In his neighborhood, El Martin stands out, and that can be life threatening. Against the odds, he’s managed to graduate high school and then master IT. Now he’s desperate to get a good job to free his drunken dad and himself from the control of gang leader M2 and the drugs he sells. But with his piercings and his slang-ridden speech, El looks and sounds like a Bronx gangbanger, and potential employers won’t give him a second look. So when El hears about Henry Fairhaven, PhD, linguistics researcher and wealthy New York socialite, El takes his life in his hands to escape from M2 and ends up sleeping in the stairwell at Henry’s building, hoping to learn how to speak.
To Henry, who wants to prove himself as a scholar and not merely a rich dilettante, El isn’t only the most beautiful man he’s ever seen—he’s also the key to getting a paper published on Henry’s ground-breaking linguistics methods before a competitor beats him to the punch. But Henry doesn’t tell El the truth, and El thinks Henry’s helping him because he cares.
El’s dreams collide with Henry’s ambitions at the elegant Met Gala, where El captivates a prince of Silicon Valley. But the real collision comes when M2 tracks El down and Henry has to choose between the validation he craves and a future with the man he’s come to love.
Delightful m/m retelling of My Fair Lady with some darker elements added to the plot, bringing a sense of danger and tension to the story that isn’t there in the original.
El Martin is an amazing character, very driven to make something of himself, hardworking and just the sweetest, unassuming guy underneath the tough boy exterior he’s trying to shed.
Henry is very much the oblivious scholar, too focused on his paper & career to take into account the feelings of actual people like El. He’s quite smug and a bit of a snob, but when he falls in love, he falls hard and it’s easy to forgive him for his imperfections.
I liked how the relationship between El and Henry was written, the misunderstandings and the mutual longing. The secondary characters were great too and it was wonderful to see El gradually making new friends and even a new life for himself.
All in all, an enjoyable, sweet read.
Number of stars out of 5: 3.5