Aspiring writer Brent Granger has good friends and a great job at an arts magazine in DC, but he's batting zero in the arena of love. Brent begins to get a clue why things aren't working with women from his strong attraction to his gorgeous, gay, and already attached boss, Graham Stoneford. When he sees a personal ad from a man that quotes his favorite poet, Brent decides to do something wild and answer.
Enter Cody Bellstrom, easygoing bisexual musician, who is happy to initiate Brent in the ways of gay sex. Brent now has a new problem: he realizes he's gay and no one in his life knows it. Cody tires of hiding their relationship, but Brent finds it challenging to come out to family, friends, and especially to Graham. In the end, Brent must confront the truth of where - and with whom - his heart lies.
©2014 Cjane Elliott (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
Wow! This was the sweetest book I've read this year. I loved how Brent just embrace who he was with no going back. I was even more pleased that Cody knew when to call it quits, and that they could still be friends. But Brent's heart belongs to Graham, and Graham is going grab his chance and hold on to it.
Brent is in denial of his sexuality. He has a “man crush” on Graham – his openly gay boss – but doesn’t have the guts to admit it. He eventually decides to finally experiment with his sexuality after an intriguing ad he finds online catches his eye – from a guy – Cody.
He and Cody don’t exactly click perfectly yet they become “boyfriends” – giving Brent a way to “experiment” while continuing to long for Graham.
Meanwhile Graham – who has a boyfriend – secretly pines for Brent.
Though I was thankful that Cody and Brent’s love-life was off page – it made my heart absolutely bleed for poor Cody. Luckily, I had read book two first so I know Cody gets his own love – a MUCH better guy than Brent – IMHO – so I wasn’t that crushed. But – I was disappointed that the author chose to have Brent do his experimentation with someone else but not show us how that happened other than to tell us that he became adept at being gay. Even if – as a reader – I wouldn’t necessarily want to see that – since the story starts from this point I think seeing that develop rather than hearing about it would give us a better picture of Brent’s growth. As it stands I never connected with Brent more than superficially and what I saw I didn’t really care for.
Cody is the only likable character as he is the unwitting victim in all this. Graham is essentially cheating on his boyfriend – in thought if not deed – and when he and Brent do come together it’s neither particularly fulfilling or passionate. In fact they only get together in the very last few pages – so this felt more like Cody and Brent’s story – and an epic fail of a romance – rather than the positive romance between Graham and Brent.
As a prequel to Cody’s story it has some merit but as a standalone for Brent’s story I can’t say that I liked him or his story much.
But… KC Kelly did the narration for the audiobook and he is awesome! If I’d been reading this I’d have been more upset than I was – but KC saved the day because he adds so much to his stories and makes them enjoyable even with a storyline that isn’t.
So… while I love Cody and was happy to learn of his backstory in more detail – I did not care for this story. I loved KC Kelly’s narration but he can only do so much for the overall experience.
3 of 5 stars for the audiobook
I'm an unabashed fiction fan: mostly M/M, Romance, Erotica, Suspense, Thrillers, Action, NA/YA genres.
Once again, K.C. Kelly brings life to the characters. I love his drawl, tempo, cadence, and character voices. Honestly, the best thing about this story for me was the narration.
As for the story itself, if I needed to use one word to describe my feelings at the end of this it would be "disappointed".
Told from the POV of Both Brent and Cody, the bottom line is I didn't like Brent. In fact, I actively disliked him and his callous, careless treatment of Cody. The story is all tell, no show, with whole chunks of time missing from the story, including most of their relationship. However, the worst part to me, is the way the romance in the story is handled. I don't want to give it away and ruin anyone else's good time, but suffice it to say I was not satisfied.
Though what's written is written well, and the characters were well thought out and really did seem "real" to me, which is I guess why I do feel so disappointed. I thought I was getting a different kind of romance story than what I got. However, I will definitely put Cody's story (There You Are) on my TBR, as I loved his character.
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