Rating: 4.75 stars
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Jared Hamilton’s life is his work. As the director of the prestigious law firm Hamilton & Hamilton, he works 18-hour days and has time for nothing else. He’s not the greatest guy to be around. His employees are scared of his brusque, no-nonsense demeanor. He gets what he wants and that’s the end of the discussion. In an effort to alleviate some of his stress and, therefore, try to turn him into an actual caring human being, the firm sends him to a massage therapist. He meets Kyle, the massage therapist, who quickly turns him into a boneless powerless puddle by the time he is finished with him.
While his demeanor at work is already showing some positive changes from the weekly massages, Jared is furious that he’s unwittingly allowing Kyle to turn him into a pile of goo each time he visits him. In an effort to counteract his loss of power, Jared takes his anger out on Kyle. He’s not about to make Kyle’s job easy, but the masseuse is up for the challenge.
Not only is Kyle getting to his body, he’s also taking over his thoughts. Jared is attracted to Kyle and they tentatively start spending time together, even being thrown head first into a difficult family situation that they must confront together. Neither Jared or Kyle is willing to let their guard down easily. Jared doesn’t have room for 20-year-old Kyle in his life and Kyle is convinced that much older Jared is a grade-A asshole. It takes time to get beyond the barriers and prove to each other that they may have something real.
Brava, Dominique Frost. This is Frost’s debut novella and I enjoyed it so much. The first half of the book, I read with a goofy half-smile on my face. I love the character of Jared. He is defensive and grumpy and prickly and oh so sexy. He is the quintessential alpha male, both in the office and outside of it. He doesn’t want anyone telling him what to do, doesn’t want to relinquish power in any way. His defensive walls are so high, you can’t even see the top.
Then along comes Kyle. One of the best things about Kyle is he doesn’t put up with Jared’s attitude. He’s good at his job and won’t be told otherwise. And he’s, against his better judgment, extremely attracted to Jared from the very beginning. He’s not sure there’s any goodness underneath that rough exterior, but he can’t deny the chemistry that they have together. When he finds out the man may actually have a soul, there’s very little he can do to resist him.
This book is just great fun. Two well-matched MCs who are entertaining and funny and have crazy awesome, animalistic sex. It’s sweet when it needs to be and, much like Jared himself, has a heart underneath all of the anger and passion and intensity. I simply loved Frost’s voice. I liked that it wasn’t mushy or syrupy sweet, but that the relationship is hard-earned and the love comes when neither one of them is expecting it.
The big downside here is that it’s only a novella, which means we don’t get the kind of character development that you’d be privy to in a full-length novel. We have a little glimpse into the psyche of the two men, the reason they behave the way that they do, but I sure would’ve liked a lot more. More of Jared and Kyle period. However, as a novella, it was pretty near close to perfect for me.
Not everyone’s going to connect to Jared as I did, but it’s undeniable that the two have not only an explosive chemistry but also bring out the best in each other. I would love to read more about these two, but will especially keep my eye out for works from Dominique Frost in the future. There’s nothing better than finding an author who you love, and I’m happy to put Frost on that list.