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His Convenient Husband

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NFL football player Isaiah Blackwell lost his husband three years ago and is raising their teen son alone. He lives his life as quietly as his job allows, playing ball to support his family but trying not to draw unwanted attention. His quiet life is shaken up when a mutual friend introduces him to Victor, a visiting principal ballet dancer who is everything Isaiah is not. NFL football player Isaiah Blackwell lost his husband three years ago and is raising their teen son alone. He lives his life as quietly as his job allows, playing ball to support his family but trying not to draw unwanted attention. His quiet life is shaken up when a mutual friend introduces him to Victor, a visiting principal ballet dancer who is everything Isaiah is not. Brash and loud, Victor Aleksandrov has applied for political asylum to avoid returning to Russia, where gay men are targeted and persecuted. He’s been outspoken about gay rights in his home country, and if he doesn’t get asylum, going back to Russia is a death sentence. Their one-night stand turns into a tentative friendship, a relationship they both agree is temporary... until Victor’s denied asylum. Isaiah can’t offer Victor a happily ever after, but he can propose something that’ll keep Victor in the US and safe... marriage. He just doesn’t expect his new husband to dance away with his heart.


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NFL football player Isaiah Blackwell lost his husband three years ago and is raising their teen son alone. He lives his life as quietly as his job allows, playing ball to support his family but trying not to draw unwanted attention. His quiet life is shaken up when a mutual friend introduces him to Victor, a visiting principal ballet dancer who is everything Isaiah is not. NFL football player Isaiah Blackwell lost his husband three years ago and is raising their teen son alone. He lives his life as quietly as his job allows, playing ball to support his family but trying not to draw unwanted attention. His quiet life is shaken up when a mutual friend introduces him to Victor, a visiting principal ballet dancer who is everything Isaiah is not. Brash and loud, Victor Aleksandrov has applied for political asylum to avoid returning to Russia, where gay men are targeted and persecuted. He’s been outspoken about gay rights in his home country, and if he doesn’t get asylum, going back to Russia is a death sentence. Their one-night stand turns into a tentative friendship, a relationship they both agree is temporary... until Victor’s denied asylum. Isaiah can’t offer Victor a happily ever after, but he can propose something that’ll keep Victor in the US and safe... marriage. He just doesn’t expect his new husband to dance away with his heart.

30 review for His Convenient Husband

  1. 5 out of 5

    Judith

    2.5 Stars. The blurb definitely had me exited.A gender fluid ballet dancer and a NFL player....just my thing.Unfortunately this did not live up to expectations. The Story. Victor is a Russian ballet dancer currently seeking asylum in the US.He's very vocal and passionate about gay rights,something he's not prepared to change. Isaiah is a NFL player,preferring to live his life away from the public eye as much as possible.He lost his husband three years ago and is raising their adopted 14 year old son 2.5 Stars. The blurb definitely had me exited.A gender fluid ballet dancer and a NFL player....just my thing.Unfortunately this did not live up to expectations. The Story. Victor is a Russian ballet dancer currently seeking asylum in the US.He's very vocal and passionate about gay rights,something he's not prepared to change. Isaiah is a NFL player,preferring to live his life away from the public eye as much as possible.He lost his husband three years ago and is raising their adopted 14 year old son,Evan.He's terrified of going through the pain of loss again. The two men hook up one night but Isaiah makes it very clear that's all it will be.When Victor is denied asylum Isaiah makes him an offer.....they will get married and have a marriage of convenience.No sooner said than done and off to Vegas they go! Despite my rating this isn't a bad story but there is one issue that couldn't be overlooked.But,I'm going to start with what I liked, -I really liked Victor,I thought he was a beautiful character inside and out and I absolutely loved how he bonded with Evan. -Evan,I found him quite fascinating and would love to read his story when he's older. -it's my first read by this Author and the writing style definitely worked for me. Negatives, -Victor is described in the blurb as being Brash,loud,and gender fluid.Firstly I really didn't consider him brash at all.He was loud in respect of his opinions but all he was doing was standing up for his beliefs.If I hadn't read the blurb for this there is absolutely no way I would have thought Victor was gender fluid.Wearing make up and one reference to lingerie DOES NOT make someone gender fluid.And his gender identity is never mentioned or discussed in the book.He came across as a slightly effeminate man and that's all.This is definitely a major issue as I'm sure a lot of people might be drawn to this book because of the blurb. -I never really warmed to Isaiah and hated his treatment of Victor at times,he does redeem himself in the end but it was just a bit late for me. Conclusion: The blurb promised a lot but definitely didn't deliver. Arc received from the publisher,via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    ~Mindy Lynn~

    OUT TODAY 10/9/17 4 Stars! Oh Victor, how I adore thee. He was the star of the book for me and I really loved his character. He was bold and brave. He was loud and proud. He was an activist who spoke out about his country, Russia and all of the awful horrible truths they do to their LGBQT people. Then there was this other side to him; the dancer. The way he radiated passion and grace on the stage. The vulnerability he shows when he admits he wants to be a part of a loving relationship and a family OUT TODAY 10/9/17 4 Stars! Oh Victor, how I adore thee. He was the star of the book for me and I really loved his character. He was bold and brave. He was loud and proud. He was an activist who spoke out about his country, Russia and all of the awful horrible truths they do to their LGBQT people. Then there was this other side to him; the dancer. The way he radiated passion and grace on the stage. The vulnerability he shows when he admits he wants to be a part of a loving relationship and a family. He is quite the diverse character. He stands strong in what he believes and isn't afraid to speak his mind. I really liked him. He was a very fleshed out character. Isaiah was the complete opposite of Victor. He is quiet and private. He doesn't speak out for the LGBQT community. He doesn't want the confrontation. He likes living his quiet life while raising his son, Evan. He's also still missing his husband who passed away 3 years ago due to a car accident. He's built his walls pretty high and doesn't want another relationship. He doesn't want to be tethered to another person who could leave him in the kind of heartbreak he has already suffered. But then he meets Victor. The attraction is there and they share a steamy night, but that is all Isaiah will allow because his attraction to Victor is too strong and it scares him to where that kind of attraction and connection could lead. All he knows it's to a place he doesn't want to go again. Isaiah and Victor share an agent in Ian. Ian is meddlesome and loves to put himself in their business. So when Victor is denied asylum he calls on Isaiah to help him out and to fetch Victor from a bar where he's drinking his disappointment away. After sharing a few drinks together Isaiah figures the best way to save Victor's life and to help is to marry him. They don't think too long about this before they are bordering a jet to Vegas. From here on throughout the book it gets pretty angsty. I went back and forth to liking and disliking Isaiah for his dickish treatment of Victor when he got upset. I understand as parents we can get pretty overprotective and lash out before we think when our kids are involved. But it didn't make the hurtful things he said to Victor right. Every time when I knew one of those moments were coming I literally cringed for Victor and just wanted to hug him. But Isaiah redeemed himself near the end of the book. He made a swoon worthy effort and it paid off. Evan is an amazing character. I loved how vocal he was on his beliefs and how strongly he felt about who he was. I loved when he had that big talk with his father. I felt proud of a 13 year old fictional character. I adored him. He was fierce. I'm sucker for a sports book and even though this lacked actual sport play, I still really enjoyed it. Happy reading dolls! xx **I received an ARC by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

