Rating: 4.5 stars
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Cody has been in love with Isaac ever since they became the best of friends a year ago. But it’s so complicated and while Cody wants more, the abuse he suffered as a child won’t allow him to be touched by anyone. He can never tell Isaac how he feels because he knows he can never be what Isaac needs. But Cody looks forward to the time he gets to spend with Isaac and if there is any place that he can feel safe, it’s with Isaac. If only Cody knew that Isaac was in love with him too.
Cody never expected to be attracted to any other man, but when he meets Jonah, he feels a connection and attraction. It gets further complicated when Isaac and Jonah have their own attraction to each other, but nothing feels right for them without having Cody between them. The men try and figure out a way for all three of them to be together, but Cody is hesitant and Jonah, who is older than both men, feels that it will just be a matter of time before he once again gets left behind. But the three of them work on every level, they just have to believe in themselves.
This book follows the first in the series, All In, and a group of friends that work at a bar called The Den. When this story first opens, Blaze from the first book is on page right away and I enjoyed that book so much it was difficult to not want to see more of Blaze and Galen. But the author takes three main characters here and brings them together almost effortlessly and for most of the book there is little drama in having Cody, Isaac, and Jonah work as a single unit. It didn’t take long at all until I was enjoying this book just as much as the first. There was lots of drama leading up to the three men getting together that we learn about in an overview style, but here, the author does an excellent job of showing how the three of them can not only come together, but stay together as well.
Cody and Issac have a history as they are best friends. Cody is in love with Isaac, but he can’t act on it. Cody suffered horrible and traumatic abuse at an age where he was too young to even understand what was happening to him and as a result cannot allow people to touch him. He has been to therapy and has been working on getting his life together, but having any kind of physical relationship seems insurmountable to him. Isaac wants more, but would never push Cody and just wants to take care of him in any way possible.
Jonah is the missing element that the men need. Cody and Isaac are just at the point where they are admitting their feelings when they meet Jonah. Jonah is older and more experienced then both Cody and Isaac and his professional background allows him to understand Cody. It’s not a quick magical fix here. Cody has serious issues and the men take tentative steps toward each as Cody gets comfortable with touch, but it worked for me here. Once they get going though, whew, this book has many erotic scenes as the men care for each other.
There are obstacles, but mostly there is little angst on the page and it worked to see three men just be together and fit. The biggest obstacles are Cody’s issues and then Jonah feeling like he will eventually become a third wheel to the men and be cast aside.
Which leads to one of the only issues I had with the book. Jonah’s personality really comes through throughout the book and the way he handles things toward the end seemed to go against everything we had seen from him and it began to lose the thread for me. There was also a situation with Galen’s law office that started a side story, but ultimately didn’t really go anywhere and then was tied up neatly without ever being fully developed or given a true purpose for being there. The version I had also had a number of typos and missing words, as well as non-American phrases and spellings for a book set in the U.S., but perhaps this will be cleaned up before the final version as I had an advanced copy.
The core of the relationship between Cody, Isaac, and Jonah was well done and we get the trifecta of three points of view. This book highlights how three men can fairly easily have a relationship that just works for them on all levels. The series will continue with more of the men from The Den and while this book can be read as a standalone, I did appreciate having some of the connections already established to pull it all together. This has been only the second book I have read from this author and this series is quickly becoming a definite favorite and one I will continue to look for as the third book releases in the fall.
This sounds like a book/series that I’d enjoy reading. Thanks for the review, Michelle.