Christian Sartori works in security at a casino on the Gold Coast in Australia. He’s great at what he does. He’s a facial recognition expert and is admired by his coworkers. Christian has a bit of a crush on a pai gow poker dealer named Ben McCormick. He knows it’s not right, and there is a no fraternization between departments rule at the casino, but he can’t help himself. Christian trains the “eye in the sky” camera above the pai gow area and watches Ben.
Ben likes Christian as well. He enjoys the little flirtation they have when they run into each other in the break room. Ben loves his work at the casino. He’s having a bit of a rough time, though. He’s crashing on the sofa of a coworker. The place is a dump, and he wants out.
One fateful night, Christian is watching Ben (just like he shouldn’t be) and watches him leave the casino after his shift is over. This is fortunate because Ben is attacked in the parking lot. Christian rushes out and scares off the men and stays with Ben until an ambulance can get there. Feeling a strong pull, Christian visits Ben in the hospital and sits with him while he’s sleeping through the pain meds. When the doctor announces Ben can go home, Christian insists he come and stay with him while he recovers…as friends, of course. Ben doesn’t go for the idea right away, but Christian is determined. Ben finally agrees, and off to Christian’s place he goes.
As both men get used to living together (and battling sexual tension), Ben begins to open up to Christian about his past and his family life. It’s not pretty, and Christian wants nothing more than to make Ben happy. Also, Ben’s attack hasn’t been forgotten, and Christian is an important part of that mystery.
I really enjoyed this story. I chose the book because it takes place in Australia, and the Around the World Challenge Week was approaching, but I also chose it because the blurb caught my attention. I loved the idea of a secret crush, but I also enjoy a good friends to lovers story where one of the MCs steps in to take care of the other. It gives me the warm fuzzies.
I fell in love with Christian and Ben right away. They were a breath of fresh air. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of angsty stories where the MCs are broken and angry. There’s a time and a place for that, and I’m not saying I don’t like those sort of books. I was just so happy to read about two men who were good at their jobs, but lonely. Yes, something bad happens to bring them together, but I got the feeling they’d get together whether the attack happened or not.
I also liked how realistic Christian and Ben are. They’re just two guys trying to make a living and then fall in love. It’s natural that Christian wants to take care of Ben, but I considered it also natural that, eventually, Ben sort of lashes out because he wants to do things for himself. He loves Christian, but sometimes it can be smothering. There aren’t pages and pages of strife, and there’s no break up. It’s, once again, two men who want to be together working it out.
The background characters are great. Christian’s Mom and Dad are awesome. They’re so supportive of Christian, and they take Ben under their wings as well. This is perfect because Ben’s family is virtually non existent. The underlying mystery of the story is perfect. It’s always there, but it’s not in your face. I was able to concentrate on the budding romance between Christian and Ben, but the importance of finding out who attacked Ben, and why, is ever present.
Now, because it’s me, and you all know how I am, I’m going to talk about the sex for a moment. Let’s see…how do I describe the sex? Awesome!! There was a nice, slow burn, and then we were treated to kisses that melted my heart. After those kisses, whew!! It was hot, but it was tender and gentle. Ben is still hurt, so they have to be careful, and it was lovely. And did I mention hot? Yeah…hot 🙂
I highly recommend I See You. You will all fall in love with Christian and Ben just as I did, and you’ll root for them from the very beginning. The title says it’s the first in a new series, and I’m seriously excited about what’s next. Definitely pick this one up.
This review is part of our September Reading Challenge Month for Around the World Challenge Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win a fabulous prize from Riptide Publishing. One lucky winner will receive a selection of print Advanced Review Copies of Riptide books before they are even released (non-US winners will get ebook copies upon release instead). Commenters will also be entered to win our amazing grand prize sponsored by Dreamspinner Press (a loaded Kindle fire filled with DSP books!). You can get more information on our Challenge Month here, and more details on Around the World Challenge Week here. And be sure to check out our prize post for more about the awesome prizes!