Review: THE BOY TOY by Nicola Marsh
Published by BERKLEY on November 17, 2020
Genres: Romance, Contemporary Fiction
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FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
With a name like The Boy Toy, I went into Nicola Marsh’s new novel expecting a sexy romance featuring a woman with a young lover. While I’m excited to report that the romance is, in fact, steamy and yes the story does feature a relationship between an older woman and a younger man, The Boy Toy is so much more than just a sexy read. And it’s that “so much more” that really made this read such a winner for me.
The Boy Toy follows Samira, an Indian-American physical therapist, and Rory, a gorgeous stunt man who lives in Melbourne, Australia, Samira’s hometown. The two of them have a chance encounter while Samira has returned to her hometown for a brief visit to help her cousin with her new business. Sparks fly from the moment they meet, but all either Rory or Samira are really looking for is a one-night stand. After a night of sizzling sex, however, it becomes all too clear that a one-night stand simply isn’t enough. Both are hesitant when it comes to relationships though. Samira is still reeling from the fall-out of a short-lived arranged marriage to an Indian man who ended up cheating on her, while Rory feels vulnerable because he has been battling a life-long stutter that often leaves him feeling like a disappointment to those around him, particularly his father. In reading the author’s note, I learned that she too has a stutter and so she has done a wonderful job authentically capturing how having a stutter can impact your life.
I really loved Samira and Rory together so much. They have so much chemistry and I just loved the way they played off each other. I was immediately rooting for them to have a happy ending, particularly as soon as Samira’s mother and aunties started in all over again with their determination to find Samira a suitable husband, and by suitable, they mean Indian, which Rory is not. I loved the strength Samira displays throughout the story as she stands her ground and firmly tells them she will chose for herself this time. That’s not to say they listen, but she makes herself very clear time and time again. I also adored Rory. He’s such a sweetheart and I was an especially big fan of the scenes where he visits the center where he got help for his stutter as a kid. There are a couple of scenes between him and a little boy with a stutter that will just melt your heart. I also loved that he wanted to give back to this center because it had given him so much.
In addition to cheering on Rory and Samira as they navigate the terrain of a multi-cultural relationship, I also loved the family interactions in the book and all the secondary characters that we meet along the way. Samira’s close relationship with her cousin Pia was one of my favorites in the book, and I also adored Samra’s mother, Kushi, even when she was being pushy about Samira’s love life. And don’t even get me started on Kushi’s cooking skills. The descriptions of Indian food sprinkled throughout her scenes had me so hungry the entire time I was reading! Samira’s aunties were not quite as delightful and loveable as Kushi, but they still added a nice dramatic element to the story. Rory brings his fair share of family drama to the table as well in the form of a very strained relationship with his father. Family friend, Manish, who is Kushi’s choice to be Samira’s next husband, is also a great character. I really enjoyed his friendship with Samira. The scenes with family provide some lovely heartfelt moments as well as some more dramatic moments to balance with the steamy scenes between Samira and Rory.
If you’re looking for a fun and sexy read that features an older woman and a younger man, the challenges of a multi-cultural relationship, and also a fair share of family drama, look no further than The Boy Toy. It’s sure to please!
This one has me a little on the fence because I’m not a fan of the older woman/younger man trope, but the theme and the characterization sound fabulous. Add to that the description of Indian food, which I’ve been cooking a lot lately(lol), and I think I’m almost there. Such a wonderful review! Hugs, RO
RO recently posted…JUST SOME RANDOM STUFF
I was hoping this would be “more” so you’ve made me very happy I added this one, Suzanne💜 Excellent review!
Jonetta (Ejaygirl) | Blue Mood Café recently posted…Where are the Children? by Mary Higgins Clark
I love the sound of this! It seems to go much deeper than your usual rom com. And I’m sure all the food parts would make me hungry, lol.Thanks for sharing😁
Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted…THE CHILDREN OF RED PEAK by Craig DiLouie – Review
Happy to hear that this was a great read, Suzanne. I’m interested so I think I’ll wait for the audiobook. I like that it has so many different layers but I’m especially interested in the multi-cultural relationship.
Nick @ The Infinite Limits of Love recently posted…6 Recent Kindle Unlimited Reads
I thought Rory was a sweetheart too. The story took a turn I sort saw coming, but wasn’t expecting when I picked the book up, but I thought it was a great way to explore those issues.
Sam@wlabb recently posted…#AmReading YA
I have the audio so I’m happy you enjoyed this! I was worried for a second that this might read more like WF so I’m relieved that it is steamy!
I love it when books turn out to be so much more than I expected. I have been wanting to read this one and am glad you liked it! Thank you for your great review, Suzanne.
I love that this sounds pretty different from the romances I normally read!
I want to draw hearts around this, it’s so lovely. I like the sound of Kushi, and Rory working through his stutter and helping a young deal with his own <3 Lovely review, Suzanne!
I love it when a book goes deeper and delivers more than I expected. And the fact that the relationship is not only older woman-younger man but also multi-cultural means there’s a lot of issues to explore. And it sounds like it was done well!
Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted…The Sunday Post #230 | November 15, 2020
Yeah, this one had a lot of great layers to it.