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Hearts On Fire Reviews

We read and review for the love and joy of books.

Cate Ashwood – Thirty Things

Thirty Things - Cate Ashwood

Reviewer: Barb

Genre: MM Friends


Review: Squee! I loved these guys and their thirty things to do before Finn turns thirty! I just finished it after a marathon reading session --- yes, it’s so good I didn’t want to put it down. It’s sweet and romantic and OFY and oh my, such wonderful MCs! Add in a road trip across the beautiful US and what’s not to like?


Finn and Nate have been best friends since they were little kids and Finn has loved Nate ever since he was eight years old. But has he told Nate? No way, because the women in and out of Nate’s life are a clear indication that Nate is not gay and Finn won’t do anything to jeopardize their friendship. He can’t risk losing Nate, even if he has to keep his unrequited love quiet for the rest of his life.


When they were young, Finn fell out of a tree into the path of an oncoming car and was severely injured. He fought to learn to walk again, and his fighting spirit remains strong, even on the days when the pain is difficult to get through. It helps that Nate has never left his side. His friendship and support mean everything to Finn so when Nate suggests a road trip to celebrate Finn’s thirtieth birthday, Finn agrees to it even though he isn’t particularly thrilled by the idea. But Nate then sweetens the trip by presenting Finn with thirty envelopes, representing thirty things they will do before Finn turns thirty. Nate will be handing them out, one or two at a time, when he feels the time is right.


It’s hard to describe how much I appreciated this story. It’s fun and lighthearted, yet it has a mix of angst and heartbreak interspersed. Finn’s courage to overcome his disability and Nate’s support, friendship, and love all shine through. I’ve always loved the saying that “the joy is in the journey, not the destination” and in this case that saying totally describes this story. If you want a wonderful romance with two strong MCs, by all means, read this book and take their journey with them.


In the meantime, instead of giving a more in-depth overview of the story, and as a bit of a teaser, here are thirty things I loved in this story (in no particular order):

1) The premise of the story itself—a road trip to visit places and have adventures they’ve put off until now
2) The thirty things—each a surprise to Finn—to do before he turns thirty
3) MC Nate—strong, masculine, a supportive friend, and a successful writer
4) MC Finn—sweet, funny, loveable, and a successful editor
5) Nate’s pickup truck custom-fitted to make it easy for Finn to enter and exit
6) Nate’s enjoyment in doling out the envelopes with surprise destinations one at a time
7) The hotel where the boys spend their first night
8) The trip to Vegas
9) Horseback riding
10) A helicopter ride
11) Nate carrying Finn on his back over rough terrain
12) Bungee jumping
13) A trip to Disneyland
14) The tree house
15) The wigwam
16) The rafting trip
17) The overnight in the tents
18) Their shared childhood memories
19) The quiet moments in each other’s company
20) The skinny dipping
21) The scene on the hotel balcony
22) Finn’s unrequited love and longing for his best friend
23) Meeting Finn’s old high school nemesis in Colorado
24) The descriptions of the beautiful scenery and locations in the US
25) The revelations about Nate’s past dating
26) The beginnings of a romance
27) The virgin scene
28) The sex
29) The love
30) The last envelope
31) Their HEA


I highly recommend this story to all lovers of M/M romance. This one is guaranteed to make you feel good all the way through and long after you’ve come to the end. I may just have to go back and read it again.

Source: http://heartsonfirereviews.com/review-cate-ashwood-thirty-things