Jackson Davenport tried to play by the rules. His wealthy father wouldn’t have it any other way. But Lucas Sullivan didn’t fit into anyone’s plans. When Jackson’s father found out the two of them had gotten close, he pulled Jackson out of school right before their high school graduation and Jackson left Lucas behind without a goodbye.
Eight years later, the men haven’t forgotten each other and that last perfect night they spent together. When Jackson returns to South Haven for a business trip, he seeks Lucas out without really a plan in mind.
Lucas is known throughout the club scene. He has an endless supply of one night stands and they all serve to drown out the boy that broke Lucas’ heart. Lucas presents a confident, successful front, but inside he still feels like the boy that gets left behind. But neither of the men know the truth of what happened those years ago. Lucas is going to have to let Jackson in and Jackson is going to have to make the biggest stand of his life to make Lucas his once and for all.
This book has a little bit of all that is addictive. It has so many tropes all rolled into one and none of them are overdone and Blaine makes them all work in one story. We have friends to lovers, second chances, a manipulating wealthy father, miscommunication, denial, being stranded in a storm, all while adding in a bit of hate sex. But most of all is the incredible chemistry and love that comes through between Lucas and Jackson and the simple fact that they are a perfect fit for each other.
We don’t see much of their early years, but know they were opposites in a lot of ways but became the closest of friends and then their relationship was taken to the next level. Jackson’s father isn’t on page much, but while Jackson knows he is controlling, he never realized the lengths his father went to in order for Jackson to stay in line. Now years later, Jackson is still under is father’s control in his business as well as his personal life.
Lucas stayed in South Haven and became a successful artist. He has close friends, but Lucas hasn’t settled down at all in his personal life. He doesn’t date, he doesn’t have relationships, just an endless supply of one night stands and his options are always open to him. He has never forgotten Jackson or the way he felt when he was with him and while seeing Jackson again is what he always wanted, it’s not that easy.
The book is character and relationship driven with the men reconnecting and then figuring out if or how they can move forward. They have to first repair their friendship before moving on, but the chemistry between these two is intense and impossible to deny. Jackson has to overcome his fear of his father and acknowledging his attraction to Lucas, and Lucas has to get over the fear that Jackson will leave him once again.
The pace of the book was great until the end when everything happened a little too quickly and the wrap up was edging on being too easy. But the entire ride watching Jackson and Lucas was effortlessly entertaining reading. Shaw and Bash are intriguing secondary characters lined up to each get their own books as this starts a new series by Blaine and count me in as the series continues.