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The Night We Met Paperback – September 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075820194X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758201942
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,249,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After 30-something author/editorial assistant Andrew Westlake, a self-proclaimed romantic, gets dumped by his boyfriend, Ted, a well-deserved wild night on the town throws him headlong into treacherous terrain in Byrnes's clever, compulsively readable first novel. Dismissing a broken heart and the bleak sales of his debut novel, Andrew attends a trendy gay nightclub opening on Halloween night in drag (as "Belle Bacall") and accidentally meets (and falls for) owner Frank DiBenedetto, a sexy, closeted gay man who is not only engaged to be married, but is an "underboss" in the Stendardi organized crime family. Despite warnings from friends, Andrew can't seem to tear himself away from Frank, even when Ted is mysteriously beaten up and Andrew becomes the prime suspect. Bad turns to worse when fianc‚e Anna Franco catches her husband-to-be and Andrew in a hot postcoital embrace. Paranoia clouds the relationship as mob henchmen (and police detectives) stake out Andrew's apartment and keep watch over Frank's nightclub. A few close calls force Andrew to flee New York on a rather dramatic West Coast book tour, and upon his return he reconsiders his relationship with Frank. A rousing conclusion powered by mistaken identity, car chases, guns and narrow escapes sets the icing on this confection. The supporting cast-spicy best friend Denise; cocky, flamboyant co-worker David; and a host of murky mafiosi-is strong and the breezy dialogue exchanges are as authentic as they are hilarious. Byrnes adroitly combines a twist-filled plot, solid characterization, humor and steamy sex to create a nicely crafted, delightful debut that readers of any orientation will enjoy.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Andrew toils in a Manhattan publisher's office, struggling to find both recognition as a Major Author and Mr. Right. He discovers both in a single package, hunky Frank DeBenedetto, who has influence with bookstores and talk show hosts. Of course, the road to true love and success is never without its little bumps, like the fact that Frank is straight and engaged to Anna, daughter of "Crazy Tommy" Franco, a Mafioso. Then too, Frank thinks Andrew's a woman. Mere details! Passionately attracted to each other, the two come together--as man and man--only to be discovered by Anna, who's not pleased. Byrnes' charming debut romance romps through a few beatings and assaults, a police investigation, and chases by "Big Paulie." Anna's father escalates the tension between the two Mafia factions with a whack here or there to prove his point, and Andrew must be whisked across the continent on a book tour for his own safety while Frank stays in New York "to take care of things." A crowd-pleasing delight. Whitney Scott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Rob Byrnes is a native of Upstate New York (specifically, Rochester; with briefer residencies in Schenectady and Albany) who moved to Manhattan in 1997 to make his fortune... but ended up writing novels and short stories instead. Byrnes's third novel, "When the Stars Come Out," won the 1996 Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Romance. He currently lives in West New York -- deceptively located in New Jersey -- with his partner, Brady Allen.

Customer Reviews

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It's been a long time since I've laughed this hard during a book.
Amanda A. Adams
This book isn't just funny, it's witty, and that's a style in short demand.
Jonathan Burgoine
The blending of comedy, romance and suspense make this a wonderful book.
W. Brian Moore

