Emergency Contact by Elle Brownlee

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emergency contactBlurb

When Liam’s best friend has to leave town on business, he asks for a favor—be an emergency contact for his cousin who is new in town. Liam doesn’t think twice before he accepts. He’s great with numbers and confidently plays the odds, because nobody ever uses those emergency contacts, right? Wrong. The very next Sunday, cousin Garrett shows up at Liam’s apartment, fresh-faced, devastatingly gorgeous, and nothing like Liam had dismissively assumed.

Garrett arrived in New York City hoping to make it in the modeling world, and Liam isn’t sure what to do with him. While he eventually warms to welcome the distraction, he’s not prepared to have his steady, predictable world overturned. Liam is sure Garrett will soon tire of him and find someone closer in age and less eager for the quiet, settled life Liam prefers. But Garrett is too sweet-natured and naïve to recognize Liam’s dismissal, and he’s not as shallow as Liam presumes.

Although Garrett sees a future for the two of them, Liam manages to push him away. It is only then Liam sees the Garrett-shaped hole in his life.


Liam is an old man in a young, hot body. He doesn’t do the club scene anymore and he’s set in his ways. His buddy sees the opportunity to play matchmaker and sets Liam up with his younger, also hot (model hot) cousin, Garrett.

Garrett is from Iowa, new to New York, here for a modeling job for extra cash between stints at college. He meets Liam pretty much on day one in the city and the two instantly hit it off.

Though Liam and Garrett are pretty immediately a couple, some questions remain. Can Liam open up and form a long term relationship? Is Garrett prepared to live in New York forever? Can Liam share Garrett with the admiring public now that his modeling career has taken off? Is Garrett too young for Liam and too young for a permanent relationship?

Things get dicey when Liam gives up hope and takes a job in Seattle, abruptly abandoning Garrett, but true love prevails and we end up with a solid HEA in the end.


I loved the promise of this story and was captivated by the first chapter. Liam is sort of a curmudgeonly character, set in his ways, quiet, always doing a puzzle, very in-his-own-head type of guy. Garrett is Pollyanna – very open, sunny and a great foil to Liam.

I got a bit nervous when the couple became a couple within the first chapters. There wasn’t a lot of build up to them becoming lovers and the anticipation that can bring was definitely missed.

As the story progressed it became more about the established couple dealing with Garrett’s fame and Liam’s insecurities. Because of this, it was not exactly the story I was anticipating by reading the blurb. It was almost more of an established couple book, and as the book references, a “Dreamgirls” type story, where Liam has to deal with Garrett’s fame more than I was expecting.

On the one hand I really appreciated the care and skill the author took with her writing. It is clear that she chose her words carefully. However, I sometimes had trouble with the flow and struggled to stay fully engaged. One thing that kept throwing me out of the story was the dialog. I thought that Liam sounded like an old man, and that fit his character. But so did Garrett … and everyone else. The language used felt very formal and high-brow and though it’s a stereotype, I just never saw the Iowan in Garrett. His character just never rang true.

Because the simmer of anticipation was blown out so early in the story, I found myself slogging through the remaining angst of the story with a minimum of interest.  Neither MC had a past to get over, hurt to heal, former lovers to remember… the story felt a bit flat.  And though I really liked the MCs, toward the end I just wasn’t that invested in their HEA.

Writing/Editing 3.5
Romance 2
Sex/Heat 3
Storyline 2
World Building/Characterizations 3.5

Overall 2.8 of 5 hearts