Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5 Jesse is a firefighter with a huge lack of self-esteem. He seems to think the only thing he has to offer is sex. His first boyfriend is a teacher named Ezra. They’ve been together for 8 months and he is meeting Ezra’s conservative, Catholic family for the first time. […]
Ethan just graduated college and is working as a barista. Jase is a firefighter for the Seattle fire department. Ethan’s girlfriend Allison calls Jase to say they broke up so Jase races over to check on Ethan and ends up taking him out of town to his uncle’s cabin where they spent a lot of time as kids. Jace is in a really bad spot here, trying to be friends to both parties during the breakup and this could have been explored more to give this a bit more depth. The story is told in alternating POV so we get both views of what is happening.
The care that Jase shows Ethan, the thoughts he has and the actions he takes, really clue us in that this is beyond most friendships. It is also clear he has no idea; to him it is natural to be this way with Ethan. Jase never thinks about why he hugs and cuddles Ethan so much. This is mostly about reminiscing about their relationship. When Ethan tells Jace he is gay, Jace is utterly shocked. He feels angry and betrayed without being able to articulate why. Once Jase sees Ethan differently, he starts to notice things he didn’t before, like subjects they avoided. And now he’s picturing things he shouldn’t be. Ethan’s coming out has him questioning everything he knows about his best friend.
The author has framed this as a coming out bisexual story. When they come together, it seems natural, like an extension of their relationship. Ethan is terrified it will change their friendship or that Jase will freak out. But, a vacation in the woods in a place that holds sentimental value for them is different from day to day life, with jobs, friends, and family. As soon as they leave the cabin, they both falter in completely different ways. Jase falters about being honest with his friends and starts treating Ethan like we imagine he’s treated his girlfriends. Ethan has always been with Allison and has no frame of reference to deal with dating or navigating a relationship with anyone else. The author provides a sounding board for Ethan in the form of a friend named Tyler. Poor Jase seems left to work it out for himself.
Jase coming out to his colleagues was a little worrying without knowing whether they would have his back. He could have actually been putting his life in danger and that wasn’t addressed. Also, I have to say that I read an uncorrected advanced reader copy, so maybe this issue will be resolved before publication, but I was confused about time periods/ages as they conflict in a few places.
The epilogue takes place a year later so we can catch up with all the characters for all the feels to get our HEA. I would recommend this for a short, low angst, easy read.
I would rate this 3.5 stars.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5 This is the second book in a series about five men who have forged a family and own a tattoo business. I would recommend reading these in order. Mace, a firefighter, has made himself Bear’s right hand man in helping raise the family, but it’s time he got some […]