By Helena Stone
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Book one in the Dublin Virtues series
Patience is a virtue. But what if you wait too long?
While Xander Ekman’s dream of becoming a successful artist has come true, his love life has gone from bad to worse. Sick of the endless string of one-night stands, he accepts the challenge when his best friend, Erik, bets him that he can’t be celibate for a month. Now all he needs is a reminder to keep his distance in the heat of the moment.
Troy Moriarty doesn’t have time for love. He’s too busy trying to keep his recently opened tattoo parlor afloat. Besides, ever since the man who was supposed to be his business partner abandoned him to run the shop on his own, he has a hard time trusting others.
When Xander turns to Troy for a tattoo that will remind him to be patient, the attraction is instant. But faced with Xander’s month of celibacy, Troy’s trust issues, and a nemesis lurking in the background, their relationship may be doomed before it has a chance to begin.
“What Troy had feared might have been the end had turned out to be a wonderful beginning.”
Patience boasts a steady-flowing, seamless storyline with a simple but deliberate main focus: main character Xander accepts a challenge to remain celibate for one month and forego his unfulfilling manwhore ways. He decides that getting a tattoo may be the ticket to winning the bet with his best friend Eric, since its presence on his hand would serve as a constant but subtle reminder.
Troy has been dealt a bad hand by his selfish and arrogant former friend and crush, Shane, who had convinced him to go ahead – based only on his word – to sign a lease and equip a building so they could open a tattoo shop together. When Shane then announces that he’s moving to the States to accept a job, it leaves Troy in an unimaginable rough financial bind.
As it turns out, Shane not only left Troy behind, but he’s the one who precipitated Xander’s descent into unfulfilling one-night stands after liberally berating and humiliating him after hooking up at Shane’s going away party – in full view of Troy, nonetheless, who stood in the shadows nursing his broken heart and emptied bank account. When Xander walks into Troy’s shop interested in getting a tattoo, Troy is suddenly faced again with memories of Shane, memories he’s much rather forget.
Just as Xander and Troy are proceeding ahead with their friendship turned relationship, Shane bursts on the scene again and nearly succeeds in inflicting another traumatic blow to both of them. Will all the time they spent – patiently – getting to know one another over the past month – really get to know one another without the complications of jumping into sex first – pay off?
Secondary characters Lorcan and Eric – Troy’s and Xander’s best friends, respectively – balance out the story, and the antagonist Shane is easy to dislike.
Patience is an extremely well written book. The storyline is comfortable, the characters are real, likable (except for Shane), and authentically layered, and it’s very easy to get pulled into Xander’s and Troy’s evolving relationship. One can’t help but feel good about these two finding each other and building a solid future together.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Patience.