This book is a friends-to-lovers romance that swerves strongly into “idiots in love” territory, which means I had a blast reading it. Individually, Les and Evan are well-written, complex characters with a strong history of friendship currently on the rocks. They both approached stardom differently, so it makes sense that this book opens with them encountering speed bumps in that road with vastly different styles. Les is a mess; Even is slightly less so, but it’s still evident to the reader. I couldn’t wait until both characters sequestered themselves in a cabin after tour to work on their next album.
Public revelations regarding aspects of their past force them into a fake relationship, which is torture for both men who are in love with each other to different degrees and varying levels of awareness of such a fact. Because of how messy things are in their heads, elements of this fake relationship bleed into their private times as well. This sounds angsty AF, but Wilder skirts that delicate line of poignancy rather than the reader wanting to smack each man upside the head repeatedly.
The dark moment took a turn I had not expected, but I applaud Wilder’s ability to portray sensitive matters with delicacy and realism rather than caricature. This is a romance, so obviously the happily ever after is coming—but speed bumps also fill that road. However, the author makes it up to the reader with a stunning conclusion that had me grinning from ear to ear.
Porter & Graves sounds like the sort of band I wished really existed so that I could be one of their fans, too.