MASTERING TOBY by Jan Irving
Mastering Toby by Jan Irving
Reviewed by Jo
Jared Asche is one of the stars on a gay soap called Mission Bay. While openly gay, Jared is careful about his relationships and makes sure that friendship is part of them. The only problem is that Jared wants his co-star, and on screen partner, in a real life relationship. The largest roadblock is Toby’s girlfriend – yes Toby is straight and works on a gay soap.
Toby Rafferty is supposed to be having a great time tonight, after all it is a party for his birthday that his girlfriend as put on. Instead, he is hiding from everyone and drinking, until his co-star and best friend, Jared locates him and gives Toby a way out of the celebrations. Toby might be confused on several things but he knows that he wants to go with Jared.
That night is a turning point in Toby and Jared’s relationship, both personal and on screen. Toby has decided to give in to his feelings for Jared, while Jared decides to trust that Toby knows what he wants. However, when the emotions overflow it’s a bit more than either knows how to handle, which leads to mistakes and heartache. While Jared tries to figure out if Toby really does want to be with him, Toby is determined to show Jared just how much he does care and wants this relationship to prosper. When Jared’s life is turned upside down, Toby is the one to step up and be the strong one with all the love and understanding he has for Jared.
Two men travel on a journey to discover the ultimate love of all in Mastering Toby. Jared and Toby’s story is a beautiful rendition of friendship, discovery, healing strength, and the amazing love that can come from the combination of all these things. During the beginning I thought that Toby might just be too wishy-washy for someone like Jared, but as their journey went on, I found that Toby had his own type of strength when it was needed. The powerful imagery that accompanied Jared and Toby from the beginning to the end was masterfully done. Toby and Jared had me on a roller coaster ride of emotions that lasted until I turned the last page. Mastering Toby takes the journey of discovering your one and only from glorious heights to the lowest of lows and back again. I can’t wait to re-read it to see if there was anything I missed the first time and I bet you will do the same. Of course, I Joyfully Recommend it as a must read you won’t want to put down.