  3. 5 out of 5

    SheReadsALot

    2.75 HEARTS--Mixed bag. From now on (until I find something else that amuses me) this is my mixed bag image of choice! Go read that blurb and look at that cover. That cover is sit on face worthy, man. I'd scoop that cover model up and butter my biscuits. Consider my basement flooded, if you catch my drift. And I think you do. The blurb is trope city (and I definitely don't hate on that). Between the cover, t 2.75 HEARTS--Mixed bag. From now on (until I find something else that amuses me) this is my mixed bag image of choice! Go read that blurb and look at that cover. That cover is sit on face worthy, man. I'd scoop that cover model up and butter my biscuits. Consider my basement flooded, if you catch my drift. And I think you do. The blurb is trope city (and I definitely don't hate on that). Between the cover, the blurb, I was stoked. So stoked, I ignored the buzz book potential and requested this sucker. I tied on my reading bib and dived right into this sucker. And from the first chapter, something was off. So I kept reading, because I'm stubborn and hopeful (what a combo) with books. I don't like to DNF and hope the author will turn it around. His Convenient Husband is a mixed bag and I got mixed emotions while reading this. On one hand I got happy with certain things: the mention of LGBT issues and activism (hold that thought), interracial romance when the POC isn't written as a kink (I'm not a fan of that). However, there were issues as well: characters that said the right things but didn't back it up, telling rather than showing and not having a true grasp on either main characters' character. They could've been anybody. Hence me: The category romance (it's cracky fluffy on speed) is a fluff tale of a one night stand meets fake marriage. It was a meld of some of my favorite tropes. Chechen ballet dance Victor is world famous and out. The reader is told how much he stands up for gay rights, how he's loud and brash. (Not really) He applied for political asylum assuming he was going to get to stay in the States. On the world's worst set up through a shared agent, gay football player and widower, Isaiah invites the dance to his house since Isaiah's teen son is a huge fan of Victor (and Isaiah's agent wants them to get together) So they do. Very hotly out in a pool, but I didn't see a connection between either guy other than insta-lust. The time jumps weirdly in this where the one night stand meant something to both men. So when the political asylum falls through, Isiah offers to marry Victor to save him. You would potentially go to jail (should anyone finds out about a fake marriage) and if the person who was denied gets married the next day, I would expect this country's immigration agents to flag the fuck out the entire thing and personally fly Victor back to his country. But no mention of worry. In fact the couple blab to friends and family it's a fake marriage to keep Victor in America. After searching high and low to see if this was an alternate reality, no such thing. Unfortunately, I've read this plot written stronger with defined repercussions earlier this year. The pair have really no connection. Consider me crossing the bridge leaving reality. The secondary characters are used heavily to tell the read how much the two can't take their eyes off each other, how much of an activist Victor is. This is a pet peeve of mine, using secondary characters to get the romance and plot across.I liked that the author had a character bring up social issues, I just wish it didn't read like a suit being put on to look cool. Besides the info dump and heavy telling, I think I figured out what the main issue of the story was: the characters had the potential to have depth. I've read fluffy romances where the main characters have difficult backgrounds and still make some impact. The first half of the story was weak. It wasn't until the last third where the story gained some ground but I wasn't invested in the characters. They talked a good talk but I'm not buying what they're selling. Funny thing is, even if the characters were hovering the two dimensional mark, the sex scenes were rocking. Hence my mixed emotions. If this was pure erotica - 3.75-4 Hearts easy. I read a lot of erotica, the smut was pretty good: dirty talk, outdoor sex (pool/porch), some possessive inclination, rimming, lots of oral. Nice. Alas, this is a romance and the meh characters have to be counted in my rating. And a few times Victor rubbed me the wrong way with his view on being different or gay due to wearing makeup. I expected a different stance from him. It's more than just makeup. This could be from me reading better written activists in previous romances. Eh, he tried. And I'm looking for depth in a fluff piece. So I'll just wrap this up now. Loved the tropes, not a fan of the execution or characters. But I liked the sex and the premise potential. This face sums it up just about right. I'm not going to write this author off either. There were a few moments when it wasn't so bad. There were other sports characters that have lead potential. The author is not a newbie to writing romance, but still fairly new in writing MM. The intimate scenes (sexual and non sexual) didn't read awkward or like used to be MF. I've read worse, so it's a step in the right direction. I might try something else from this author. Maybe, if I'm in the right mood. Ugh, mixed bag. *smh* A copy provided via Netgalley for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**

    ***4 Stars*** "...one prince had everything and lost it, and the other prince had nothing but was willing to fight for the right to have it." This is my first time reading Robin Covington and it 100% certainly won't be my last. I was sucked in and connected to these characters from the very beginning. Isaiah and Victor are complete opposites. Isaiah is an out gay man, however he's quiet about it. He doesn't feel the need to march in parades or publicly speak out about his personal life ***4 Stars*** "...one prince had everything and lost it, and the other prince had nothing but was willing to fight for the right to have it." This is my first time reading Robin Covington and it 100% certainly won't be my last. I was sucked in and connected to these characters from the very beginning. Isaiah and Victor are complete opposites. Isaiah is an out gay man, however he's quiet about it. He doesn't feel the need to march in parades or publicly speak out about his personal life. He's a widower (his husband died 3 years ago in a car accident), a father, and he plays football. Those are his priorities. Victor is vocal about what he believes in and feels that his somewhat celebrity status as a popular professional dancer gives him a platform to fight for the rights of LGBTQ+ members around the world. Especially in his home country of Russia. The attraction between these two is instantaneous. And one night together is enough to calm the desire, but not enough to keep either man far from the other's thoughts. When they decide to marry it's a little quick and jarring, but I went along with it. It's clear that the two men share a connection, but Isaiah is determined to keep Victor in a box. He can't afford to have emotions tangled up in this convenient arrangement. "Sex leads to intimacy and intimacy leads to feelings, and this is not about feelings." However, he plays hot and cold with Victor for a good portion of this book and well, that got frustrating at times. He also has a couple asshole moments (principal's office anyone?) where I wasn't sure if I'd ever fully believe that he'd move beyond his hang ups. Don't worry, he did and I believe! Victor was impossible not to love. He's lived a difficult life and so much of what he'd dreamed for himself comes in the package that is Isaiah. His desire and longing for the man was a constant need, and in the beginning he'd take whatever Isaiah was willing to offer. Victor knew how good they could be together, and while he knew they would walk the razor's edge between emotion and pure physical indulgence, he was willing to risk it. If he fell, then he'd embrace it. But he knew he'd be falling alone. The push and pull was delicious angst along with hair-pulling frustration. For my tastes, Robin Covington walked this line with fragile precision. The scale never quite tipped into the negative. Just when I wanted to throttle either man, a small breakthrough would come and the scales would balance. ...it would be everything; it would be life changing. A risk of his heart, one he wasn't sure he was ready to make, but might not have a choice. And Evan (Isaiah's son)...he shines so bright in this book. A boy who's lived a rough life, seen the ugly side of people, and still isn't afraid to speak up and to fight for what he believes in. He's strong, he's brave...and he hugged my heart so tight in this book! "I'm just like Victor, Dad. We don't have to come out because we wear it on our skin. You're huge and athletic and a macho professional football player, and if you don't tell people you're gay, they never know, and even when you do tell them, they don't always believe you. If you wanted to, you could pass as straight. So, don't talk to me about me creating risk. I'm at risk because I can't hide who I am." However, as much as I loved this book, there were a couple of things that kept me from rating this higher...because let me tell you...this book had some SERIOUS 5 star potential for me. 1. Certain scenes weren't included that I felt could have really added some depth and emotion to both the characters and the story arc. For example, I would have loved to see the morning after Isaiah and Victor's first night together, or their Vegas wedding, or the couple of days after they got married. Especially that last one. The author glossed over their first few days back home with a time jump and a throwaway sentence that they'd settled into a warm, homey and domestic routine. Isaiah, Victor, and Evan easily became a family and I really wanted to have seen that transition. 2. I wish the author would have went all the way with how committed Victor was about speaking up. I didn't need anything big, but just some mention of what he was doing. It was such a big part of his character and the big conflict between him and Isaiah...yet I felt it was something that was happening waaaay back in the background. Not too much mention of it. Overall, this was a book that I really liked and if real life didn't get in the way, I would have easily gobbled this up in one sitting. I was drawn in by the characters, engaged in the story, and rooting for everyone. And damn it, I love me a nice grovel...and Isaiah delivers beautifully! "To watch him dance is breathtaking. To hear him speak is uplifting. To observe him playing video games on the couch with our son is joyful. To have him smile at me is...a gift. To have him love me is priceless. To love him is humbling..." Highly recommend this book! Pick it up and fall in love. ------------------------------------- Pre-Review Thoughts: (view spoiler)[ POC football player/single dad + ballet dancer + marriage of convenience = ONE VERY EXCITED READER!! (hide spoiler)] **I've been informed that the "gender fluid" identification has been removed from the blurb (this was originally how Victor was described) so I am also removing it from my original posting saying that Victor is a "gender fluid ballet dancer." ***ARC courtesy of publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review***

