Story Rating: 3.5 stars
Audio Rating: 3.5 stars
Narrator: Matt Baca
Length: 7 hours, 47 minutes
As a teen, Aaron finally went with his feelings and kissed his best friend Gregory. When Gregory pushed him away and then refused to speak to him, Aaron joined the Army as soon as he graduated high school. Ten years later, he is an Army pilot. When a medical issue forces him to return home, Aaron has to adjust to life as a civilian.
Jesse is Gregory’s younger brother and was always seeking Aaron’s attention. It grew into a major crush and, when Aaron went to the Army, Jesse became a faithful pen pal. Jesse never fit in with his family. His parents always treated him differently than his siblings and he remains an outsider. Although he hasn’t seen Aaron in years, he never completely let go of his feelings for him. He is then completely stunned when Aaron shows up at his door. But Jesse, who suffers from anxiety attacks, is good at hiding and knows that Aaron is still only interested in his brother, or is he? While the men are drawn to each other, family secrets and Aaron’s medical condition may prove to be too many obstacles to overcome.
The Only Guy is the second book in Skylar M. Cates The Guy series. We are introduced to Aaron in the first book and those MCs, Dean and Anthony, are in this book as well. For the best continuity, I would suggest reading them in order. This book is light and easy to read with little angst. Jesse was like Aaron’s little brother and always tagged along with them during their joint family summer vacations. When Aaron returns home, it’s Gregory he wants to see to try and repair their friendship, but it’s Jesse that he sees first. Jesse is a sculptor who is fairly reclusive and keeps Aaron at a distance for fear of rejection.
There is a slow build to get the guys together and neither guy is perfect and they both have flaws and insecurities. When Aaron does see Gregory again, the angst remains low as Gregory is fairly two dimensional and not that nice of a guy. Their issues, which were what drove Aaron to the Army in the first place, were never fully resolved. There are also family issues on both sides that were fairly prominent throughout the story. While Jesse’s family’s treatment of him directly impacted the man he became, Aaron’s family, especially his mother, were fairly annoying. But, when Aaron tries to push Jesse away after a health scare, Jesse stands his ground and makes Aaron talk through his issues. The story was a bit slow for me in parts, but it’s an overall sweet friends-to-lovers story of finally getting the right guy, the only guy.
Matt Baca narrated this audio as he did the first book in this series. While he has a pleasant speaking voice, I did not enjoy this performance quite as much as the first book. It is always clear who is speaking and the characters’ voices are different and distinct. However, Aaron’s voice did have an accent that did not really fit with his character. The female voices were mostly unpleasant to listen to, especially Aaron’s grandmother. There were plenty of intimate scenes that were emotional for both characters. During these scenes, Baca’s voice remains fairly subdued throughout each encounter. When the guys are taking about feeling like a “raging inferno,” the narration is flat and even and the tone is the same as every other scene. I would say that it would be a toss up if you were interested in this book as either the text or the audio would work out evenly.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.