We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Genre: MM contemporary
When Nate Erickson moves to LA from his beach house in Oxnard, the last thing he needs while acclimating to his new work schedule is a loud, annoying neighbor, but it seems that’s exactly what he’s going to get. Nate, whom we first met in The Right Words, is a Type-A workaholic— a successful real estate developer, straight, introverted, and driven to achieve. His neighbor is outgoing, fun-loving, gregarious Alex Reyes, a former professional soccer player, who is also handsome, sexy, and gay. Alex happens to be Nate’s landlord, so Nate feels the need to try to be nice, at least a little.
But what spooks Nate, as he gets to know Alex, is that he finds Alex attractive in a way no straight man should. And he discovers he enjoys being with Alex, so much so, that he invites Alex to surf with him. And then they end up doing more than surfing, and suddenly Nate discovers that what he’d thought was an oddity with a male college friend fifteen years ago maybe wasn’t such a one-off experience after all.
Alex retired from professional soccer several years ago because he planned to come out with Armand, his lover at the time. Unfortunately, Armand backed out, and Alex was left without the career that he loved and without Armand. He now owns an exclusive gym in West Hollywood, and he has plans to come out publically when he does an upcoming interview about the LGBT teen center he supports. His major problem is his family, specifically his father, an old-fashioned, very religious man who believes that Alex’s homosexuality is a sin. He’s not been hostile, but he refuses to acknowledge it. Even having Nate come to dinner and become a part of the family over the time they date means nothing to Alex’s father where Alex’s sexuality is involved.
Nate and Alex have a friends-with-benefits relationship for quite a while when things come to a head, and Alex learns something Nate has kept from him at the same time he’s dealing with his father and preparing for the interview. Alex requests time away from Nate as their relationship implodes, and a future together seems impossible.
I loved this story. It’s hard to imagine that each book is better than the one prior, but it is. This story can be read as a standalone, but since some of the characters carry over from the others in the series—Bran in all his fabulosity for one— it would enhance readers’ enjoyment of this one if they read the other two books.
Nate is one of those characters that I loved to hate in the first book, but love dearly in this one. Talk about lost in one’s own lonely world— this guy has nothing in his life but work and a few isolated activities like running and surfing. Alex brings light, music, and joy to his life. Alex is like a breath of fresh air; his good humor is contagious; and his sex appeal knows no bounds. Nate is hooked from the beginning, and the two make an outstanding couple. Watching Nate come to terms with his inability to clearly express himself so that he can make Alex see what he means to him was a delight. Nothing comes easy for either of them, and their HEA is well-deserved when they finally gain hope for a future together. I would love to see another book in this series. Maybe Trevor or Trent or both? I certainly don’t want to see this end.
I recommend this story to all lovers of M/M romance, especially those of you, like me, who enjoy an “out for you” story featuring two very sexy MCs.