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ele

    As a cis het woman, I don't think it's my place to say how a gender-queer character should/could/must be. However, I read Victor as a slightly effeminate man who identifies as male, and by the time I write this review the word "gender-fluid" doesn't exist in the blurb anymore, so take that as you will. Now that this is out of the way...I really liked this book. And I LOVED Victor. Loved, loved, loved him. On one hand, Victor is loud and bold regarding gay rights in Russia. I loved his activist si As a cis het woman, I don't think it's my place to say how a gender-queer character should/could/must be. However, I read Victor as a slightly effeminate man who identifies as male, and by the time I write this review the word "gender-fluid" doesn't exist in the blurb anymore, so take that as you will. Now that this is out of the way...I really liked this book. And I LOVED Victor. Loved, loved, loved him. On one hand, Victor is loud and bold regarding gay rights in Russia. I loved his activist side. On the other, he's like a quiet force. Very put together and kind, but forthcoming and honest too. Isaiah is the polar opposite. He hates confrontation and chooses to live quietly, without provoking others. Thumbs up for the great POC representation too. He's also a widower and pretty hung up on his late husband too, which is where most of the conflict comes from. "It was truth time here in the moonlight, standing on the deck of the home he’d shared with the man he’d loved, and the truth was that he was looking at a man he could love just as much if he let go. And that scared him." I know that a lot of readers will want to smack Isaiah's head upside down. He really, really, REALLY pissed me off at some point when he started lashing out and blaming Victor for things that were really not his fault. But you know, I can see where he was coming from. He led a peaceful life, trying to provide a stable environment for Evan, and Victor came and changed all that. Add the fact that he started developing serious feelings for Victor and there you have it. There is a lot of tension and the relationship angst that I adore. The fake marriage trope doesn't do much for me, normally. I always have to suspend disbelief, and although I felt the same here too, I found that it was done way better than most of the stories I 've read. The problem for me (thus the one star deduction) was that I felt that Isaiah's change of heart, or rather realisation of his feelings, wasn't that smooth. He went from pushing Victor away to "I love you" way too fast for me. Had the story been longer, there would have been more page time for Isaiah to redeem himself and come to terms with his feelings for Victor in a more natural way. That said, I loved the grand gesture and the lovely epilogue, a strong HEA. The story is very steamy, and the sex scenes are scorching! The side characters were great. Evan stole the show and I'd really love to read his story in the future. And Ian is begging for a story as well. Overall, I liked the story. Looking forward to more MM from Mrs Covington.

  6. 5 out of 5

    h o l l i s

    So, like many other folks in the book community, I got all a-twittah when I saw this book rec'd on Twitter, doubly so after reading the synopsis. However none of my expectations were met, and they were fairly low considering Covington is an another I have never heard of or read before, and I actually feel slightly.. misled. First of all, I want to get the good out of the way : representation. It's there. What with a lead who is African-American, with an adopted biracial son who is also bisexual, So, like many other folks in the book community, I got all a-twittah when I saw this book rec'd on Twitter, doubly so after reading the synopsis. However none of my expectations were met, and they were fairly low considering Covington is an another I have never heard of or read before, and I actually feel slightly.. misled. First of all, I want to get the good out of the way : representation. It's there. What with a lead who is African-American, with an adopted biracial son who is also bisexual, and the romance between two men, I mean, that's pretty solid. Not to mention a lot of dialogue around human rights, queer activism, and speaking out against hate. Secondly, the trope. Who doesn't love the fake marriage/married for [insert reason that basically means avoiding sexytimes for most of the book to ratchet up expectations] trope. Delicious. Also there's a snarky Brit bestie who I enjoyed quite a bit. However, the actual execution, the pretty mediocre writing, overexplanation of things that didn't need a simple explanation much less a complex one, glaringly obvious flubs or lack of proper set-up in some scenes (like, the big "okay fine we love each other, lets get married for real" moment happens in front of a giant audience and there's no mention of a microphone being turned off for the moment to be private. you want me to believe no one will make a stink over the fact that they just admitted their marriage was done for the sole reason to keep someone from being deported? that no fuss was made? I'm all for grand gestures but nope), some instances of corny dialogue (you're cute, no you're cute, no, youuu), stupid actions/reactions just to make the plot move (or not, as it were, two steps forward, four hundred back), and the total lack of a genderfluid character (as promised/described in the synopsis), left a lot to be desired and negated any potential fun or deliciousness. The upside? This is novella length, so you won't be forced to invest much time in getting to the inevitable happily ever after. But sadly this felt like the rough draft of a good idea that should probably have a lot more time devoted to it. And maybe some actual effort to make a genderfluid character more than just an effeminate gay man who wears eyeliner. 1.5 "sex doesn't have to lead to feelings, I have conducted several experiments on this, and I can assure you it's true" stars ** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

  7. 5 out of 5

    *J* Too Many Books Too Little Time

    4.25 Stars! I was a bit hesitant to read this one, but I can hardly say no when it comes to sports related books. And I'm really glad I gave this one a go. I found this one to be rather angsty. Angtsy in that there were times I got that nervous feeling in my gut. No doubt, at times Isaiah was 100% asshole. And when he was it completely gutted me for Victor. I really felt for him. In a way I got where Isaiah was coming from, he had a son to protect. And Victor was an easy available target. That di 4.25 Stars! I was a bit hesitant to read this one, but I can hardly say no when it comes to sports related books. And I'm really glad I gave this one a go. I found this one to be rather angsty. Angtsy in that there were times I got that nervous feeling in my gut. No doubt, at times Isaiah was 100% asshole. And when he was it completely gutted me for Victor. I really felt for him. In a way I got where Isaiah was coming from, he had a son to protect. And Victor was an easy available target. That didn't make it right. And it still made me rage. But you could see Isaiah really cared about Victor, he just didn't always handle his feelings in the best way. These two lit up the pages. They were super hot together. Off the charts chemistry. I loved Victor. And I loved Evan (he definitely needs a book someday). I even loved the two best friends - Ian and Alan. Not sure if this is this author's first foray in to MM, but I'm definitely impressed and hope we get more. ARC kindly provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

  8. 4 out of 5

    .Lili.

    Overall, I enjoyed Isaiah and Victor's story. I loved the characters' connection to each other. I loved Isaiah's son, and Victor was easy to love- BUT Isaiah I had a hard time with. I understood where he was coming from but his argument started to feel weak, and his hot and cold behavior towards Victor started to grate on my nerves. Not a slam dunk for me but saw lots of potential in the writing. I would try this author again. 3.5 Stars Overall, I enjoyed Isaiah and Victor's story. I loved the characters' connection to each other. I loved Isaiah's son, and Victor was easy to love- BUT Isaiah I had a hard time with. I understood where he was coming from but his argument started to feel weak, and his hot and cold behavior towards Victor started to grate on my nerves. Not a slam dunk for me but saw lots of potential in the writing. I would try this author again. 3.5 Stars

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ariana

    I love the 'fake-relationship' trope. Yes, it is pretty predictable what's going to happen (because of course the two people are going to fall for each other, aren't they), but it is all the delicious in-between, that appeals to me. How can love bloom in what is basically a 'business' arrangement? Isaiah and Viktor meet by chance and hook up in what's supposed to be a one night stand not long after. We get a heavy dose of insta-lust at the beginning, but that didn't bother me too much because sex I love the 'fake-relationship' trope. Yes, it is pretty predictable what's going to happen (because of course the two people are going to fall for each other, aren't they), but it is all the delicious in-between, that appeals to me. How can love bloom in what is basically a 'business' arrangement? Isaiah and Viktor meet by chance and hook up in what's supposed to be a one night stand not long after. We get a heavy dose of insta-lust at the beginning, but that didn't bother me too much because sexual attraction often just happens in a very superficial and instantaneous way. However, there is also the suggestion that they feel 'more', which, at this stage, seemed a bit far-fetched to me. The marriage happens soon after this and puts both guys into a predicament on their own: Viktor starts having serious feelings for Isaiah pretty early on. He loves his family, in particular Evan (Isaiah's son) who he bonds with easily over art and gay issues. Viktor has never had a family, a home that feels like one and above all a guy who is hot, kind and a good person. But while Viktor is falling pretty quickly Isaiah has no intention to break down the walls he has erected after his previous partner's death. He doesn't want to go through the same pain again. Even though he likes everything about Viktor, right down to the make-up. Isaiah behaves pretty badly towards Viktor on a variety of occasions. Tbh, I couldn't understand what his problem was. Yes, he was wary of love and what it might do to him, but I didn't buy that this alone would make him push away Viktor again and again, when he so clearly wants him. Isaiah is happy to ignore what he feels and makes a great effort at convincing himself that their relationship is nothing but convenient. All this could have added up to a good amount of angst and a gripping story, but it never got that 'heavy'. No doubt the blurb promises more than the plot delivers which was on the disappointing side. On the whole though this will be an enjoyable and easy read for most, and perfect for those who look for something that's not overly emotionally involved or something light to ease the mind. ARC received from author via Indigo Marketing And Design in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rosalinda *KRASNORADA*

