Monday, December 17, 2012

Review: Bianca's Plan by B.G. Thomas

B.G. Thomas
Bianca's Plan
Dreamspinner Press, November 30, 2012 | 91 pages

Author’s website | Goodreads | Buy book here

Bianca worries that her daddy, Gavin, is lonely and decides he needs a boyfriend for Christmas. So she enlists her father's best friend, the straight and unattached Curtis. Gavin has a Christmas wish, too, and Curtis setting him up on disastrous dates isn't part of it! Meanwhile, Curtis finds life becoming complicated as he tries to please Bianca, make Gavin happy, and fend off his own unexpected mixed feelings. Will anyone's wish come true?

Genre & Keywords: M/M Romance, Contemporary, Christmas Wish, Single Dad, Friends to Lovers

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2 out of 3 flames
This is the love story of a single gay father of a ten-year-old girl and his straight male neighbor from across the hall, who has become his best friend. Gavin and Curtis. Together with Gavin's daughter Bianca they make a cute little family... except that Gavin and Curtis are not a couple... since Curtis isn't gay... or is he? Well, Bianca is sure they would make a great couple and Gavin does have a huge crush on Curtis and Curtis himself…, he starts to have some doubts about his heterosexual feelings too, especially when he's being forced to think about his feelings for Gavin by Bianca's little plan to find her father a boyfriend for Christmas.

Told in a light and simple style a fairytale of a story, with a decent dose of happy Christmas sentiment, unfolds itself. With the help of a few short flashbacks we learn about how Gavin and Curtis met and became friends, about their former relationships and about how Gavin ended up with a daughter. Pretty soon we also learn about Curtis' doubts about his feelings for Gavin, which seem to become more urgent as the story progresses.

Two popular themes are combined in this couple's love story: the friends become lovers & the gay for you theme. The first is one of my favorites most of the time, because I like that there's already a solid base for love, namely friendship, as opposed to insta-love type of feelings.
The second theme, GFY, usually requires more convincing to make it believable for me. And although it's done pretty well here with showing us the inner monologue Curtis was having, taking the time to let him come to some realizations about himself and his love life and more precisely about his deeper feelings for Gavin, it still went a bit too swiftly for my taste. Usually this kind of struggle needs more conflict and tension to get me on board with a satisfying HEA. It's not that I thought it was completely unbelievable, but it just felt a bit too easy.

Something else I'm not sure I was completely satisfied with was the whole idea of Bianca's plan. It felt all a bit forced and over-plotted perhaps, and it made Bianca a bit one-dimensional: not a 'real kid' but more a 'plot device'. I didn't like the one-track-mind way she acted very much. However, her plan definitely suited the whole feeling and nature of the story, of Christmas magic.
Altogether, this is an entertaining and enjoyable read with quite some humorous moments that are bound to make you smile. It's exactly the right dose of light, happy and Christmassy feel that I can't help gobbling up this time of year.

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