Review: Tailor Made (2nd Ed.) by Josephine Myles

College tart Felix McAvoy is used to causing a stir with his conceptual art pranks, but for his final show he’s planning something even more outrageous. In a last ditch attempt to seduce his jaded tutor, Felix plans to wear the canvas in a subversive display. However, if he’s going to do this right he’ll need a tailor-made canvas suit. Fortunately, he knows just the tailor to turn to for the favour—and Felix isn’t shy about offering favours of a very different kind in return.

First year fashion student Andrew Wheeler knows Felix by reputation only–and plans to keep things that way. Andrew’s determined to save himself for the man of his dreams, and Felix couldn’t be more different from his ideal Mr Right. There’s only one use Andrew will contemplate for Felix’s body: a model for his end of year project. Trouble is, it’s going to involve a lot of close contact with a nearly naked Felix, and Andrew’s never had temptation quite so close at hand!

I really liked this story the first time I read it in May of 2013 and on the reread I loved it.

How much do I love when a character has to tell his dick “down boy” repeatedly? Felix is quite the party boy and on the surface he is cocky an confident. He wears those descriptors adorably though. Only Felix could flirt to within an inch of his life, swagger out of a room and then trip over his shoelaces. Nothing stops him from what he wants though and what he wants is his tutor Saul. Felix is in his last year of art college and putting together his final presentation. The school’s focus has moved away from the traditional studies of painting and drawing and has really encouraged the students to push the boundaries of conceptual art instead. On the surface Felix seems to be the golden boy of the art department. He’s got no fear and no shame when it comes to his art installments, but they have turned into pranks more than actual art and he is becoming disillusioned with the whole notion of the London art scene he is supposed to move on to. He’s been crushing on Saul, the jaded and condescending tutor for a long time and he needs help to pull off his final project with the hope that Saul will be so impressed he’ll finally fall for Felix’s charms. Or at least fall into his bed.

Felix needs a suit made for him and fashion student Andrew Wheeler is recommended to him. Felix has big plans to seduce Andrew into creating the suit for him and works himself into full flirt mode before approaching Andrew in his studio. Problem is, Andrew is nothing like what he planned on meeting and the big, broad, stoic and very shy Andrew presents a bit of a challenge. He doesn’t seem to be entirely impressed by Felix on the surface but Felix isn’t one to be dissuaded easily and puts his skills and assets to work.

“Felix has been informed by just about every bloke he’d ever been with that he had an amazing arse, and as far as he could tell by craning around to look in mirrors and peering at friends’ video clips on their phones, they weren’t exaggerating.”

Andrew initially turns Felix down flat but when Andrew’s model for his final project has to abandon him he realizes that Felix could do him a quid pro quo favor in return by acting as his model in exchange for the suit. What starts as an uncomfortable arrangement for Andrew and an amusing arrangement for Felix quickly grows into something more. Felix realizes how much fun it is to flirt with and surprise Andrew, not just to get him to put out, but because he loves to see him smile.
Andrew has been saving himself for Mr. Right and while at first, the shameless innuendos presented by Felix threw him off balance, he quickly grew fond and flattered by the flirtation.

“Andrew couldn’t help smiling at Felix’s persistence. It wasn’t like the bloke was being creepy and grabby or anything – it was more like a good natured flirtatious optimism.”

Felix has to go present his portfolio to Saul and has a couple of surprises handed to him. One, he’s informed that the new head of the school wants to see more of an emphasis on drawing and painting, so Felix better get some added to his portfolio stat. Two, he doesn’t feel the anxious excitement he always had prior when he was around Saul. He’s not sure what to chalk that up to just yet but the need to come up with some drawings prompts Felix to spend more time with Andrew. He’s decided to sketch Andrew while he works and the two of them fall into a routine and begin to spend a lot more time together.

Of course spending time together means spending time together and Felix’s guidance of Andrew into the wonderful world of sexytimes is both hot as all hell and damn sweet at the same time. Andrew had always fantasized that he would be the top and Mr. Right would be someone sweet, virginal and shy.

“He never let himself imagine that Mr. Right could in fact be a foul-mouthed farmboy turned artist. That Mr. Right could have been around the block a few times and wasn’t ashamed to admit it. That Mr. Right could have tousled dark hair, satin smooth skin and a voice that melted against him like syrup, warm and sweet.”

I loved watching these two, with the set plans they have in their minds, be thrown off course by one another. Neither man would have imagined themselves with the other, but the unexpected revelations and tenderness they showed for each other was just perfect. The fact that Felix had quite a bit more experience worked out perfectly for Andrew. Andrew was able to dive into a few kinks that an inexperienced partner may not have been able to pick up on, where Felix figured them out even before Andrew did and the result made for an incredibly steamy encounter.

Of course there was a “misunderstanding” and some communication issues that created some necessary angst, but not so much that it drew out drama for the sake of drama or took away from the sweetness of their new relationship. Instead it cleared up any lingering questions or confusion in a concise and efficient way.

Felix and Andrew fed off each other’s new confidences as real partners should and in the end Felix was able to make a request of Andrew as well. Which leads me to one of my favorite parts of this new version of the story, the Author’s Note at the end; the history of the author’s relationship with art education, Bath, the first incarnation of Tailor Made and the news that a sequel, Custom Fit will be released this summer. I can’t wait to see what Andrew creates for Felix to wear in the next installment.

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