    Sadly, this one didn't blow me away... Boy, this book had potential. I hated the first 17% of the book but that's because I don't like the MCs getting together after at least 35%. Anyway there was a reason why they needed to get together when they did so the good part (for me) started at 20% aprox and it was working well despite the fact that there is no mention of Victor being fluid-gender (this didn't bother me at all to be honest but some readers were excited about this part as it's mentioned Sadly, this one didn't blow me away... Boy, this book had potential. I hated the first 17% of the book but that's because I don't like the MCs getting together after at least 35%. Anyway there was a reason why they needed to get together when they did so the good part (for me) started at 20% aprox and it was working well despite the fact that there is no mention of Victor being fluid-gender (this didn't bother me at all to be honest but some readers were excited about this part as it's mentioned in the blurb). I think I never connected with Isaiah and that was my main issue, he started being an idiot and until (view spoiler)[95% he was still an idiot (hide spoiler)] . I didn't feel the connection between them (view spoiler)[ not even when they go away on their honeymoon (hide spoiler)] and the only character I probably liked the most was Evan, Isaiah's son. This being said, the book wasn't bad, I enjoyed the writing but the story didn't work for me.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cadiva

    Victor is amazing, Isaiah is a dick and lots of bits of this book are a hot mess but I still mostly enjoyed it. I note from friends reviews that the blurb changed at some point to remove references to Victor being gender fluid and that's probably a good thing as I didn't really read anything within the text which gave that impression. Evan, Isaiah's adopted son on the other hand, did seem to be pushing boundaries and I loved him and his fierce attitude and determination to be himself. Victor was aw Victor is amazing, Isaiah is a dick and lots of bits of this book are a hot mess but I still mostly enjoyed it. I note from friends reviews that the blurb changed at some point to remove references to Victor being gender fluid and that's probably a good thing as I didn't really read anything within the text which gave that impression. Evan, Isaiah's adopted son on the other hand, did seem to be pushing boundaries and I loved him and his fierce attitude and determination to be himself. Victor was awesome too, did I mention I loved Victor?! Dancers are a weakness for me, the power and grace and artistry and sexuality, vulnerability and their ability to convey emotion just ticks all my boxes. It's one of the greatest joys and biggest regrets of my life that I didn't keep dancing past my mid teens, especially when I was dancing with some of the finest contemporary dancers who went on to found Phoenix Dance Theatre. I wanted Victor to kick Isaiah to the curb after he hurt him through his foolish words and unthinking actions. I did understand where Isaiah was coming from, having lost his first husband, but he was still a dick. There is some good groveling though and a very public declaration of feelings once Isaiah gets his head out of his own way and realises he's being a coward and the epilogue is super sweet. It's quite a short story, longer than a novella but not full length story mode and I think that is what caused a bit of the messy plotting. Isaiah's change of heart and willingness to actually be with Victor as a proper husband just felt a bit too quick, even with Evan's calling out of his behaviour. Still, kudos for the MCs being a POC pro footballer and Chechnyan dancer rather than the more commonly portrayed Caucasian males. #ARC received from the publishers via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    BWT

    Wow. There are times when I'll pick something up because the buzz about it is so great and the reviews are all raves and I'll be so excited...only to read the story and wonder what everyone else was reading. I like a good fake marriage trope, and this one even has a twist with one of the MCs Isaiah being a widower and the other being a dancer and activist who is sure to be put to death if he returns to his homeland. It's current, relevant, and even has some quite passionate encounters to spice it Wow. There are times when I'll pick something up because the buzz about it is so great and the reviews are all raves and I'll be so excited...only to read the story and wonder what everyone else was reading. I like a good fake marriage trope, and this one even has a twist with one of the MCs Isaiah being a widower and the other being a dancer and activist who is sure to be put to death if he returns to his homeland. It's current, relevant, and even has some quite passionate encounters to spice it all up. But this bored me. Profoundly. I almost chucked in the towel and marked DNF on three separate occasions, only to keep going because damn it what was I missing that everyone else loved? This sort of thing makes me feel broken. I don't know...The set up, the characters, it should have worked for me. But it didn't. Unfortunately, it was just a whole lot of did not work for me. Obviously, YMMV.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Joey

    I am floored, stunned and slain by this beautiful book. The feelings and tension between Viktor and Isaiah were palpable and so so very real. I love how the author took things that are happening in our world and wove them into the story. The relationship that these two build, along with Isaiah's son is a true thing of beauty. This book hit every point for me. Good writing, steamy smexy times and an important message. Anything with ballet is going to be an auto read for me, I love dance, I love da I am floored, stunned and slain by this beautiful book. The feelings and tension between Viktor and Isaiah were palpable and so so very real. I love how the author took things that are happening in our world and wove them into the story. The relationship that these two build, along with Isaiah's son is a true thing of beauty. This book hit every point for me. Good writing, steamy smexy times and an important message. Anything with ballet is going to be an auto read for me, I love dance, I love dancers and I love dance stories.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Al *the semi serial series skipper*

    A typical marriage of convenience turning into love. This is a pretty popular troupe so there is really no surprise when reading it. I did think this was pretty well done. I liked the characters and for such a short book I was able to connect with them and buy into their love story. I will be reading more from this author.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ami

    3.5 stars Let's get to the things I like first. Robin Covington is a new-to-me author, and I assume this is her first foray into the M/M romance genre? On that matter, I like her writing just fine. I noticed a couple of missing words and weird sentences, but I figured since this was an advanced copy everything will be edited better on release date. The characters are likeable enough -- especially Victor, Evan (Isaiah's son), and a couple of secondary characters. I have (not-so-good) things to say 3.5 stars Let's get to the things I like first. Robin Covington is a new-to-me author, and I assume this is her first foray into the M/M romance genre? On that matter, I like her writing just fine. I noticed a couple of missing words and weird sentences, but I figured since this was an advanced copy everything will be edited better on release date. The characters are likeable enough -- especially Victor, Evan (Isaiah's son), and a couple of secondary characters. I have (not-so-good) things to say about Isaiah, and I'll get to him later. Victor was such lovely man -- my heart went out for him whenever Isaiah said the things that hurt Victor; because clearly Victor cared for both Isaiah and Evan. I also thought that Evan would be a wonderful man when he grows up. And despite the premise of Victor denied asylum and a touch of current real issues with how Russia deals with homosexuality, the overall tone of this book is angst-lite. In fact I thought the 'conflict' that drove Isaiah and Victor apart could need more substance since whetever reasons that Isaiah had felt weak in my opinion. Which I guess now I had to talk about Isaiah... I definitely did NOT like the way he was treating Victor... his reason about not wanting to put Evan in the spotlight and everything that happened was Victor's fault was pretty lame. Dude, you PROPOSED to him, and you're the adult here, so maybe you SHOULD consider Victor's reputation and attitude first before using your son as your defense speech. Also, with Evan's tendency to embrace his feminine side, wearing make-up and dress, being flamboyant and unapologetic, for Isaiah to NEVER for once think that his son would get bullied or taunted in school is either naive or stupid. No wonder Isaiah keeps saying that all goodness that comes with Evan is all his late husband's doing *hmph. That grand gesture in the end is nice, and I'm all for grand gesture, but in my opinion, Isaiah needs more groveling! I also need to note ONE thing. I requested this ARC because initially, in the blurb, Victor was described as brash, loud, and gender fluid. I know that it can attract readers looking for gender-fluid representation, including myself. I read this expecting a gender-fluid ballet dancer. Unfortunately, just because Victor likes to wear make-up does not immediately make him one. It was a misleading description and I was rather disappointed at that. However, I also found the "gender fluid" description has been removed from the blurb (I checked Amazon while I was writing this review). So, I thought it was a good decision. In overall, while I may have problems but it's not so bad that it ruins my reading experience. And I am adding extra star-rating for Victor and Evan, of course. PS: Self-musing, I wonder if it's a "rule" for MF authors trying to dip their pens in M/M romance to include solo-shower-jerk-off. Because really, I've been reading this genre for almost a decade. I'm SO over that scene! *eye rolls* The ARC is provided by the publisher for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Victor was a sweetie - sassy, determined and vulnerable. A principal dancer fighting for gay rights and highlighting the atrocities in Russia. He was out, loud and proud. Isaiah on the other hand was a real dick ! I know I was supposed to feel differently for him, ok so he suffered the loss of his first love, but seriously he ran hot and cold. Poor Victor was treated like crap while Isaiah got his shit together. Isaiah kept quiet, didn't rock the boat and challenged very little. He understood Vic Victor was a sweetie - sassy, determined and vulnerable. A principal dancer fighting for gay rights and highlighting the atrocities in Russia. He was out, loud and proud. Isaiah on the other hand was a real dick ! I know I was supposed to feel differently for him, ok so he suffered the loss of his first love, but seriously he ran hot and cold. Poor Victor was treated like crap while Isaiah got his shit together. Isaiah kept quiet, didn't rock the boat and challenged very little. He understood Victors plight with being deported and offered the get married- deep down he was HOT for Victor ! I'm not such a big fan of fake romances, all those lies make me anxious, however at times this fake marriage was plain hurtful. Just when Victor thought Isaiah was coming around, he reminded Victor that he was not part of the family, that he was simply convenient. Thank goddess for Evan, Isaiahs adopted son as he helped me tolerate Isaiah a little more. A great character! I liked this book, just didn't love it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ariadna

