Rating: 4.25 stars
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Dale Ramsey wants to go to his upcoming twenty-year class reunion. But after a disastrous track record involving him and his former best friend, namely right after their graduation and at their ten year class reunion, he doesn’t want to risk seeing Adam and making the same mistakes he has in the past. Dale can forgive himself for falling into Adam’s arms, but he’s not sure he can forgive Adam for using him every time he’s given in.
Deciding to attend the reunion in hopes of meeting up with the friends he’s lost touch with over the years, the inevitable happens when Dale comes face-to-face with his worst nightmare and his wet dream, Adam O’Connor. Airing out their history on neutral ground outside of the reunion and away from knowing eyes seemed like a good idea, but confessions of misdeeds and missed opportunities lead them to the one place Dale didn’t want their reunion to visit – the bedroom.
And when they both return home, Dale to Seattle and Adam to San Diego, no promises are made. A phone call from Adam wanting to be nothing more than friends (for now) gives Dale hope that maybe he’ll get his best friend back, eventually. Emails lead to phone calls, and phone calls lead to video chatting, and soon both men are travelling back and forth to spend weekends together here and there. The attraction is too much to ignore, but Dale refuses to be a placeholder until something better comes along, and Adam, with a proven track record with relationships, doesn’t want to move beyond friends-with-benefits. When Dale’s heart becomes involved he has to decide whether to let go of the one man he’s loved most of his life in order to move on with his own, or to hold on to a relationship that seems bound to hurt him over and over again.
This is a very sweet story by the master of angst that is L.A. Witt. So I was surprised at how little angst riddles the pages of this book, but not disappointed. It seems to me that Dale needed a little less drama than his predecessors in this series. Don’t get me wrong, this story is an emotional drama, several ups and downs, but not rip-your-heart-out and cry-at-the-injustice-of-it-all kind of emotion. And sometimes we readers need something on the sweeter side.
If you haven’t read Witt’s Distance Between Us series, you’re missing out. And this book is Dale’s redemption compared to the way he starts out in this series. Dale is the resident queen of this series and this group of friends. Over the top in fashion, flamboyancy, and drama, Dale is proud of who he is and what he’s accomplished. His only vulnerability is Adam, and it’s one he wants to move past. Dale is fun and the life of the party, but he’s also confused and torn between what he wants and what he needs.
This story is in Dale’s point of view, so what we see of Adam is through Dale’s eyes. I like Adam. Admittedly, I like him more at the end than I do at the beginning because he’s honest with himself and those he cares about at the finale. But throughout the book, he’s selfish, looking out only for his wants and needs. He wants it all – his career, his family, his friends, and Dale – but he’s not willing to sacrifice anything for it, well nothing but Dale. There was a point that I was completely over him. But he has redeeming qualities, if none other than what Dale sees in him. And in the end, he’s precious. I’m very happy with the way this relationship turned out.
The sexual chemistry between Dale and Adam is one area where there are no problems. Witt, along with being the master of angst, is also a master of sexy. Geez! There were times I was sure my Kindle was going to melt. The intimate relationship between Dale and Adam is perfect. The emotional chemistry between the two takes a while longer to develop, but that’s what makes their story so great. It’s not easy.
So, yeah, I really liked this book. I liked the characters, the writing and the story. I won’t say it’s lighthearted, because it’s definitely not that. And I won’t say it’s angst free. I think I’ll go with angst-lite. With the introduction of a couple new characters in this book, I’m hoping to read more of this series down the road. I recommend Meet in the Middle by L.A. Witt.