Review: That Guy by Belle Brooks

Reviewed by Debz

Melinda (Mindy) Grant is a hot mess. A doctor turned escort agency receptionist, Melinda can’t seem to find the happy ever after she desires. At 29, this protagonist has been on two dates ever and gets tongue tied whenever she gets close to any member of the male species.

Arlie Blight is a 6 ft. something Greek god who seems to like this very weird woman. Their first encounter is something for the ages; they meet at the grocery store and Mindy, rather than talking to him, follows him around creepily and mistakenly mirrors his purchases and doesn’t notice until she’s at the till. It was really difficult for her to explain the giant pack of condoms and tissues to the cashier.

Mindy has a gay best friend, Chris, and he is her emotional support system and cheerleader.  And let’s pause for a while from the plot of this book to talk about this character. Reading the dedication, you’ll notice that the author dedicates this book to her Chris, who while imaginary at the moment, she hopes to meet and have so much fun with. And that is my problem with this character; considering the lengths the author went to make other characters in this book nuanced and flawed, the fact that she made this gay best friend (overused trope TBH) the most silly, annoying over the top person felt disingenuous to me. It just put me off.

Back to the book; Mindy and Arlie meet for the 2nd time in her favorite café and rather than talking to him (again), she dives under her table to avoid him. Then, Mindy gets forced into online dating by Chris, gets matched with a kitten killing psychopath and has to ditch the creep at the bar. She decides to get Chinese instead and guess who she meets on the way there? It’s Arlie, who Mindy very bravely (because she is honestly a horror when it comes to men) invites to have dinner with her instead. After the dinner, he asks for her number and goes AWOL. Men!!!

Mindy gets a pop up message whilst surfing the web urging her to apply for a romantic reality show called Perfect Catch. The premise of the show is; 3 compatible couples are taken to 3 different islands and given the chance to fall in love within 21 days. The couple liked the most by the audience wins. Mindy is very skeptical, but Chris, as usual, forces/strongly encourages her to do it and alas she is chosen by one of the men for the show.

On getting to the island, she finds out that her male counterpart is none other than Arlie, the smoking hot guy who ghosted her and she gets pissed. It takes some begging on Arlie’s part to convince her to stay. During the run of the show, they are giving tasks from canoeing (and the jellyfish accident) to kayaking to zip lining, and trust me, the antics by the protagonists were so hilarious.

I honestly loved the relationship between the hero and heroine. They were able to talk to each other and bare their souls and insecurities and it was wonderful. Mindy was able to open up for the first time about the reason she quit being a doctor and ended up as a receptionist at the escort agency, which she hated. She was able to share her fear of killing people in hospital and it was wonderful of Arlie to calm her and help her get past it. It was really clear to see how they each boosted each other up; with pep talks, loving glances and the likes and I’m a sucker for a good romance with no random stalkers thrown in.

Even though it is revealed that Arlie had been lying to Mindy about a lot of things by the end of the book, it did not result to any big blow out and breakup and that was very refreshing. I liked this book a whole lot. Also, PS Mindy was a romance book nerd like I am and I’m here for it.

Rating: C

Because: Not all gay people are so flamboyant and annoying.

Click to purchase: Amazon

That Guy
by Belle Brooks
Release Date: June 6, 2018
Publisher: Obie Books

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