    DNF at 10% ETA: one of the reasons why I'd been so excited about this book was cuz the original blurb described one of the MCs as genderfluid (this was also mentioned all over book!twitter.) The blurb was reedited not so long ago and the MC is no longer described as thus. I loved that cover and was deffo @[email protected] at the premise. Had seen A LOT of (what I now know was) OTT great buzz. Since the price point was $0.99, I figured it was going to be a Win-Win... And yet, I was SO WRONG. Mediocre writing, t DNF at 10% ETA: one of the reasons why I'd been so excited about this book was cuz the original blurb described one of the MCs as genderfluid (this was also mentioned all over book!twitter.) The blurb was reedited not so long ago and the MC is no longer described as thus. I loved that cover and was deffo @[email protected] at the premise. Had seen A LOT of (what I now know was) OTT great buzz. Since the price point was $0.99, I figured it was going to be a Win-Win... And yet, I was SO WRONG. Mediocre writing, too much telling/not enough showing, and characters I was quite meh about. The idea of continuing this book all the way to the end felt like a huge waste of time. There was a good story somewhere in this novel. #Andyet TL;DR: Giving it 1 star might be too generous, but there we are.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    This one was delightful... 'His Convenient Husband' is about what could happen when a man who has everything loses the love of his life...his forever after meets a man who's still looking for his. Raising his son and playing professional football in the NFL has probably been what's gotten Isaiah Blackwell through the past three years since his beloved husband Stephen was taken from them. What Isaiah's not ready for is the attraction that he feels towards the sensual, gender fluid, outspoken a This one was delightful... 'His Convenient Husband' is about what could happen when a man who has everything loses the love of his life...his forever after meets a man who's still looking for his. Raising his son and playing professional football in the NFL has probably been what's gotten Isaiah Blackwell through the past three years since his beloved husband Stephen was taken from them. What Isaiah's not ready for is the attraction that he feels towards the sensual, gender fluid, outspoken and confident ballet dancer Victor Aleksandrov whose stance on Russia's treatment of gays has put his life in jeopardy if his request for asylum in the United States is denied and he is forced to return to his homeland. Isaiah may not be out and proud but he's not hiding in any closets either. He really just wants to play football and raise the son that he and Stephen adopted. While someone like Victor may not be his type, he can't deny the pull of attraction that he feels and after spending a passionate night with Victor, Isaiah learns that Victor has been denied asylum he does what any decent man would do...he proposes...a marriage of convenience. I really enjoyed this one it ticked more than a few boxes for me. I loved Victor, he was simply a wonderful character that worked beautifully in my mind. I can't say that I thought he was perfect but he was wonderful. To me he was neither brash nor loud. He was confident and outspoken, he believed in his cause, having gotten outside the borders of Russia he felt that he had a duty to speak out about the treatment of the LGBTQ community in Russia but he truly did this with style and finesse. Sadly at the end of it all though Victor was outspoken about what he believed in and Isaiah played for the NFL and was a man who like to keep a low profile on his private life and his priority was to give his son as normal of a life as possible out of the limelight. While Isaiah's intentions were admirable what he failed to factor in was how amazing his son was. Evan was definitely a favorite in this story. He was an amazing human being and if the author ever decides to give us Evan's story...maybe a few years down the road in his life...sign me up and consider me there. Along with Evan the other secondary character in this book whose story I would totally be on board for was Isaiah's best friend and agent Ian Carmichael...this man is begging to be struck by lightening. His idea of a long-term relationship means he paid for the hotel for a long weekend. He's British, he's snarky and calls a spade a spade but at the heart of it all he wants the best for the people he cares about. What starts as a marriage of convenience to keep Victor from being deported quickly becomes a quagmire of emotional landmines for both of these men as their attraction grows and real life intrudes bringing with it some much unwanted attention that leads to misunderstandings and leaves both men frustrated and hurt. I really enjoyed this and the only little niggle that I had was the ending. It was good I just needed it to go a little further...I wanted a little more of this sexy as hell couple but as I said it's only a little niggle because we were definitely left with these men in a good place...this one was a HEA to be sure but still, I'm greedy I want more. ************************* An ARC of 'A Marriage of Convenience' was graciously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Xan West

    A copy was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review I wanted to care more about the characters than I actually did. I wasn't rooting for them as a couple. I didn't enjoy the romance arc, and thought the characterization was very thin. I requested this book because the blurb said Victor is gender fluid. Nothing in the text indicates that he is genderfluid. He's a femme cis gay man who does drag occasionally and never on page. The blurb has since been changed, an A copy was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review I wanted to care more about the characters than I actually did. I wasn't rooting for them as a couple. I didn't enjoy the romance arc, and thought the characterization was very thin. I requested this book because the blurb said Victor is gender fluid. Nothing in the text indicates that he is genderfluid. He's a femme cis gay man who does drag occasionally and never on page. The blurb has since been changed, and it no longer refers to Victor this way. As a non-binary reader, I was excited to read a romance with a genderfluid protagonist, and was disappointed that this book wasn't actually what the blurb indicated. I thought Isaiah was a jerk, who also didn't feel realistic to me as a queer character. He is depicted like he magically went through life without ever experiencing any direct queer hatred, or witnessing any, he seems very clueless about the realities of being a queer person, which makes no sense at all, even for a masc queer football player. He cannot imagine what it's like for his femme queer husband who is an exile because of queer hatred, or his gender independent (and possibly trans and/or non-binary) bisexual teen child (who was my favorite character, by the way). I liked Evan a lot, and wished that I got to see Victor and Evan's relationship build; that felt like it needed more screen time. I wanted so much more for Evan than a parent like Isaiah who could not get even the most basic aspects of daily reality as a gender independent teen, and doesn't even try. It felt like this gender independent, possibly trans and/or non-binary character was there primarily to teach Isaiah about gender and being openly queer, and especially to further the romance plot. Evan's gender and queerness should be more than a plot device. Especially in a book that had a blurb misrepresenting itself as a story with a non-binary main character. I don't mind some fantasy in my romance if the story and writing sells it, but this story was the sort of fantasy that just didn't work for me; I couldn't buy it, couldn't suspend my disbelief. The odd mixture of queer activism, experiences of queer hatred and bullying, and a completely clueless queer main character who cannot empathize with his queer family members pretty much at all...felt very off to me. It honestly felt like very little research went into the writing of this book. It made the story itself feel incredibly improbable. This is compounded by a marriage of convenience for immigration reasons arc that also felt very unrealistic, both because I didn't feel like Isaiah's actions and proposal were probable, and the actual references to the immigration process presented queer marriage as a route to citizenship as if it was simple and easy. It basically handwaved away any obstacles or difficulties the characters might have in this process. It also struck me as deeply unrealistic that they thought Victor could easily move to live across the country from his husband during the immigration process and it would be no problem. I am not an immigrant, so I cannot speak in more detail to the impact of this sort of simplified portrayal, but this is an issue that we need complex nuanced stories engaging with, and unfortunately this story is not that. The moments when Victor was talking and thinking about Isaiah's Blackness and the contrast in their skin tones while they were having sex made me uncomfortable, especially as he was topping him sexually, which carries a potential power dynamic. That said, I'm a white reader, so I cannot speak to this issue in more depth. I was disappointed that we neither got to see much of the sports or the dance, or get details about the daily experience of being a dancer or an athlete. That was another reason I was drawn to the story. What I love about romances centering characters who are devoted to the arts or to athletics are those kinds of details, the way they illuminate character. Instead of being a window into who these two men were, it felt like these vocations were there to prop up the very simplified masc/femme framework in the story. It seemed like this line up of stereotyped opposites that we were supposed to fill in the blanks of, instead of getting deep or nuanced characterization: masc/femme, football player/dancer, het passing/queer activist. This made for a story that felt steeped in misogyny and femme hatred, deeply othered both Victor and Isaiah's kid for not being masc/being openly queer, and felt like it reproduced the queer hatred and heterosexism that the story seemed intended to challenge. This aspect of the story more than any other, made the book feel as if it was only written for an allo cis het audience. As a queer reader, this made for a difficult read. I really wanted this book to be good. I was so excited to read it. And unfortunately, found it deeply disappointing, pretty much across the board. Trigger Warnings: (view spoiler)[ Threat of death if character is unable to get asylum. Bullying, including physical violence. Queer hatred. Gender policing. Misogyny and femme hatred. Brief moment of diet talk and fat hatred. (hide spoiler)]

