My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...
Hmmm, let’s see. An escort/gigolo book... I’m sold!
About Last Night... is my first try in Belle Aurora’s writing. I did like what I read but there are things that bugged me throughout the story. I’d always consider reading about a gigolo hero because they’ve been my favorite for a long time. But I also want a story and HEA, just not meaningless p*rn, which, seeing their profession, is a big possibility. This why I’m selective about what I read. Have to say I’m glad that I read this book but it could’ve been better IMO.
The story talks about Matt Quinn, who has been working as an escort for about 5 yrs. now. He doesn’t really have anyone else on the family-side but his mother, whom he had not seen in a long time due to issues that are revealed at the end of the story. His only friend and family has been Harry Bridgeton, who is also the person that brought him into this profession. Matt has had very little education, and eventually, he began resenting the small, underpaid jobs that he’d get. So when Harry came to him with the proposition of making more money than he can even imagine in a month, Matt jumped in. I mean he’s tall, gorgeous to look at, and he’d get free ‘dates’ almost every day and get paid for having sex. Should be any man’s dream! It didn’t take long for Matt to start working for DFT (never caught the full name of the site).
Fast forward 5 yrs., Matt likes what he does. His was, what I assumed, was the BFE or boy friend experience-type service. By now, he has earned more money than he can spend, has quite a few regular clients that he services, rarely taking on a new one. So when this email comes to him from this shy, reticent girl who wants to explore the world of pleasure, he can’t help but be curious about the sender ‘Maya’. They begin exchanging funny emails to each-other and their online relationship turns pretty soon something like... friendship. Something Matt doesn’t ever do with a client. Any kinda familiarity beyond the obvious is a big no-no. Maya is shy and a virgin, which is what initially knocked Matt’s socks off. That she wants him to be the ONE to help discard her v-card intrigues and humbles him at the same time.
Soon emails turn to texting, and one day, when they feel they’ve grown quite close, Matt asks if he can call her. It seemed by then Maya has lost her initial inhibition, so she even makes a date when she wants to ‘meet’ him. Matt is only happy to oblige, because she had, so far, been either politely declining his requests for a meeting or just avoiding the big question. Matt wanted to stop communicating but he liked talking to her so much that he’s now adamant of helping her as a friend would. Or so he thinks that’s what he was doing. He even makes sure that she doesn’t book anyone else but him for the job. No way any other guys of here taking Maya’s virginity but him!
What Matt had no idea was that it was Mia, Harry’s younger sister, all along. Matt hasn’t seen Mia in the past couple of years. He had never been close to her anyway, so he knows her through basically whatever Harry had told him about her. But Mia has seen Matt a few times and hadn’t been able to forget him. Granted that the one time he came to her room by mistake and talked to her, he was more or less stoned but the words he said to her stuck with Mia all these years. She was a shy and awkward chubby girl in her early 20s who loved only loved to read. She was also a good student but men have never been her forte. Matt Quinn seemed like the epitome of manly beauty she would’ve liked to have fallen in love with, but Mia knew Matt would never remember her. Which was correct of course.
Due to an overbearing mother and overprotective elder brother, Mia had pretty much been sheltered all her life. Then, she made a target and decided to take control of whatever of her life she could. She lost quite a bit of weight, got a degree with good grades and now looking for a job. But Matt Quinn has completely dominated her imagination all these years. She had a crush and now a plan of her own. Now that she feels much confident about herself, she’s going to lose her virginity… to the Quinn of DFT! Oh Mia had known about what Matt’s profession for a while now, thanks to an accidental eavesdropping of Harry and him chatting over phone. It doesn’t bother her all that much, so she decides to contact with him under a false name, though ‘Mia’ and ‘Maya’... Well, I thought they sounded too close for Maya to be a false name.
What Mia didn’t think was that she and Matt would *actually* build up such a great companionship in such a short time. She’s overwhelmed to finally know the Matt Quinn as he is; not the smooth gigolo but the person inside she only hoped to glimpse. And the more she did, the more she became addicted. Mia began a job too, a good one and would chat about anything and everything with Matt at the end of the day when they’re both at home, relaxing. Soon, she’s also looking forward to the day when she’d meet him and do the deed, or so to speak. Matt tries to gently initiate her into sex thru their phone conversation, to break the ice if you can say that. It goes good, leaving Mia totally feeling the need see her ‘plans’ come to fruition ASAP!
When the time comes, they both become overwhelmed by their own feelings. Mia is, of course, struck again by how handsome Matt is and how he makes her heart beat fast while Matt, who has been daydreaming about this day can’t but wonder at his good luck. That the woman he couldn’t keep thinking about all these weeks is not only charming and funny but beautiful as well. Her shyness and virginity are 2 things that call out to Matt and he’s adamant of making her first time a special one. When they finally get down to the ‘business’ you can only guess; things go quite well, with Mia in seventh heaven with her first experience, while Matt feeling something in him shifting irrevocably for this woman. He knew they have no future, but what if...? When Mia leaves, they hope to see each-other and experience the same bliss all over again.
But it wasn’t until the next day that the disaster strikes. Harry calls up Matt early morning as usual to meet on their regular joint to grab breakfast. Matt wouldn’t have known what surprise is waiting for him there. Neither does Mia. Matt is gobsmacked when Harry reintroduces his sister as Mia, who is no one other than Matt’s ‘Maya’! Mia, on the other hand, is worried sick; what if Matt divulges their relationship? What would be Harry’s reaction for that matter? Nothing good, she can tell that much. But Harry remains blissfully oblivious of the glares that Matt keeps sending her way, while shame and a reluctant excitement to see him again flush Mia all over. Of course Mia would’ve had to tell Matt the truth but this is definitely not how she planned to reveal her identity. She wanted to do it on her own time, when she was feeling ready. But now there’s nothing to be done about it but to come clean and hope that when Harry finds out, he doesn’t ditch them both for crossing a line that shouldn’t have been crossed.