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Burgoine on January 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
First off, I never give "just for fun" books five stars. This one deserved it, so there's the beginning of just how wonderful this book was.
Picture a book editor, Andrew, recently (and not willingly) single and gay, whose ex just picked up something younger and cuter. Andrew's first two books are on the bargain bin, he's feeling pretty down, and then at an opening party for a new gay bar, he meets the man of his dreams, the man who could just maybe be, Mr. Right.
If Mr. Right was a quasi-heterosexual son of one of the worst Mafia Capo bosses in the city. Oops.
I cried I laughed so hard. This book isn't just funny, it's witty, and that's a style in short demand. The bon-mots are fabulous, the plot is so completely outrageous that it has a Evanovich-esque slaptstick to it that just totally leaves you gasping for air between guffaws. And beyond it all, there's Andrew, hopeless (and hopeful) romantic, dodging thugs, police, FBI, his best friends, and once or twice having nookie that will curl your toes.
Phenom. If Byrnes has more, I'm buying it today. If he doesn't, I hope he writes quickly - these are in no way heading the bargin bin, folks.
'Nathan
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Cambel on November 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Andrew Westlake, middle management at a small publishing house, author of a book on coming out that did not sell, recently dumped by the boring yet handsome accountant he was dating does not feel life is going well. He sets out with his friends, in drag for the first time, to the opening of a hot new club. While there, he meets Frank, the owner of the club, handsome charming, attacted to Andrew. the problem seems to be that Hank is straight and think Andrew is a woman. While not a great start to any relationship things get cleared up and go downhill as Andrew finds out that Frank is also the son of the number two man in one of the top mob families in NYC. One that is currently engaged in a war with the other families. Now, aside from dealing with the ramifications of possibly getting Frank killed if the news of their relationship gets out Andrew is also being followed by the police, the FBI, and some shadowy figures that look like bad casting for the Sopranoes. This book was a step up from most of the light gay reading novels out there. It was enjoyable, had a bit of suspence and had you the reader both wishing Andrew would wise up and end the situation while at the same time secretly hoping things worked out with nobody getting "wacked"
A worthwile book and one that you will probably recomend to friends.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robert Edler on March 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Andrew (Drew, not Andy) Westlake (by his own opinion) is the ultimate romantic (or in our opinion the ultimate gay loser.) Fifteen years ago he left Allentown, PA to move to New York City, to discover the gay life, his literary voice, and his true love. Instead he has found a nine to five job as a junior book editor, written to books that have been remaindered, and lost his boyfriend to a bleached blond window dresser. How low can you go?
Get ready folks, because Drew hasn't bottomed out yet. He finally meets "Mr. Right" in the guise of Frank DiBenedetto who just happens to be the "straight" heir to one of New York's most prominent (notorious) families. Naturally you would expect a few complications to result from this situation. At every page turn Drew runs into yet another complication to his search for real happiness.
The book is a fun, totally enjoyable read. I partucularly enjoyed the infighting of rival authors on a book tour. Unfortunately though, it is not the "frantic, nonstop, madcap romp through a wild romance no reader will be able to refuse" that the book jacket promised. Do the people who write these blurbs for Kensington ever read the book before they write the blurb? I don't think so!
While the majority of the characters are well developed, Frank was a somewhat one-dimensional dropout from The Sopranos or Corky Romano. (If I had been Drew, I would have dumped him for the cute FBI agent who was a better-developed and more likable character.)
This book was author Byrnes' debut novel and I really enjoyed his writing style. I've added him to my list of writers to watch and encourage you to give him a try.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By W. Brian Moore on September 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Not since I read the Tales of the City series by Armistead Maupin has a work of gay fiction brought me the entertainment that The Night We Met by Rob Byrnes did. His vivid characters jumped out of the book and for a short time became part of the world around me. The storyline was outlandish, but not unbelievable.
The setting of this book is in New York City and the main character, Andrew, is an author and works for a publishing company. His boss talks him into going to the grand opening of a new gay bar that is having an exclusive party on Halloween dressed in drag. While searching for the bathroom, Andrew stumbles upon the back office of the bar where he meets Frank, the son of the underboss of the New York Mafia. They share a dance in the hallway back to the bar and then we are off to the races.
Although I have never dated or fallen in love with someone with any type of mob connection, that seems to be one of the few things I could not relate to. Frank, has never been in a relationship with a man. In fact, he believes that Andrew is a woman. Andrew is nursing hurt feelings of being left by his partner of seven years for a much younger man. There is that spark between Frank and Andrew that we all have felt, that instant attraction (not just the physical one).
With the different events that happen within the book, the police, FBI, and the mob are all out to get Andrew. His friends are constantly giving him advice, most of which is something he should have listened to, but never does. He is a true romantic at heart and follows it where it takes him. The author has done such a good job capturing those feelings that I found myself caught up many times in them.
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