Rating: 3 stars
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Breaking up with his boyfriend right before the cruise he’d booked for the two of them isn’t quite what Nate had planned, but Nate is determined to make the best of it by going on the cruise anyway, solo. He’s hoping there’s at least a few hot men aboard the Destiny. A few casual encounters might be just what he needs to get over his breakup.
Recently divorced and newly out of the closet, Steve’s not looking for a relationship, he just wants to enjoy finally being himself. That’s why going on a cruise, albeit with his son and son’s girlfriend tagging along, presents the perfect opportunity to pick up men.
When Nate and Steve run into each other in the sauna, sparks fly leading to a steamy encounter that quickly turns into more time between the sheets, especially when Nate realizes that Steve is the guy he used to have a crush on in high school. Feelings grow and both men realize they might want this to continue when they’re off the ship too, but neither of them know if that’s even an option.
I’m not really sure what this book was supposed to be about other than the various and sundry ways one can go about having casual sex. Quick disclaimer: I have absolutely no problem with casual sex either in real life or in fiction; I think it’s a perfectly normal and enjoyable part of human sexuality. That said, this book skeeved me out a little, not gonna lie. It wasn’t so much that the characters were having tons of sex without commitment, it was more that no one in this book seems to have any concept of what a relationship actually is. There is no middle ground presented between hooking up and getting married. At one point Steve has to remind himself that Nate is “just a fuck” because as a newly single man he doesn’t want to “play house.” I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware that spending time with someone you are attracted to outside of the bedroom was considered playing house. I know Steve was married to his high school sweetheart for a long time, but has he never heard of the concept of dating, or even friends with benefits? There are so many more options available than the ones he’s thinking of.
And if Steve’s messed up views on relationships are bad, then Nate’s are even worse. He breaks up with his ex because he finds out that he was cheating, yet he has no problem hooking up with Steve when he thinks Steve is closeted and married. Nate expresses the desire to settle down and then when two older men hit on him and he finds out that they’re actually partners, have been together for thirty-four years, his first thought is that after thirty-four years no wonder they’re looking at everyone but each other. We’re just a few paragraphs in before we find out that Nate thinks that if you’re not “sucking or fucking” after your first date, then it’s a kiss of death for the relationship. This guy has so many relationship hang-ups I honestly couldn’t keep them straight.
This would have been a nice little fluff story with a side of steam, a quick short read with just enough drama over whether or not the relationship would last after the cruise, with a nice bonus of the emotionally satisfying aspect of Nate hooking up with his high school crush after all these years, if it hadn’t been for the seriously messed up views both men had about relationships. Maybe you can overlook that and enjoy this story. I couldn’t, and it’s a pass for me, but if that kind of thing doesn’t bother you and you’re looking for a short fling type of book you might enjoy it.