Title: I’ve Got This
Author: Louisa Masters
LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
About The Book
Derek Bryer loves his life. His job as an assistant director at Joy Universe, the second-largest theme park complex on the planet, makes him indirectly responsible for bringing joy (pun intended) to millions of people. So what if none of his relationships are that close? Everyone he meets loves him.
Except Trav Jones. For some reason, the visiting Broadway performer would rather Derek just go away. He appreciates Derek’s work ethic, though, and after Trav steps up when Derek desperately needs someone to fill in for his sick staff, Derek seizes the chance to convince Trav he’s not such a bad guy.
Falling in love while distracted by a murder at the park, food poisoning, and colleagues laying bets on their relationship won’t be easy, but between the two of them and with the magic of Joy Universe, they’ve got this.
Everything about this book is gold. We’ve got a theme park that is distinctly not in Florida, distinctly doesn’t involve mice, and distinctly bears no relation to any other massive companies that also took over towns etc. Ahem. We’ve got a character who’s a little screwed up but is amazing, another character whose scars are a little more visible but is equally amazing, and we’ve got a MURDER.
Reader, I swooned.
In all seriousness, I did close the book and go do something else at about the halfway point. Why? Because I knew something terrible was going to happen (it’s the midpoint, of course) and I didn’t want to see anything happen to these two characters. I wanted to build a shelter and hide them in it, but then how would they have possibly done the things that made them happy?
Derek is a quintessential golden boy businessman. He’s in charge of one of the parks in the huge mega-park that is Joy Universe, a place that increases my anxiety to read about but honestly makes him happy. His job gives him immense pleasure and satisfaction. He’s great at his job, because he genuinely wants to make people happy. He wants the customers to be happy. He wants their kids to be happy. That makes sense, because they pay the bills, but he also wants the employees to be happy. He wants the performers to be happy, he wants his underlings to be happy, and he wants the cleaning staff to be happy.
Not in a -if you’re not happy you’re food – kind of way, either. No, he genuinely cares about their welfare. There’s a point – this might count as a spoiler but I don’t think so – when a performer takes on a volunteer gig at the community theater in town. It’s not job-related in any way, but Derek lends the guy a car for the duration just so he can get around. He doesn’t rent it to him, he hands the guy the keys to the car and a garage door opener to his house.
He wants people to be happy.
It does help his bottom line, and as a result his park is the top performer in the Joy Universe portfolio. My MBA might not be worth much anymore, but I did appreciate that little nugget. It made sense from a business perspective, and it made him shine.
The same personality traits that make him so great at his job kind of hamper him in relationships, and part of the joy of reading this book is watching him grow through this barrier. I legitimately smiled through the whole thing. While it was meant to be a dark moment – the Black Moment, in terms of romance beat sheets – it legitimately sparked joy because of the growth it represented.
Trav wears his scars a little more closely to the surface, which kind of makes sense. As an actor, his stock in trade is emotion and he naturally has to be more in touch with his. He also experiences some major growth, but giving the details would be a serious spoiler so I’ll shut up about it.
What I can tell you is that he takes an instant dislike to Derek from the moment they meet. It’s kind of funny. His insecurities, which are legion, fit perfectly into Derek’s strengths. They’re almost natural enemies, which is why they’re so perfect when they finally get together.
(There is a murder, and a gory one too. It’s not the main focus on the book – it’s not a suspense – but it does play a pretty significant role.)
I read another book by Masters through Other Worlds, Ink before and I was delighted to have another such opportunity.
I’m Jaye. I like books with strong and interesting characters. And murder. I grew up on a steady diet of fantasy and science fiction, coming to romance later in life, and I can’t wait to read more of everything.