Off The Record, by Matthew Haldeman-Time

>> Tuesday, February 26, 2008

TITLE: Off The Record
AUTHOR: Matthew Haldeman-Time

PAGES: Calculating from the number of pages in my ebook reader, I'd say it would be equivalent to some 250 mmpb pages.
PUBLISHER: Available from

SETTING: Contemporary Hollywood
TYPE: Romance

REASON FOR READING: Because Stephanie Vaughan recommended it. Actually, it was stronger than that. She sent me a copy as a gift and told me I should read it *g* And hey, if the author who's written my favourite m/m romances tells me a particular m/m romance is good, I'm reading it!

Because of his infamous birth (and famous parentage), Jordan Jennings' every move made the headlines, and he soon learned that the only way to keep the media out of his life was not to have a life at all. Charged with keeping his family's secrets, as well as his own, he put aside his own desires for the sake of family pride. With the chance of love on the horizon, will Jordan have to sacrifice his family's reputation in order to have a life of his own? Patrick Wright was a fearless reporter headed straight to the top. He was a man who knew what he wanted and always went after it. With money, success, and a very healthy social life, Patrick had no idea that anything was missing until he met Jordan, someone he suddenly couldn’t do without. But when careers hang in the balance and Patrick is faced with losing everything he's worked so hard to achieve, will his love for Jordan conquer all?
THE PLOT: Jordan Jennings is Hollywood royalty, the only son of the actress famous for being America's sweetheart. The identity of his father is show-bizz's best-kept secret, and he's determined to keep it this way, as well as to uphold his family's legacy. Because of this, he's always been very reluctant to engage in a real romantic life of his own, especially because he's gay and fears the tabloid press would have a field day with it. When he meets reporter Patrick Wright, however, Jordan can't resist any longer.

MY THOUGHTS: So good! I have to thank Steph, because without her suggestion, I probably would never have found this lovely romance. It's scorching hot, but at the same time, sweet and tender.

Problems out of the way first: part of my brain kept insisting that the motivation behind Jordan having been completely chaste for so long was, at best, iffy. Legacy? What legacy? I would say his mom's sweet girl reputation was already shot to hell when became a single mom and having her son live a discreet gay lifestyle would hardly have any effect. I mean, this is Hollywood in the 21st century!

But .. as that doubtful part of my brain kept protesting, the rest of me was melting. Jordan's past made seeing him slowly (very, veeeeery slowly) coming alive sexually incredibly steamy. The sexual tension was tremendously thick, and the relationship develops slowly, almost tortuously, with each sexual milestone showing corresponding progress in the romantic relationship. Seriously, I almost had a heart attack when he and Patrick kiss for the first time. And I loved that their developing relationship is as illuminating and new to Patrick as it is to Jordan.

I did think there were a few too many love scenes in the middle-to-late section, which don't add as much to the relationship growth as the first few did, but the author really has a way with them, and he never lost my interest.

The conflict between Jordan and Patrick was really well done. A man with a secret every tabloid would pay millions to find out and an ambitious reporter: you can guess where a problem might arise. But the author dealt with it in a way that didn't feel predictable in the least, and sadistic as I am, I loved the way Patrick really had to work at regaining Jordan's trust. That last part was awesome. I especially liked how imperfect and human Patrick was; a very flawed character. He is an ambitious man, and this is something Jordan understands quite well... and he loves him anyway.

MY GRADE: A very strong B+.


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