A Casual Thing by Annabelle JacobsRating: 4.25 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

Pat is 22 years old and on his summer holiday before his final year at uni. He’s planned to spend the time at his brother Ben’s flat in Bristol where he will house sit/cat sit for the first two weeks while Ben is on a vacation. Pat is stunned to learn that he will have a roommate; Ben’s best friend Will has taken the guest room until his own flat is ready in ten days. Pat has had a mad crush on Will for the past several years, even having had a silly drunken confession while seated on Will’s lap the year prior. Pat longed from afar, because Will has always had a boyfriend, but Will is now incontrovertibly single and Pat is losing his mind trying to hold back his exuberance.

Will and Pat agree that they won’t do anything together; Will doesn’t want to upset Ben by breaking Pat’s heart. Plus Will is 28 years old and Pat has always seemed so…young. Then Will catches Pat in his, well, in nothing actually, and immediately recognizes his misapprehension. Pat is all grown up and 100% desirable man.

Will struggles against his attraction until Pat insists that they can have a no-strings, casual affair while Pat is in for the summer. This suits Will as he is still struggling with his last lover’s infidelity, and can’t commit to what might turn into a long-distance relationship once Pat returns to school. Will is very honest about this, and Pat thinks he’s honest, but it was clear right away that Pat was way more invested emotionally. Will, for his part, is conflicted with his own deepening affection. His questioning of the possibilities developing between him and Pat felt so real, and I connected with his confusion. Will is unsettled by Pat’s youth—Pat’s still a student who (Will thinks) should be out experimenting and sowing his oats, while Will is more settled. Pat and Will enjoy the time they spend together, both in and out of bed. There are some really nice, tender scenes between them, and each man had increasing misgivings over their ability to remain casual.

I really liked Pat and Will. Pat more, naturally, because he’s just a young lovely breath of fresh air than Will, who’s a bit jaded on relationships. I always connect with an incurable romantic, and Pat is one. It was tough witnessing Pat’s broken-hearted episodes for that reason. Will doesn’t fare much better, and I was glad that Ben was able to intercede. He’s quite the excellent brother and best mate—even if he never wants “the details.”

The writing is accessible and humorous with plenty of “prat-fall” scenarios that cement Pat and Will’s attraction. Those slippery towels! Those unlocked doors! I was thoroughly entertained and closed the book with a super feel-good swelling my chest.

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

veronica sig

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