In art and in love, it's the rough edges that make things interesting.
Having grown up with artistic implements always in hand, there's almost nothing Austin can't make real. Except for one thing - an official relationship with his best friend, rowing teammate, and occasional hookup, Vinnie. The combination of emotional and sexual frustration fuels a spark between Austin and the nude model in his drawing class. Austin isn't used to having trouble focusing; models are merely challenging subjects to be rendered on paper. But the geology TA's direct blue gaze is powerful enough to drag Austin's focus away from his...physique. After a quick and very dirty postclass encounter, all the reasons that Austin has been waiting for his best friend go fuzzy in his mind. Sean is nothing like Vinnie. Sean is persistent, pays attention, and makes it clear he wants to be together. But if Austin can't get his head and his heart on the same page, he could lose his friend or his lover. Or both.
Warning: Contains rock geeks, tent sex, a dictatorial cox whose idea of a good time is drawing naked dudes, plus one naked dude who wants to be more than a good time.
This is the 6th book in the series, but it can absolutely be a standalone!
Austin and Vinny are best-friends-with-benefits. Only Austin really wishes it was more than that. In fact, he’s pining. But Vinny isn’t responsive and Austin figures some day he’s gotta do something about that.
Meanwhile, Austin meets Sean. Sean is a ginger! who models for one of Austin’s classes. He can’t keep his eyes and then his hands and then his mind off of Sean once he actually sees the guy.
Sean is everything Vinny isn’t – and at first that freaks Austin out – but – over time – he realizes that might just be a good thing.
I fell in love with this series in book one and Amy Jo Cousins hasn’t disappointed me yet! I think this is my second favorite in the series – but really – it’s a close second to book one.
Austin is a GREAT character and what I love about the writing is how well Amy Jo shows us the progression in his head from “Sean’s a fuck buddy” to “Sean is something important”. It’s very well done and oh so hot!
I was very glad to see the communication in this book was open and honest and never the central theme. Yes, Vinny and Austin could have talked to one another more, but I totally understood that Vinny and Austin’s history sort of precluded that from be a viable option. Sean only knew the “more adult” version of Austin so he could be a different guy. Someone Vinny never really knew.
Vinny’s absence from the story was important because as a reader I didn’t want to be attached to him through Austin (especially since the next book is about Vinny and a new guy!) so I was grateful that his part in this story was small.
The sensual times were plentiful but not overwhelming and though I wish we got to see them later in life – post graduation – I know that the HFN is solid and will lead to a HEA eventually.
(My favorite scene is when Sean makes Austin art supplies when they are out camping… Swoooon!)
4.5 of 5 stars
Cooper North has narrated this entire series and he does so masterfully! I think he sets just the right tone for the age of the MCs as well as the emotions. He gives everyone unique voices and it’s always easy to know who is speaking. (Which is hard given how many secondary characters there are in this series!) I think he really adds to the overall enjoyment of the experience and his narration is highly recommended!
5 of 5 stars
Overall 5 of 5 stars
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