Review: Where Do I Start? (Why You? #1) by Chase Taylor Hackett

The ex best thing . . .

Fletcher Andrews never believed in promises. Or monogamy. Or love. When you’re tall and gorgeous, New York City is one big all-you-can-eat buffet of hot young actors, models, and baristas. Even when living happily with Roger, his sweet, sexy violinist boyfriend, Fletch can’t resist an occasional taste. Too bad you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s thrown you out for cheating with half the cast of Disney on Ice.

Two years and a chance meeting later, Fletch desperately wants Roger back. Roger’s new boyfriend, Jeff, will do anything to stop that from happening. But Fletch has a plan to make amends. And with a little help from friends, colleagues—even Roger’s Scottish terrier, Haggis—they might find that the love you don’t believe in can sweep you right off your feet . . .

I admit that the premise of this book might not appeal to everyone, and I’m kinda surprised myself that I chose to read this. For unknown reasons, I was apparently intrigued by how a guy, who has made some unforgivable mistakes, wins back the love of his life.

Now to put it out there, Fletch is definitely a piece of work. He knows he’s very good looking and is not shy, nor above using said looks, to skew things in his favor. However, I want to clarify that there’s not really a malicious bone in his body. Fletch is fun, spontaneous, very carefree, and at the same time, when he was with Roger, he was kind and thoughtful and they just clicked. So why the cheating?? It really is quite the conundrum, but things slowly come to light as this story unravels, and though I don’t excuse his behavior at all, I can totally see why Fletch is the type of person he was and is. When he meets up with Roger a couple years later, harsh reality smacks him in the face, making Fletch realize his mistake and just how much he wants to win Roger back.

Roger is understandably still hurt. In his ignorant bliss, his time with Fletch stands out as his happiest, but he can’t fathom ever forgiving him, let alone taking him back. Regardless, it’s a moot issue since he’s perfectly content with his boyfriend Jeff, and in comparison to Fletch, Jeff’s stable, responsible, and trustworthy. Little does poor Roger know that Jeff is far from the polished, put together person that he presents. As Fletch wheedles his way back into Roger’s life, it produces some interesting revelations, and Roger has to wonder if his planned life trajectory is really something that he wants, including what he currently has.

Was this perfect? No. At times this was quite verbose and there was an overuse of nicknames that drove me a bit bonkers… but it grew on me. Fletch grew on me. I will say 99.9% of the time, cheating is a hard limit for me, but somehow Hackett made me change my mind, and I found myself actually rooting for Fletch to win. One slowly comes to see the complexity of the man with plenty of faults and baggage, who wants desperately to move beyond his origins and grab onto the one exceptional person who made him the happiest he’d ever been in his entire life. Fletch’s charm is just that - charming. One can’t not like him despite his past deplorable behavior. I think that says something about Hackett’s ability to successfully change the reader’s, and Roger’s, mind.

So, this is technically a story about redeeming a cheating cad. It’s a story about opposites attract and second chances. I implore you to not give up on the rough beginning. As things are revealed, and how Fletch and Roger slowly reenter each other's lives more and more, this really turned into a sweet, fun, funny (sadly no smex) romance that had me speeding on through and ultimately, cheering Fletch on to get his guy. I had my reservations, thinking I had temporary insanity choosing this trope, but as the sequel is about Roger’s dumped asshat of a boyfriend Jeff, I really don’t have any more doubts that Hackett can change my mind for that as well.

A great debut for a tough topic!

Thank you to the author/publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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