The Story of Jax and Dylan by Jamie DeanRating: 4 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

Dylan Holt is a divorced man trying to rebuild his social life. He gets on Facebook and sets up a profile where he tracks down his long-lost high school best friend, Jaxon Luther. In high school, both Dylan and Jax dated girls. Still, Dylan had the biggest secret crush on Jax for all of senior year. They were so close. Inseparable. And, after Dylan planted a drunken kiss on Jax, they had a blowout. Two weeks later, before they could resolve the conflict, Dylan and his family moved away.

It’s been ten years, and Jax just accepted his friend request.

As these men reconnect, they find their friendship to be as easy as it was way back when. They agree to leave the past in the past. For Dylan little has changed in his mind regarding Jax. He’s incredibly attracted to him, but keeps it well hidden, afraid to drive Jax away. He admits being bisexual, but Jax is dating a woman. Or, is he?

This book is big on delayed gratification and the entire conflict is based on misconception, so it’s hard to discuss it too much without revealing the whole plot. It is told completely from Dylan’s POV, which was a smart move because it kept the suspense factor going strong. Jax has a close female friend, Poppy, whom Dylan assumes to be Jax’s girlfriend. It takes a good long time to reveal the truth of that relationship.

Jax is an author, but he won’t tell Dylan his pseudonym, and repeatedly remarks how he doesn’t want his writing life and his real life to meet—some people find his books too risqué and treat him differently, is his reason. Dylan vows to never read the books, even when he figures out which are Jax’s, out of respect for Jax’s wishes. Which, again, keeps the tension rolling. See, Jax’s first book is semi-autobiographical, and Dylan would have learned pretty quickly a whole lot about his best friend.

When Jax and Dylan finally sort out the truth about each other’s sexuality it should be smooth sailing, but it isn’t. Again, misconception is at play. Jax assumes Dylan rejects him, Dylan thinks Jax doesn’t want him. Jax finally takes the initiative to voice his desires and, well, it turns out to be the first right move either of these guys take. I’m pretty sure that was about 90% in.

The book ends with a solid HEA. I have a feeling some readers might become exasperated by the slow build, and Dylan’s refusal to either voice his attraction or read Jax’s book. There are several side characters who hint to the content, including Dylan’s brother Tom, but he is resolute. I think I kind of admired Dylan’s determination to honor Jax’s request not to read the book that would have revealed so much.

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.

veronica sig