Husbands by Mo Fanning, blogtour

I can’t resist a road trip novel, and one taking in Route 66 even more so. But we’re not there yet…

In the prologue, a British guy gets married in a Vegas chapel – or is he married? His date, ‘a craggy daddy-bear’ type promises to get it annulled the next day, as our chap has to fly home from the Vegas stag weekend assuming ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’ – famous last words!

Six years later, Kyle Macdonald is 28 and single again, so he’s moved back home. A supply teacher, he works in a Birmingham school. They’re on the brink of offering him a full time job, when he gets a phone call from the USA, telling him that his husband is in a coma and that they’ll book him on the next flight. His husband just happens to be a film director. Kyle’s best friend Milly, a lawyer, doesn’t believe it.

‘You can’t drunk-marry anyone. Not even in Vegas.’

The thing is, Kyle yearns to be an actor. He keeps going for walk-on parts without much luck. He reckons that going to LA as the husband of Aaron Biedermeier might open doors for him and fulfil his dream. So against Milly’s advice (I liked Milly a lot), off he heads, but she does set him up with a lawyer friend of a friend over there.

It’s not long after he arrives that he discovers that his situation is not simple. A teenager had died the night that Kyle and Biedermeier had married for fun, and people are baying for Biedermeier’s blood if he wakes up. Kyle realises with a heavy heart that it’s a #MeToo moment. So when Biedermeier’s current fiancé, Noah, explains there is one man who can help, who was there, but was also properly married to the director, they’ll have to drive to Georgia, and thus begins the road trip in an old camper van. How many husbands can a man have!?

Obviously, I’ve simplified things hugely above, but I don’t want to give anything away, for this novel turned out to have rather dark overtones. What starts out as a fun story, soon turns on its head once the #MeToo theme is introduced. That’s not to say that there aren’t lighter and romantic moments throughout too, as Kyle and Noah get to know each other in a will-they-won’t-they way.

What Fanning has created turns out to be a fabulous page-turner that completely absorbed me, from start to finish, with some complex relationships and a heap of drama. It’s an easy, quick read, but totally enjoyable and a breath of fresh air. An ideal read for Pride month too.

Source: Review copy – thank you! Spring Street Books, 2024, paperback, 342 pages.

BUY at Blackwell’s via my affiliate link.

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