  20. 4 out of 5

    Linda (un)Conventional Bookworms

    This review was originally posted on (un)Conventional Bookviews His Convenient Husband is more than a romance, as the story shows how difficult it can be to be in the spotlight. How queer people get dragged into fights they need to fight not just for themselves, but for others as well. Story: I enjoyed His Convenient Husband a lot! There was both sports, art and romance, and I felt a deep connection to Isiah. He had been existing more than living since his husband's death, and meeting Victor This review was originally posted on (un)Conventional Bookviews His Convenient Husband is more than a romance, as the story shows how difficult it can be to be in the spotlight. How queer people get dragged into fights they need to fight not just for themselves, but for others as well. Story: I enjoyed His Convenient Husband a lot! There was both sports, art and romance, and I felt a deep connection to Isiah. He had been existing more than living since his husband's death, and meeting Victor woke something deep inside of him. Raising a son on his own, while playing ball and keeping the team director and sponsors happy was hard already. Once he met Victor, things just became harder. As I said in my grabber, His Convenient Husband is more than a romance. And I think being in the spotlight is even harder for people who can be classified as 'different'. Isiah had never hidden that he was gay, but his deceased husband was a quiet man, never in the spotlight, so neither the fans nor the sponsors had really thought about this before. Victor, however, was very outspoken about being gay. And he was flamboyant. And he was seeking asylum in the US so he wouldn't have to go back to Russia after criticising the government's treatment of LGBT+ people in his home country. Needless to say, there was quite a bit of conflict in His Convenient Husband, both internal and external. Isiah thought he was forgetting about his first husband by being with someone else. As if he didn't deserve to be happy again. Thankfully, both his mother, his son, and Victor had other plans. Characters: Isiah was a very loyal person, not only to his first husband's memory, but also to his son, to his family, and to his team. He wanted to do things right, only he wasn't sure he could allow himself to be happy again. Evan, Isiah's son, is much more open-minded and fearless than Isiah. But he sometimes has to pay the price for that, as his fellow students aren't always accommodating. Victor was a strong character, but he could only take so much rejection. Meeting Isiah changed something in him, but Isiah wanted to stay a bit distant, and he made Victor feel out of place more than once. Writing style : His Convenient Husband is written in third person point of view, past tense, following Victor and Isiah closely to share their inner thoughts and feelings with the readers. Feels : I felt pretty helpless at times, and I wanted to hug Isiah and tell him things would work out - even if I had no idea whether they would or not. I also felt a lot of hope, and very strong love. His stage makeup was gone, but he still wore black eyeliner and a slight gloss on his lips while a god stud pierced one ear. He wasn't feminine exactly, but he didn't fit into a purely masculine mold, either.  His mother led the charge, with Evan, Ian, Mick, and his attorney in tow. It looked like a firing squad coming straight for him, and he had the fleeting thought to cut and run.

  21. 5 out of 5

    ren

    Also on my blog. First of all: there is no genderfluid character in this book. I’m pretty sure the author didn’t write the blurb/didn’t have control over it, but whoever is at fault for this should sit in the corner to think really hard about they did. I had never heard of this book or this author before and only got to know about it because I saw people being excited about the supposedly genderfluid character on Twittter. When I saw that it involved sports and ballet and had black main character Also on my blog. First of all: there is no genderfluid character in this book. I’m pretty sure the author didn’t write the blurb/didn’t have control over it, but whoever is at fault for this should sit in the corner to think really hard about they did. I had never heard of this book or this author before and only got to know about it because I saw people being excited about the supposedly genderfluid character on Twittter. When I saw that it involved sports and ballet and had black main character as well, I was thrilled. It seemed the kind of romance made just for me. But Victor isn’t genderfluid. He never, ever, thinks about his gender during the story. He refers to himself as man all the time and doesn’t even hint at being genderfluid. If it weren’t for the blurb, I wouldn’t never have thought him to be anything but a cis man. Because that’s what he is. But since he’s a more or less androgynous gay man who likes makeup someone thought it’d be good idea to say he’s genderfluid in the blurb? I guess? This is false advertisement, this is a mess and this is frankly dishonest. I hope the blurb is changed at some time so genderfluid/non-binary readers don’t get their (our) hopes up just to be disappointed. But speaking about the book itself… I didn’t like it. His Convenient Husband unfortunately reads like a first draft. The writing is cliché and not that engaging and the characters make no sense at all. The conflicts are forced and come out of nowhere, which then forces the characters to act out of character. An example: one minute Isaiah is reluctant to even go talk to Victor (who is at a bar drinking because his asylum request was denied) but then when he gets there he takes two drinks and proposes to marry him to keep him safe. Like, what? And it didn’t even seem like he did because of the drinks, since not once he considers this or regrets proposing. The book is full of moments like this: the characters make choices or speak things only to create conflict and make the plot move. It’s one of the biggest Because the Plot Said So I’ve read recently. And that (if we ignore the whole genderfluid thing) was what ruined the book for me. The characters are so inconsistent it was impossible to like or relate to them, and that along with the poor writing made His Convenient Husband almost painful to read. Which is a pity because I did like some of its themes (like speaking out when you have the platform and things like that). In conclusion, His Convenient Husband had an awesome premise, but the execution failed to make it a good book. 2 stars.

  22. 4 out of 5

    fleurette

    I love the marriage of convenience idea in my books. But there are very few such books among MM romances. This story is quite okay. There are a few things that I would change, but I enjoyed it anyway. When the motif of marriage of convenience appears in the book, I am always curious as to the reason why these two people decide to marry. Often it is not very reliable. But here, the reason Isaiah and Victor get married is very good and actually justifies such a drastic step. This is one of the very I love the marriage of convenience idea in my books. But there are very few such books among MM romances. This story is quite okay. There are a few things that I would change, but I enjoyed it anyway. When the motif of marriage of convenience appears in the book, I am always curious as to the reason why these two people decide to marry. Often it is not very reliable. But here, the reason Isaiah and Victor get married is very good and actually justifies such a drastic step. This is one of the very good points of this book. Others are interesting characters. Although Isaiah and Victor are very different from each other, they somehow fit together pretty well. And for such a short book, the author definitely managed to convince me that Isaiah and Victor are opposites that attract each other. I had no doubts about the chemistry between them and that they really match. And at the same time each of them is an interesting character. For such a short book they are definitely multidimensional and well-developed. I also liked Isaiah’s son. I think he adds an extra dimension to the entire book. What I didn't like was the way the conflict between Isaiah and Victor was built. Twice, Isaiah accuses Victor of something that is not his real intention and that is not actually his fault. I don't think Isaiah really knows he's done wrong either. I am definitely disappointed with his actions. But overall, this is a pretty nice story, a bit better than I’ve expected even.

