Rating: 4.25 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | All Romance
Note: It’s Like This is the updated, revised, and edited version of the story that was available online from the author under the name Orbiting Jupiter. So if any of this sounds familiar, that may be the reason. This review is only for the published version that was recently released.
Niles and Rylan have been together for three years. Together meaning they have been having sex for three years. They met in high school, Rylan kissed Niles one day, and then they were just together. Rylan is a permanent part of Niles’ family, goes on family vacations with them, and everyone considers them a couple. Niles knows he is in love with Rylan and he knows he loves hot, dominant, sexual Rylan, but other than that, he has no idea what is going on. They do not talk about their relationship, at all.
When the intensity of their sexual relationship intensifies, Niles must learn to speak up for what he wants and needs and when a family health crisis changes the dynamic of their relationship, they both have to find a way to communicate to stay together.
It’s Like This is a story about insecurities, anxieties, a lack of communication, and love with a kinky side. The inner workings of Niles’ mind is a place that you will have to love as that is where most of this story takes place. He has an inner dialog with himself throughout the entire book. He obsesses, he over analyzes, he questions, and then he questions his questions. His trail of thought is fast moving and self deprecating and I quite enjoyed most of it. The author has a note at the beginning of the book stating that Niles’ and Rylan’s relationship is not supposed to be an outline for healthy BDSM play. They both want the relationship, but they have absolutely no communication and to some extent no idea what they are doing.
There is not a long involved plot here. It’s just the story of Niles and Rylan and their relationship. When I say they have no communication about their sexual relationship, I mean zero. Niles never really thought about being gay, but when Rylan kisses him he is attracted to him, and then they are just together. Niles does not even know if Rylan is only attracted to men. They hang out, their friends and family know they are together, but after three years Niles is so afraid that he means nothing more to Rylan than sex, but he is paralyzed and petrified to say anything. The kink aspect in their sex life keeps ramping up and for the first part of the book all we see is life happening to Niles solely from his perspective. Things certainly change once we get to see a bit more of Rylan.
When a health crisis with Niles’ sister, Kya, has the guys relating to each other in a way they never had to before, their relationship starts to open up, shift, and grow. So Kya is seven and is just a bit advanced for her years. While her maturity is addressed in the book, she is a little too precocious and advanced for me for her age. Equally, Niles’ best friend Shona was a bit too into his business for comfort.
What drives the story are the dynamics between Niles and Rylan, their sex life, getting to see really what Rylan is all about as the story progresses, and that not every relationship is supposed to work a certain way. Niles does manage to open up a bit, but it is Rylan driving the issues and really putting in the work to get him to open up. While the nature of the happy ending might not be the most realistic part, O’Gleadra does offer a realistic take on the emotions of being nineteen, in love, not knowing what is going on, and not knowing how to talk about it. It is a well written, absorbing, character driven story with two guys who are in love and really want the same things out of a relationship, if only they could just talk to each other.