Hollywood lovebirds Greyson and Finn (who wet met in the first book of the series, Running Lines) are trying to help their friend Felix with his love life. Flirtatious Felix has always had feelings for Ethan (Grey and Finn’s agent). Ethan is young and smart and talented – and will surely run most of Hollywood someday – while Felix is the guy you ask how many squats to do for a tighter booty.
After helping Finn move in with Greyson, Felix and Ethan go for a walk on the beach and get to know each other better. They almost end the evening with a kiss, but Felix chickens out and gives him a bro-hug instead.
Not long after that, he sees Ethan at a sushi restaurant with a hot guy (don’t worry, it’s just a business meeting). But Felix’s overwhelming jealousy of seeing Ethan with someone else forces him to make a move, no matter how scared of rejection he might be.
They begin a text exchange. It begins as fun, turns flirty, and soon gets very sexy. After getting off (the sexting scene between these two is crazy off the off the charts hot) Felix asks Ethan out on a real date.
They go out to dinner, walk along the Santa Monica pier, and kiss under the colorful lights of the ferris wheel. On the surface they might not have much in common, but somehow, they just click, with the sweetest and most sincere chemistry. Felix loves spending time with Ethan’s family almost as much as he like spending quality alone time alone with Ethan (if you get my meaning).
In one adorably sexy scene, the morning after they’ve spent the night together, Felix comes back from his run with bagels and Ethan is so charmed by the simple domesticity of it all, that they got at it right there in the kitchen (it’s so flipping cute and ridiculously hot… like I said, chemistry).
As the holidays approach, Felix comes up with the perfect date night. They go to a special showing of Ethan’s favorite movie, ‘Love Actually’. Since Ethan secretly wants to be a screenwriter, this gesture means a lot. Later, Felix sets up a perfect Christmas eve date – tree, lights, good food, presents. It all feels so right that Felix says ‘I love you’ and they spend a blissful night together in Felix’s bed.
It’s not all smooth sailing though. Ethan’s confidence is shaken when he sees Felix training an equally buff and gorgeous celebrity client. His insecurities have him wondering what’s Felix doing with a guy like him?
His sudden hesitancy has Felix worried that he has regrets about the seriousness of their relationship (saying ‘I love you’ and everything). Thankfully, Ethan receives a good talking to from his sister and Greyson. They’re right, of course. But if he’s going to have a future with the man of his dreams, he needs to make some changes, starting with his job – he hates being a talent agent, and accepts a position as scriptwriter on the new tv show Greyson and Finn are creating.
Felix has been doing some thinking too. He’s not giving up on love without a fight. Taking a cue from Ethan’s favorite character in his favorite movie, Felix goes to see him and, in front of Ethan’s entire family, spells out his feelings with giant pieces of posterboard.
His heart belongs to Ethan, always has, always will.
Their happy/tearful reunion complete, Felix even mentions that he’s found the perfect place for them to live. Moving in together? That’s A-OK with Ethan. An epilogue finds our two heroes one year later hosting their first holiday gathering in their own place – packed to the rafters with friends and extended family. Afterward they go for a walk on the beach, just like they did that first night. Felix does something that, once again, proves that he is the undisputed king of grand romantic gestures. *swoon*
So, needless to say, I’m bonkers in love with this story and the Hollywood Hopefuls series. Greyson and Finn were romantic perfection in Running Lines, and Felix and Ethan are also a match made in gay romance heaven.
Though I will say that these two were really their own worst enemies. Each battled with a form of insecurity that, if this book were longer, would’ve been crazy annoying – you would’ve wanted to punch them in the face. But since Drawing Lines is the perfect category romance length (not too short, not too long) the characters quickly realize their mistakes and get back to the business of being the perfectly sexy romantic couple they were destined to be, which made me a very happy reader indeed.
One quick thing, though this story ends up taking place at the end of the year, I wouldn’t classify this (in the strictest sense) as a holiday romance. The season is an incidental part of the setting and isn’t integral to the plot. So, if you’re the type of reader who only reads Christmas books in November and December, don’t fret, I think this is a perfect read no matter the time of year.
Special shoutout to Iggy Toma who is the narrator of the audiobook. I’m a big fan and have been for a while, he’s just real damn good, and he’s doing a kickass job with this series.
So, in conclusion, if you’re a fan of feel-good contemporary romance, and you’re not reading Jeris Jean, you should be. Jeff and I really loved Running Lines and if you’d like to listen to our in-depth discussion of that book, you can check out the book club episode where it was featured. It’s available to listen whenever you’d like. And, to reiterate, I loved Ethan and Felix’s love story in Drawing Lines. The author has done such a good job with this series that I just might have to pick up book three even though I DO NOT HAVE TIME to continue a series.
UGH. The problems of a booklover.
This review originally appeared as part of the Big Gay Fiction Podcast.