ARC Reviews

ARC Review: His Convenient Husband by Robin Covington

SUMMARY

36158863Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: October 9, 2017
Received From: NetGalley

~ NETGALLEY BLURB:

NFL football player Isaiah Blackwell lost his husband three years ago and is raising their teen son alone. He lives his life as quietly as his job allows, playing ball to support his family but trying not to draw unwanted attention. His quiet life is shaken up when a mutual friend introduces him to Victor, a visiting principal ballet dancer who is everything Isaiah is not.

Brash, loud, and gender fluid Victor Aleksandrov has applied for political asylum to avoid returning to Russia, where gay men are targeted and persecuted. He’s been outspoken about gay rights in his home country, and if he doesn’t get asylum, going back to Russia is a death sentence.

Their one-night stand turns into a tentative friendship, a relationship they both agree is temporary… until Victor’s denied asylum. Isaiah can’t offer Victor a happily ever after, but he can propose something that’ll keep Victor in the US and safe… marriage He just doesn’t expect his new husband to dance away with his heart.

~ GOODREADS BLURB:

NFL football player Isaiah Blackwell lost his husband three years ago and is raising their teen son alone. He lives his life as quietly as his job allows, playing ball to support his family but trying not to draw unwanted attention. His quiet life is shaken up when a mutual friend introduces him to Victor, a visiting principal ballet dancer who is everything Isaiah is not.

Brash and loud, Victor Aleksandrov has applied for political asylum to avoid returning to Russia, where gay men are targeted and persecuted. He’s been outspoken about gay rights in his home country, and if he doesn’t get asylum, going back to Russia is a death sentence.

Their one-night stand turns into a tentative friendship, a relationship they both agree is temporary… until Victor’s denied asylum. Isaiah can’t offer Victor a happily ever after, but he can propose something that’ll keep Victor in the US and safe… marriage He just doesn’t expect his new husband to dance away with his heart.

GENDER SEXUALITY PAIRINGS

GENDER: cisgender
SEXUALITY: homosexual
PAIRING: M/M

TAGS TROPES WARNINGS

TROPES: fake marriage, marriage of convenience, single parenthood, athlete + dancer, married for green card / asylum
TAGS: contemporary, adult, queer romance, queer characters, black character, POC character, black author, POC author, gender roles
WARNINGS: transmisia, enbymisia, cissexism, ableism, suicidal ideation, homomisia, queermisia, slurs, queerbaiting

REVIEW

On first glance, the premise of this book sounds really interesting, so upon seeing several friends and authors praising this book on social media, I immediately went to NetGalley to request it. I was thrilled to be approved almost immediately. Until a few days later when I saw this review from Ren over at Angry Elves, one of my mutuals and someone whose opinion I trust. Upon reading Ren’s review, I was dismayed, disappointed, and ultimately, resigned to another book that would fail to live up to its promises.

And Ren’s observations, especially regarding the genderfluid rep, were absolutely correct. The blurb, which has since been changed on Goodreads, explicitly stated that Victor is genderfluid, but there is absolutely no evidence to support this. He always refers to himself as a man, as does everyone else within the novel, and he’s never mentioned as exploring his sexuality. A femme cis, gay man who wears makeup is not genderfluid rep. Additionally, the novel uses incredibly binary language, such as the phrases “gender-bending,” “men and women,” “both genders,” and more. So even if Victor had actually been genderfluid, this novel would still be cissexist, at best, and transmisic and enbymisic, at worst.

I don’t have an opinion either way regarding the “marriage for a green card” aspect as I am not an immigrant and no one in my family is, but I do know that such tropes can be incredibly harmful to immigrants, so I would be very interested to see ownvoices reviews from immigrant reviewers.

If I hadn’t been queerbaited with the genderfluid description from the start with the initial blurb, I probably would’ve otherwise enjoyed this story. While Isaiah says some really harsh and hurtful things to Victor, that I honestly don’t think should’ve been forgiven as quickly as they were, there were several cute moments, the sex scenes were well done, and the writing was nice and easy to follow. Also, I really enjoyed the character of Evan, Isaiah’s son, who is biracial, most likely bisexual (he says at the end he likes men and women), and is exploring his own gender identity throughout.

RATING

2 STARS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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A USAToday bestseller, Robin Covington loves to explore the theme of fooling around and falling in love in her books. Her stories burn up the sheets. . .one page at a time. When she’s not writing she’s collecting tasty man candy, indulging in a little comic book geek love, hoarding red nail polish and stalking Chris Evans.

A 2016 RITA® Award nominee, Robin’s books have won the Golden Leaf Award and finaled in the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice, the Book Seller’s Best and the National Reader’s Choice Awards.

She lives in Maryland with her handsome husband, her two brilliant children (they get it from her, of course!), and her beloved furbabies, Dutch and Dixie Joan Wilder (Yes – THE Joan Wilder)

Sign up for her newsletter for the latest on her releases and monthly giveaways! http://bit.ly/1hde9GD

REVIEW BY LEAH

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