Publication Date: October 26, 2012
In The Other Guy by Cary Attwell, Emory James is left at the altar on his wedding day when his fiancé’s ex, The Good Looking Bastard, stops the wedding and sweeps her off her feet. Emory, The Other Guy, longs to just once be the Good Looking Bastard. If only he could be the heartbreaker instead of the heartbroken. When Emory goes decides to go alone on his honeymoon to Thailand, he pledges to be someone better than himself. He soon meets Nate, a photographer from San Francisco, who thinks Emory is pretty great just the way he is, but what will happen with the vacation is over and Emory heads home to Chicago? Can he go back to being The Other Guy?
From the moment we meet Emory James, he is awesome.Self-effacing, funny, insightful … though maybe not about himself. We meet Emory at one of the lowest moments of his life — seconds after his fiancé and the Good Looking Bastard flee the church — and I challenge any reader to say that they don’t want to reach into the pages and hug him. Emory, from the very start, is simply a beautifully written character and so human. From the moment we meet Nate Harris, the chemistry between the two men is palpable. They’re testing the waters and, for Emory, experiencing something new and the hesitance speaks to that awkward first date you or I might have had. They’re meant to be. When Nate says to Emory, at one point in the novel, that he’d break his heart, I desperately wished that wouldn’t come to pass. These characters are just too likable. When a tear “sleeted down Nate’s cheek,” one of my own followed.
The flow of the novel was very easy. This was a quick read while standing at 232 pages (Kindle Version). There are up and downs and plot twists but nothing that really stops the reader. I noted one typo and there were no formatting flaws in my Kindle copy.
Something I’ve not shared with you is that I’m not a person who enjoys the first-person point of view as a rule — I find only seeing the story through the eyes of one of the players restrictive. In the case of The Other Guy, Emory was the perfect person to be telling us what happened. He takes us on his personal quest to find out not only who he is but who he truly wants to be. One of the better background characters is Emory’s friend, Linnea, who tells him “You know the people who matter will just look at you like you’re you.” There’s such wisdom in that line. It’s something I say all the time to people, but am not bright enough to say it so well.
Emory’s lesson of grabbing happiness when it’s there is a valuable one for anyone. I can’t help but think of my recently deceased cousin whose thirty-fourth birthday would have been today when I say that if you’re happy with someone — no matter who they are — grab that happiness. Grab it if they’re willing and available. Life is too short to live it being someone we’re not.
The Other Guy is everything you want in a novel. There are great characters, romance, heartbreak, discovery, plot twists and genuinely great writing. I listen to XM OutQGayRadio hosts Larry Flick and Michelangelo Signorelli daily, and both have said that they’d love to read a book that is a romance and not the pizza guy comes to the door and suddenly everyone is naked. The Other Guy could not be further from erotica. It’s a beautifully written love story, and I plan to e-mail both hosts as I believe that this is exactly the novel they’re looking for.
One of the things that this blog has helped me to do is to find truly great new authors that I might have never tried otherwise. I loved this novel and I hope that all of you pick it up and enjoy it just as much as I did.
Read an excerpt and buy The Other Guy by Cary Attwell on