Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
Kenny Scalia is having a very bad day. After cutting out early from work to surprise his boyfriend Gif, Kenny is the one surprised when he walks in on Gif having sex with a stranger in their bed. A stranger who is not only sleeping with Kenny’s boyfriend, but using Kenny’s butt plug and cock ring as well. After kicking Gif out, the next thing Kenny does is gather up every single toy and dump them in the trash can outside.
Will Lafferty’s day isn’t going much better. It turns out he isn’t quite cut out for teaching at a private religious school. They weren’t thrilled with him teaching evolution, and by the time he allows his students to read Harry Potter, the school fires him. Will was barely making ends meet as it was and now he is without a job almost at the end of the school year.
It seems like neither man’s day can get any worse until Will accidentally crashes into Kenny’s trash can, sending dildos, plugs, and cock rings flying. Will is sort of bewildered by it all, and Kenny embarrassed, but the two manage to get past their crazy introduction and go out for a drink to soothe away their troubles. The men totally hit it off, both lonely and out of sorts and finding kindred spirits in one another. Kenny finds himself attracted to Will, a big, bear of a man who is so not his usual type, but who is also sweet and so genuinely kind and caring. Falling for a straight man is not a smart idea, but Kenny can’t help his feelings for Will and doesn’t to give up the man who has become his best friend. Will, on the other hand, has had an epiphany about just why it is that he has never been interested in women or sex. After some help from reading, porn, and the wonders of his right hand, Will realizes that he had set his sights on the wrong gender. And not only does he like men, but he is crazy about Will.
Both men are uncertain about pursuing a relationship though. Kenny doesn’t even realize Will is gay for a long time. And even once Will confesses his new realization, Kenny worries Will only likes him because he is the first gay man he has befriended. Kenny has always wanted to make a home and have a relationship, but instead has found himself with a series of guys who only want him for hookups. The thought of Will tiring of him when he is no longer bright and shiny is too painful to imagine. For his part, Will is totally falling for Kenny, but he needs some time to settle into his new sexual identity. He is happier than he has ever been, finally realizing he likes men. But he also needs to get used to things for a while, and he doesn’t want to scare Kenny off. And neither man wants to take the chance of losing the person who has become his best friend. But if Kenny and Will are going to make it work, they need to accept that their feelings are true and that they have a bright and shiny future together.
Sigh, I just love Amy Lane. I love her when she is angsty and intense, and I love her when she is sweet and adorable. This story is definitely the latter, with two lovable guys who are so good together and who work through their problems with low angst and just the right amount of bumbling. From the first moment Will stands in shock at the pile of sex toys in the road while Kenny comes running out in his underwear, we know we are in for fun. Will is this huge bear of a man, physically imposing but so sweet and gentle. He doesn’t even really understand what he is looking at when he picks up one of Kenny’s discarded dildos and cock rings. Will is so good and kind and genuine and in some ways quite naive. I enjoyed seeing his journey as he figures out that he is gay, and how this discovery just settles him into himself for the first time ever. It is like all the static clears for him and he can finally be who he really is. Kenny is more jaded, having experienced more than his share of dating and hookups and failed attempts at relationships. Yet with Will, he gets back some of that innocence. These guys are so sweet together and quite sexy.
I love the way that even though they seem so different, there is so much that connects these guys. They share an interest in comics and art, enjoy the same books and movies. When they are together, it is like they have found their missing piece. The guys are friends first and actually for a good part of the story before they finally figure out how right they are for each other. I enjoyed this slow build because we can really see how close these guys grow before they even begin anything sexual. But make no mistake, these guys are hot for each other and very sexy once they get together.
My only real complaint here is that I didn’t really care for the way the story is structured. It is told in present day while Will and Kenny are at the wedding of Will’s “aunt” Cara. The set up is that Will and Kenny are telling the story of how they met, first to Cara’s new wife and then to both women together. So interspersed with their tale, we keep jumping back to the wedding where one of the women will comment on the story as the guys are talking. I found it very jarring to keep being brought out of the main story to jump back to the wedding in present day. It just felt like we were being pulled out of the emotion and drama of the real story for these little side comments by the two women and I don’t really feel like the book needed them at all. Cara does play a very small role in the “main” story since she is Will’s mom’s best friend and an important part of his childhood. But neither woman plays a big enough role that I felt continually cutting back to them added any value or made up for pulling the reader out of the main story. That said, it doesn’t continue through the whole book and the theme of the wedding ends up being important. But the structure just didn’t really work for me.
That said, the story of Will and Kenny more than made up for any issues I had with the structure of the book. They are lovable and adorable and sexy. Will is so incredibly sweet he is impossible not to love. I really enjoyed seeing him find himself and that happiness that was buried inside. And it is equally rewarding to see Kenny finally find someone to love and care about him and treat him well. Both of these start out so lonely, and it is really wonderful to see them come together and just find that perfect match. So another hit from Amy Lane and one I think you all will love.
Cover review: This cover is just adorable and I love how it captures that key scene with the dildos in the trash.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.