Though Matt is angry, he can’t stay angry for long. He knows he’d broken an unspoken code between old friends. He’d slept with Harry’s sister even if he had no idea it was her. Worst was, he didn’t even regret sleeping with Mia and the fact that she’s Harry’s sister doesn’t change a thing. He still cares for her as he’d not done for a woman like ever, he still considers her his only female friend... and he’d still screw her senseless if she’s willing. Which Mia is, 100%.
Think it’s time I list a few things that bugged me throughout the story:
1. Harry used to be an escort and as I mentioned, he’s the one brought Matt into this. That was one thing I didn’t like about their friendship even if Matt feels gratitude, thinking Harry saved him from poverty. The whole thing sounded rather shady to me.
2. The way he and Harry would talk about escorting all through the story sounded like it’s another 9-5 job everyone does, which it decidedly is not. I couldn’t believe their cavalier attitude about it, calling it ‘dating’ if anyone asked anything. I know its fiction, even then it sounded odd every time I read one of their conversations about escorting.
3. I have no particular problem with a shy, virgin heroine like many other out there, doesn’t matter if she’s 17 or 27. But Mia was characterized and treated throughout the story more like a 16yrs. old rather than her own age. Sometimes, from her dialogues and behavior I couldn’t even believe that she’s 27! I’m not saying I didn’t like her but had a hard time connecting with her.
4. How come Matt couldn’t figure out it was Mia when every time Harry called her by her pet name ‘Minnie’? Mia’s email address was minniemouse something. His brain should’ve pinged when he met her accompanying Harry. Instead, Matt thought Mia was dating Harry and got pissed. :/
5. I love my gigolo heroes. Seeing their profession, I take any OW scenes in stride, even if I don’t like reading them. At least I try my best to... There were a lot of scenes here with Matt and his clients. I think at least with 8 women, starting with a background of each. WHY would I wanna know what Matt’s clients do or anything about their life? I don’t freakin’ care to know about those women. I’m sure Mia wouldn’t either.
6. I also don’t wanna feel that the H is too much into his profession, which is kind of a deal-breaker. Then it becomes difficult for me to believe in his feelings for the h. More than half the book, Matt’s ruminations will tell you that he loves his profession, loves sex, loves women... loves sex with women who are his clients. He’s easy with sex, and at one point he even told Mia since he craved the affection that his mother never showed him, sex has been his outlet since his early teens basically wherever he could find it. So what was he, a sex addict? I have no idea and TBH, I didn’t like it either.
7. Then there was the fact that he had sex with every one of those above mentioned women while having this online, texting relationship with Mia. It shouldn’t bother me, but it did because he’d f*ck his clients thinking of Mia. He even thought he’s going nuts to imagine a faceless woman while having sex with one of his regulars. Of course it was, because this wasn’t either fair to Mia, nor to these women. Then when it became clear that Mia wants to have sex, it became daydreaming of what he’s going to do to her, then he’d apply to same on his clients thinking of Mia. OMG, please NO!
8. I never saw Matt bumping with a client in the story out of the bedroom. How was it even possible? I mean, a part of his job was to go on ‘dates’ with them or did he live on another planet? I could see this creating a problem for Matt and Mia’s relationship... but it didn’t.
9. Where did Mia get the money to spend on Matt and her date when she had just gotten a job? As far as I could get, time with Matt wasn’t exactly cheap, and if I recall well she booked him thru DFT, so it wasn’t a free of charge thing, was it? The whole info was vague.
10. From everything, I could only assume that Mia and her mother never knew that Harry used to be a gigolo throughout college, which he left after an ‘incident’ right when Matt became one himself. After Mia and Matt found each-other out, I kept waiting for this to be revealed. At least to Mia, maybe by Matt? Oddly enough, it was never revealed. Even when Harry finally found out what his best friend and his sister were up to. When the story ends, Mia is still in shadows about Harry’s past and his involvement in Matt’s coming into the business. It didn’t seem right to me. She was a grown woman and had fallen in love with an escort. She needed to know, and I wanted to see her handling this news like a grown woman.
Things would definitely be revealed in Harry’s story, as I know there’s going to be one in the future but IMO, Mia should’ve been aware of already. But I’ll wait to find out.
I also will give it to Matt that the moment he realized that he wants Mia to be much more than just a friend-with-benefit, he up and leaves his profession. His heart wasn’t in it anymore, definitely not after Mia. I think, after knowing Mia, it became glaringly obvious just how much sex became a chore for him; a ‘job’, instead of something he should’ve done on his own time and terms, enjoying thoroughly. I can’t recall well but I think he didn’t sleep with anyone after he slept with Mia, so that gets him many brownie points from me.
When they finally acknowledged their feelings, it was a very sweet moment. I liked when Matt wasn’t a gigolo anymore, but just a regular boyfriend of a regular girl, with HOT moves in bed as bonus. ;) Loved their banters and thought they clicked rather well despite my early doubts. Matt was funny and caring, which made me think he just needed someone right to shower his attentions with. Those last couple of chapters actually saved the book for me. Prior to that, I wasn’t even sure it’s gonna make 3+ stars (ref: the LIST). But after finishing, I’m gladly rating it a 4.
Honestly, can’t wait to read Harry’s book, not after whatever was hinted at about his own doomed love-story with a client. Bring it on!