  23. 4 out of 5

    BR11

    3 1/2stars It was a good story and I enjoyed the book. I liked both characters and how different they were. Their contrast made the relationship interesting and hot. I enjoyed the secondary characters as well (Evan and Ian). What disappointed me a little was the 'conflict'. It didn't sound strong enough to justify their back and forths. Also, the book needed a little more meat to it. At points it seemed I was reading the cliff notes instead of the actual book. Overall an enjoyable read. 3 1/2stars It was a good story and I enjoyed the book. I liked both characters and how different they were. Their contrast made the relationship interesting and hot. I enjoyed the secondary characters as well (Evan and Ian). What disappointed me a little was the 'conflict'. It didn't sound strong enough to justify their back and forths. Also, the book needed a little more meat to it. At points it seemed I was reading the cliff notes instead of the actual book. Overall an enjoyable read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    True Loveislovereview

    3.5 Isaiah NFL player is with his son Evan in theater so his son can meet the beautiful gracious ballet dancer Victor. There is a sparkle between Isaiah and Victor. The meet again and have a steamy encounter. After Victor is denied a asylum status he has to go back to Russia were a sudden death is waiting because of Victor's out and proud spoken opinion against the homophobia in Russia Isaiah has a wonderful idea... they will go to Vegas and get married There were several moments I didn't liked Isai 3.5 Isaiah NFL player is with his son Evan in theater so his son can meet the beautiful gracious ballet dancer Victor. There is a sparkle between Isaiah and Victor. The meet again and have a steamy encounter. After Victor is denied a asylum status he has to go back to Russia were a sudden death is waiting because of Victor's out and proud spoken opinion against the homophobia in Russia Isaiah has a wonderful idea... they will go to Vegas and get married There were several moments I didn't liked Isaiah at all. He hurt Victor's feelings more than once. He'd gave me a bad whiplash. He was an overprotective father and made the decision to let no one in his heart. After his husband died he didn't want to feel the pain ever again. So after offering Victor a place in his house he was clear about the fact 'not in his heart'! Only you can't control lust and love. So....big protective Isaiah, hard with words but with a lovely heart, has it hard to withstand his feelings toward Victor. Victor is the main for me. Sweet, humorous, always helpful and in love with the man who has no room in his heart for him. Nice story, written in a touching way. Family is important in this story... the personalities were put down in a good way. The writing style was appealing. A minus was the fact that I didn't always get who was talking or thinking. That was confusing. Kindly received an ARC through NetGalley

  25. 5 out of 5

    Annie ~ Queer Books Unbound

    Reviewed for From Top to Bottom Reviews. *A copy of this was provided via NetGalley Two things initially drew me to this book: 1. The synopsis. (Though when I requested it, the blurb said that Victor was a genderfluid ballet dancer.) I probably would have requested the book even if the blurb hadn't said that Victor was genderfluid, but it was definitely the thing that made me smash that request button on NetGalley. 2. The cover. Few books feature a person of colour on the cover. And especially spor Reviewed for From Top to Bottom Reviews. *A copy of this was provided via NetGalley Two things initially drew me to this book: 1. The synopsis. (Though when I requested it, the blurb said that Victor was a genderfluid ballet dancer.) I probably would have requested the book even if the blurb hadn't said that Victor was genderfluid, but it was definitely the thing that made me smash that request button on NetGalley. 2. The cover. Few books feature a person of colour on the cover. And especially sports/football romance are so white, it's just ridiculous. But His Convenient Husband has an afro-american NFL-player AND he's on the cover. Two things that made me all the more excited to read this book. In the end I had mixed feelings about this story. Mostly because I had expectations based on the blurb, and then I got something different. As I mentioned above, a previous version of the blurb said that Victor is genderfluid. But he's not. He's an effeminate gay man who likes make up and to wear androgynous clothes. I realise though that someone who picks the book up once it releases won't have the same expectations as I did. One thing I absolutely loved about His Convenient Husband, was that it just drew me in. I love it when a book can excite me right from the beginning. The writing was engaging and flowed really well. If it weren't for my job I would have definitely read this in one sitting. In the blink of an eye I was almost halfway through the book - I couldn't wait for my lunch break so I could read more of it! The chemistry and first attraction between Victor and Isaiah is palpable and I found the side characters vivid and fascinating. I loved Isaiah's agent - and Evan, Isaiah's son is just amazing. I really hope that one day he'll get his own story because he's so fierce and has got SO much charisma; I'd just love to read more about him. I really liked Victor, he is, apart from Evan maybe, definitely my favourite character in this story. I loved his outspokenness and was definitely rooting for him to get his happy end. I was hurting with him Isaiah on the other hand was (sometimes) a really frustrating character. I do like him, and I believe that his isn't intentionally hurting anyone around him. I understand and appreciate that he wants to protect his son. It's fantastic that Evan is his first priority - as he should be in this arrangement! BUT Isaiah really has a problem to just listen, sometimes. His son is 14 years old and definitely will make stupid decisions. And Isaiah can't protect him from everything. Especially because Victor technically is Isaiah's husband and therefore Evan's step-dad, even if it's just out of convenience, but Isaiah can't expect his 14 year old son not to be inspired by Victor or try to be a bit more like him. Even more so because I feel like Isaiah should realise that his son is possibly genderqueer. At the very least gender non-conforming Evan loves to wear dresses and to experiment with make-up. And he's done this even before Isaiah and Victor met. When things blew up, I just needed way more groveling on Isaiah's part to believe him and that he was actually in it permanently. Whenever something happened, Isaiah would just blindly make Victor responsible for it - completely disregarding that Evan is his own person, with his own decisions and mistakes to make. Evan was inspired by Victor, who continued to speak out about the situation for gay men in russia. And Isaiah knew this when he married Victor. He knew it! So throwing Victor's activism in his face whenever things didn't go the way Isaiah wanted them to, really annoyed me. Nevertheless - even though Isaiah is thick-headed and stubborn, I still really enjoyed this book. I can't wait to read the sequels in this series and to see Victor, Isaiah and Evan again. Recommended!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

    I could not resist picking this book up for review when I saw it featured a NFL player and a male ballet dancer, it went immediately in to my must read now pile. There was much I really loved about this book, but the one drawback was I felt like the relationship building between these two men got a bit lost in the shuffle. That being said, His Convenient Husband was fresh, it was powerful, and it was absolutely in tune with social injustices going on in today’s world and in addition we did get t I could not resist picking this book up for review when I saw it featured a NFL player and a male ballet dancer, it went immediately in to my must read now pile. There was much I really loved about this book, but the one drawback was I felt like the relationship building between these two men got a bit lost in the shuffle. That being said, His Convenient Husband was fresh, it was powerful, and it was absolutely in tune with social injustices going on in today’s world and in addition we did get to see two men learn how to accept each other for who they are and fall in love. From the moment Isaiah Blackwell sees Victor Akelsandrov he is mesmerized by the dancer; the way he moves, the way he greets his fans, the way he speaks out for human rights in his home country, and the way his son’s face lights up when they are introduced. He can’t deny that there is something about the man that calls to him, but the pain of losing his husband and Evan’s other dad three years ago is something he never wants to repeat. One night with Victor and Isaiah know he needs to stay far away from the man, but when Victor gets some bad news, Isaiah goes to him on behalf of their mutual agent and finds himself wed to the out and proud Russian. I really loved that these two men were so very different, both gay and both out, their personalities and the way they present themselves to the world were far apart. Isaiah is quiet, reserved, and keeps his private live private. Victor is out, proud, and more gender fluid often donning make-up, dressing and acting more effeminate. Given that Isaiah’s son is artistic and loves make-up, wearing dresses, and different hairstyles, he accepts all of Victor easily. However, the contrast between them also made their relationship volatile especially when Isaiah’s son, Evan, is caught in the crossfire. And given the parameters of their relationship, things get very complicated, very quickly. I loved the family they were building even when Isaiah and Victor were keeping their distance physically, but I needed to see more of just the two of them together really digging deep and learning about each other, their hopes, their dreams, their fears. While it was easy to see their attraction physically, and the jealously that reared its head a couple of times, I never felt like I saw them connect fully on an emotional level and I missed that. His Convenient Husband was a completely entertaining romance; the characters were intriguing, their situation was different, and their path to being together while rocky made the destination that much greater. src="http://www.guiltypleasuresbookreviews..." alt="" width="350" height="100" /> Oh, wow, another beautiful story by Robin Covington. Filled with a lot of angst, a lot of mixed signals and love, you can’t keep yourself from turning the pages to see what Victor will do next or how Isaiah will handle the situation. In the beginning, my heart broke for Isaiah. Then, as the story progressed, his attitude and his dismissal of his growing feeling for Victor, aggravated me. He was protective of Evan and his heart. He had the love of his life taken from him and doesn’t feel that there is room in his heart for anyone else. He also keeps a very low profile … everyone knows that he is “out” but he can’t make wave with his teammates, his bosses or the NFL. Marrying Victor to keep him safe is one thing … marrying Victor to fall in love with him is another. Victor is loud and proud. The total opposite of Isaiah. The one night of sex with him keeps replaying in his mind. He knows that they could be wonderful together but Isaiah made it clear that this is a temporary marriage of convenience. As he gets to know Isaiah and Evan, he can’t help but fall in love. When the game changes and Isaiah finally realizes that he wants more with Victor, disaster strikes and everything that they started to build is torn apart. There was a lot of angst in this story but it worked. Isaiah was interesting but Victor was fabulous. I loved Evan and the statements that he was making at such a young age. The interactions between the characters were very well written and thought out. The ending was beautiful and Robin Covington didn’t disappoint me with the way she brought everything and everyone together.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tanya (Girl Plus Books)

