Pip Simmonds is the twinkiest twink in London. He’s loud, proud,
and packed to the brim with sass. But when he’s laid low by illness, even his hotpants lose their sparkle and his worried boss sends him to the South of France to recuperate in his holiday home.
Cap Ferrat is beautiful, and the periwinkle-blue villa is luxurious, but the real draw for Pip is the villa’s other resident—his boss’s younger brother, Olivier Durand.
Olivier owns a perfume empire and has spent his whole life running from any other form of commitment. He’s worldly, carefree, wild, and the perfect choice for a holiday fling.
Drawn together by proximity, the two men become lovers and friends and then something more. Something special. But will their special bond hold true after summer’s end, when they both must return to their real lives?
This is the second book in the bestselling Model Agency series, but it can be read as a standalone.
“Good morning,” he says, one dark eyebrow rising. “You slept well, Pip?”
“I did.” I sit down at the table genteelly. “It’s amazing what a nighttime swim does for you.”
His eyes twinkle with amusement. “I will take your word for it.” He cocks his head, and a strand of hair falls across the olive skin of his cheek like a comma. “Pip? Is that your real name?”
“No, it’s Phillip.”
“Philippe. I like that.”
“Well, it sounds a lot nicer in French.”
“You do not,” Elise scolds me. “Speak in French. How will you ever correct your terrible accent if you do not speak it here?”
I roll my eyes. “It’s not my fault my French teacher comes from Newcastle.”
“Parle-moi en français,” she chides again.
“You are learning French?” Olivier’s face is lively and interested.
Elise puts a plate of food in front of me. “Eat all of that,” she scolds. “Still too thin, Pip.”
“That is not for me?” Olivier says. “If this were a queue in a shop, I should be complaining loudly.”
She rolls her eyes. “To have made food for you at this time of the morning would have required psychic talents to know you were getting up. And if I had that gift, I would be on the stage, no?”
“I can get up early,” he says.
I warm to him even more. His face is mischievous and naughty, and it doesn’t take Elise’s indulgent smile to know this is familiar banter for them.
She waves her hand, dismissing his statement. “Sometimes, if there is enough temptation.”
“There can never be enough temptation,” he tells her solemnly.
She grimaces at him and heads back towards the range. “And coffee and a cigarette are not part of a nutritious diet,” she throws over her shoulder.
“According to you.” He winks at me.
I’ve been staring at him and heat washes over my face at being caught. But then I rally and grin at him. “Nice to see you with all my clothes on,” I say in French.
He’s taking a sip of coffee and accidentally inhales, spluttering over the table.
I am pretty sure that everyone who read The Sunny Side has been eagerly awaiting Pip’s book. He was a scene stealer that everyone noticed. And now almost a year later, here he is.
Seems our Pip was quite ill and insisted on returning to work too soon. But Jonah, his boss, put him on a plane to recuperate further at his family’s villa in the South of France. Poor Pip. However will he manage? Spoiler alert: he’ll manage just fine.
Jonas’ brother, Olivier, shows up at the villa seemingly without a care in the world. It was quite unexpected as he tends to be a workaholic spending most of his time in Paris. Curious.
First thing I noticed was that Pip wasn’t nearly as snarky and attention seeking as he was in The Sunny Side. Part of that was definitely him still being sick. But I think part of it was that he didn’t have to be over the top to get attention from Olivier. I mean, at work in London he is surrounded by models. And while he is a good looking guy, he is short and probably would be easy to look past. But at the villa, Olivier only has eyes for him. As a friend. Mmmmhmm.
Olivier is so oblivious. EVERYONE sees what is going on. Except for him and Pip. Even the grouchy next door neighbor- a famous photographer. And the house keeper. And Olivier’s best friend.
He takes the time to show Pip all of his favorite places and things. Pip has never had a man shower him with so much attention. And Olivier is a GENTLEMAN.
Even after being kind of tricked? but not really? into sexy times by Armand, Olivier’s best friend, they still each insist on that whole friendship label.
But then Pip is recovered and headed back to London. Olivier has huge work fires to put out in Paris. An emergency brings them back together and STILL these dummies can’t figure out what is going on between them. It’s almost comical.
But of course they do and there is a great happily ever after. Well deserved too.
I have to say that the visuals painted by the author were truly amazing. I ended up googling the town and the pictures were just as she described. The town, the sea, the villas, the flowers…just all so stunning. It isn’t often that an author can make me picture so clearly in my mind a place I have never been.
Also, don’t you worry. Pip is still a sassy, snarky guy. But it’s all done with love.
4.5 pieces of eye candy
Lily is a bestselling gay romance author. She writes love stories filled with heat and humour.
She lives in sunny England with her husband and two children, all of whom claim that they haven’t had a proper conversation with her since she got her Kindle.
Lily has spent her life with her head full of daydreams, and decided one day to just sit down and start writing about them. In the process she discovered that she actually loved writing, because how else would she get to spend her time with hot and funny men?
She loves chocolate and Baileys and the best of all creations – Chocolate Baileys.