The Night We Met by Rob Byrnes


You’ve heard the term ‘romp,’ right? That describes this book perfectly.

Andrew is a book editor who’s managed to publish two novels to absolutely zero notice and no acclaim. Frank is a gangster, who has just opened a new gay bar called Benedick’s (which throughout is constantly mispronounced by people as Benedict’s, perhaps so they don’t have to realise that the original name, well, Frank is Italian and ‘bene’ in Italian means ‘good…). After being harangued into drag for the first time on Halloween, he stumbles through the wrong door in Benedick’s and meets Frank. They have a lovely evening, but of course, Frank is straight, right?

Well, kinda.

What follows is a madcap rollercoaster romp including book tours, gangsters with names like Crazy Anna Franco (who just happens to be Frank’s fianceé) and Big Pauline Macaroni. Andrew’s hum-drum life is completely turned upside and he ends up on the run from the cops, two families of gangsters, the FBI and the grande dame of literary crime. It’s ridiculous at times but it’s that kind of book. The book has the great supporting characters of Denise and David, Andrew’s two best friends who throughout are trying to talk sense into Andrew and make him drop Frank who has, intentionally or otherwise, completely wrecked his life. But Andrew can’t, he’s in love, and having been recently dumped at the start of the book, he never thought he’d find it again.

With shades of Armistead Maupin, this book is the right blend of clever and silly, and had me reading to the very end, and even had me worried if Andrew and Frank would get their Happily Ever After.

(Postscript: I absolutely hate the cover, and the blurb on the back is pretty crap too. It was a friend’s review that actually spurred me onto read this – I don’t think I would’ve picked it up, so it just goes to show important reviews can be *koffkoff*)

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