass and you can clearly see there is a LOT to love here. I had a flash of déjà vu but didn’t mind the similarities too terribly much. Zeb is a man of structure. He’s tidy and particular. He’s always in control. Well, he likes to think so. Jesse makes him want to be reckless. He lights a fire in his heart and pushes his buttons. But these wishes are futile. First of all, he’s too young. Second, he’s his employee. Or maybe that should be first? Regardless, he’s not an option…off the menu…forbidden fruit. Which apparently just makes him all the more desirable. But here’s the thing, they are good together. And they are good for one another. Why fight it? That is indeed the question! If you want the answer, I’d suggest you follow your one-click fingers and go get this comical charming tale.

Beware of: Vile ex with wicked intentions is sure to tick you off. Chemistry and sexual tension build and build until…the sweet release takes your breath away. And the fond reminder that candles on a cake are meaningless when it comes to a foolproof match.

wistfulreader's review against another edition

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lily morton has a formula that works and she STICKS TO IT. and i love it

kerrilee's review against another edition

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Gah! I don’t know why this didn’t work for me but it didn’t. I was hesitant to read it bc the author is really hit or miss for me, and more misses than hits lately. By about 50% I was totally bored, couldn’t get invested in the characters and it just felt interchangeable with the other LM books I’ve read. I think maybe this author and I just need to break up.

owlsreads's review against another edition

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4 stars!


Best Man was pretty fun! The prologue was one of the best and funniest openings I’ve seen in romance and it really set the tone of the novel and of the relationship between Jesse and Zeb. The fast pace also worked perfectly well with Jesse and Zeb’s POVs and inner monologues and the shift between their perspectives was really well done.

The romance between them was so sweet, if a little bit angsty at times. It was a slow build sort of thing, though the attraction had always been there, and I really liked how the fake boyfriend element developed. I could have gone without some of Zeb’s uber patronizing “you’re a kid” thoughts at Jesse, but that was addressed in the book itself so I wasn’t too mad about it.

Another point of angst between them was Patrick, who I wouldn’t mind if he tripped and fell off a cliff to his death. Much of the conflict and insecurity surrounding Zeb and Jesse and their relationship came directly from Patrick and that took the majority of the story to solve. So if you’re not into one half of the main couple in a book still being hung up about their ex for great part of the story, you might want to skip this one.

There were some pretty steamy scenes as Jesse and Zeb decided to stop pretending they were together to just be together. But what I really enjoyed about their romance was the easy humor between them. The banter was so fun and lighthearted and it worked so well to develop their relationship and make us really believe they had chemistry and should be together.

Also!!! All of the side characters were so interesting and well developed. I’m not sure what the next installment will bring, but I wouldn’t mind at all to see novels about Max and Felix and Charlie and Misha. They were all so intriguing and it would be so much fun to get standalone novels about them too.

In the end, Best Man was a fun and quick read with great characters and a sweet romance. There was some angst, but nothing that was left unsolved between the characters, but the steamy scenes balanced out the hurt. I recommend this to anyone who’s looking for a funny age difference novel with a lighthearted atmosphere.


Series: #1 in the Close Proximity series.
POV: Told from Jesse and Zeb’s POVs.
Content Warnings:


Steam: Pretty steamy!
Love Triangle:
SpoilerKind of?

SpoilerNot between Jesse/Zeb, but Zeb’s ex cheats on him and Zeb unwillingly helps his ex cheat on his fiancé.

Cliffhanger: No.

Up Next: TBA.

maluxx's review against another edition

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Very cliche and shallow, but that usually don't bother me because that's the type of book that I'm use to read. But this was quite boring, and that's something I cannot forgive.

purplebright's review against another edition

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By 70% I lost interest and skimmed towards the end and didn’t miss much