    3.5 STARS Pro-football player Isaiah and Russian ballet dancer Victor meet and spend one night together with the understanding that it’s a one-time hookup. Their chemistry is obviously off the charts but Isaiah, having lost his husband three years ago, is solely focused on raising his teenage son and is not interested in another relationship. Victor has been outspoken about his country’s brutal treatment of gay men and when his request for asylum is denied Isaiah steps in with a surprising propos 3.5 STARS Pro-football player Isaiah and Russian ballet dancer Victor meet and spend one night together with the understanding that it’s a one-time hookup. Their chemistry is obviously off the charts but Isaiah, having lost his husband three years ago, is solely focused on raising his teenage son and is not interested in another relationship. Victor has been outspoken about his country’s brutal treatment of gay men and when his request for asylum is denied Isaiah steps in with a surprising proposition: a quickie wedding in Vegas meant to keep Victor safe in the U.S. Now navigating a new marriage of convenience, Isaiah struggles to balance his need for privacy with Victor’s activism – all while trying to ignore his growing attachment to this new man in his life. Despite having several fundamental differences, Isaiah and Victor had an instant attraction with the possibility of so much more. Unfortunately, Isaiah was dead set against opening himself up to a new relationship. He had been devastated by the death of his husband and was determined to never feel that kind of loss again. As a professional football player, he was a public figure but maintained a very low profile. He was naturally a private man and was also adamant about providing his son Evan with a normal life outside the spotlight. I applauded Isaiah’s commitment to protecting Evan and, to an extent, understood his resistance to a new relationship, but only up to a point. There were times I was frustrated with Isaiah for continually keeping Victor at arm’s length and at times his rigid stance was downright hurtful to Victor. Speaking of Victor, he’s described in the synopsis as brash and loud but I never saw that. He was a committed and outspoken activist for gay rights and was a man who was strong with the power of his conviction. But he was also a lonely man who was raised as ward of the Russian government when his talent for ballet became evident. Victor was sweet and kind and so desperate to be a part of a loving family. From the first time Isaiah’s mother met Victor and engulfed him in a welcoming hug it was obvious this man pined for the safety and security of family. I wanted that so much for Victor and my heart hurt for him each time Isaiah made a choice to shut him out. What I enjoyed about Isaiah and Victor was the fact that they were so different and they appreciated those differences in one another. And they were almost always honest and upfront with each other. I also loved Victor’s connection with Isaiah’s son, Evan. The two of them bonded quickly and had such a great relationship. Unfortunately the length of the book (barely over 200 pages) didn’t allow for much character development and the end of the story felt rushed. It would have been nice to see this expanded into more of a full length novel and allow for more time to form a real connection with the characters and their story. Note: I received an advance reader copy of this book. This does not change my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

    Review to come, but I will say this book was great :)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mandi

    A contemporary, male/male, marriage of convenience book?? It’s my candy! Isaiah is a NFL football player, who lost his husband three years prior to the book starting. His late husband was quiet, and serious and together they never made any drama – which is how the big guns at the top of the NFL chain like to keep it when it comes to handling gay players. They adopted a bi-racial son, who is also gay, and both Isiah and his son are still grieving this loss. Isaiah’s agent introduces him to a Russi A contemporary, male/male, marriage of convenience book?? It’s my candy! Isaiah is a NFL football player, who lost his husband three years prior to the book starting. His late husband was quiet, and serious and together they never made any drama – which is how the big guns at the top of the NFL chain like to keep it when it comes to handling gay players. They adopted a bi-racial son, who is also gay, and both Isiah and his son are still grieving this loss. Isaiah’s agent introduces him to a Russian ballet dancer named Victor, visiting from Russia to perform in the states. Victor wears make-up and is much more flamboyant than Isaiah – and has also become somewhat of an activist – as gay people are treated horribly – even sentence to death, back in Russia.Victor has become so outspoken over this, that he is seeking asylum in the United States. He meets Isaiah when Isaiah’s son wanted an autograph, and there is an instant attraction. So much so, they have a very hot and heavy make out session shortly after their first meeting. When Victor’s plea for asylum is denied, he is terrified of going back to Russia. Isaiah offers to marry him so he can stay in the states, and their marriage can just be more for friendship, not an actual relationship. But these two have a hard time keeping it in their pants – and staying just friends. I enjoyed both Isaiah and Victor. Isaiah is trying to raise his son, and not make a lot of waves with the people in the NFL. He tells himself over and over again that he has already experienced a love of a lifetime, and doesn’t want to head down that path again. Sure, he will enjoy a physical release with Victor, but no feelings are to become involved. Especially with a loud, more vibrant ballet dancer. Victor falls for Isaiah hard, and with the pressures he is facing back in Russia, he wears his heart more on his sleeve in this one. When I received the request for this review, the blurb described Victor as “gender fluid” – but now that I look at the blurb on Goodreads, it’s been edited out. So, I’m not sure what that means, but I was going to put in this review that I didn’t feel as if Victor was gender fluid. But we don’t get to know him that well. I think we could have really used a more deep look into Victor’s life – while I enjoyed him, there is so much that we miss out on – his life back in Russia, how he was raised – basically we only get the main highlights of his past. I also think Isaiah could have been any profession – he didn’t really feel like a football player. And I wish we had had more ballet in the book as well. I liked the two main guys, but everything else felt rushed and a bit glossed over. I needed more depth. Grade: C

  30. 4 out of 5

    Apolishedreader

    4.5 stars for this book about two strong men from very different walks of life who figure out how to make an unusual situation work. I really enjoyed this book! I loved Victor. Of course, I did, who wouldn't? He is sweet, honest, loyal and proud. He lived an oppressive life in Russia where his whole livelihood depended on his talent, without it he would have been sentenced to a cold, lonely, hungry existence. His ability to dance saved his life once and got him out of Russia if just temporarily. 4.5 stars for this book about two strong men from very different walks of life who figure out how to make an unusual situation work. I really enjoyed this book! I loved Victor. Of course, I did, who wouldn't? He is sweet, honest, loyal and proud. He lived an oppressive life in Russia where his whole livelihood depended on his talent, without it he would have been sentenced to a cold, lonely, hungry existence. His ability to dance saved his life once and got him out of Russia if just temporarily. Meeting Isaiah saved his life a second time. Isaiah has lived a different life. He grew up secure in the love of his family. He is a successful football player who is out, though quietly. His pain was suffered later in life than Victor's in that Isaiah lost his husband unexpectedly. Now, he is raising their child with his family close by and is comfortably protecting himself from heartbreak. These two men, from different backgrounds, living different lives, who have different personalities form a tentative friendship that quickly morphs into a marriage of convenience. Watching them navigate this new life as their friendship deepens all while they try to resist the smoking hot attraction between the two of them pulled me so into the book that I finished it in one sitting. I could not put it down! Victor and Isaiah have some smoking hot chemistry and when they get together it is super steamy. The supporting cast made this great book even better. I hope this book is the start of a series. Evan (I sure hope we get his story one day when he is an adult. At 14 he is amazing, as an adult he will be a force), Isaiah's mom and cousin, Ian, Alan. All of them. I want Ian's book and Alan's book, too. Please? I am usually not one that enjoys books with the shadow of a lost love hanging over the MC. Somehow, Robin Covington writes this in a way where you know Isaiah loved his husband, will always love him but has room for Victor even when he is resisting the idea of risking his heart again. Never once do I think of Victor as a replacement nor do I feel that Isaiah is having a hard time getting "over" Stephen. He is just having a hard time opening himself up to the possibility of heartache. The things that left this slightly short of a 5 star for me: I think Isaiah really should have had to grovel a bit more...or a lot more. And I wish Victor would have come clean about the club guy at some point on page. Those are minor to get to the best HEA. My first read of October and it was so good! Hopefully, that is a good sign for the rest of my month. I definitely recommend this! *Note: When I first received the ARC the blurb indicated that Victor was gender fluid. Before I read the book I received an email with a corrected blurb from the author stating that the gender fluid description was an error and was removed. As I got the corrected blurb before reading the book I was not disappointed because I knew what to expect.*

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