Doug is starting to get back on his feet. He had been living with his brother for the past year after his boyfriend cheated on him and a lawsuit left him destroyed both financially and emotionally. Doug has just gotten his own apartment and through anger management and meditation, he’s making a concentrated effort to move on.
Except his new upstairs neighbors are loud and with parties going all night, Doug has had little sleep. When he attempts to explore a local bar, he meets Stewart, and then subsequently Corey. Doug is immediately attracted to Stewart, but Stewart is in an open relationship with Corey and, at the start, that is outside of Doug’s comfort zone. Yet he can’t help but be drawn into the lives of both Stewart and Corey as Doug has to figure out what exactly will ultimately make him happy.
I have reviewed another series by Darien Cox and enjoyed it and thought that TBR Pile Week for Reading Challenge Month would be a good opportunity to explore some of the author’s other works. This book will hit many areas that fall outside of some of the more expected boxes. It’s certainly a book that will give a different perspective on relationships than what is often seen in the genre and it’s a book to take chances with, but will not be for every reader.
The book is filtered through Doug, so it’s only possible to get part of the story and there is a lot of story here. We meet him as he’s leasing a new apartment after an incredibly rough year, including a break up and a lawsuit. His brother was his lifeline, but Doug is now feeling determined to pull it all together again.
When Doug meets Stewart, it’s a cute meet up from their first conversation to them going home together and they had great chemistry and energy together. Then things get complicated. Stewart is in an open relationship with Corey and while he’s free to spend the night with Doug, there are unexpected complications. Yet that doesn’t prevent Doug from falling hard for Stewart.
Doug gets heavily involved in Stewart and Corey’s lives and there are extenuating circumstances that make this all plausible. My issue here wasn’t with the relationships as with the characters themselves. None of them particularly held my attention. We never see Stewart and Corey on their own as everything is filtered through Doug, so how he sees them is how we see them. Corey is beautiful and turns heads wherever he goes and between him and Stewart, he is the one to spend more nights with someone else. Stewart was the one that initially suggested the open relationship, yet he’s not getting from Corey what he needs anymore. They are a major focus of the book, but as the book went on, I wasn’t intrigued by any of them and the book started losing steam for me because of it.
Stewart had a lot of stuff to figure out with Corey, and Doug was trying to figure out what to do next, and the ending relationship then didn’t feel like the priority to me. Even by the end, Doug was still hesitant and then so was I.
The book is well written and Cox still has a great style. I enjoyed that the book took risks and while I didn’t fully engage with the characters, it could be a good choice and a perhaps a good series to try for a storyline that has a lot going on and is a bit different from the rest.
This review is part of our Reading Challenge Month for TBR Pile Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win a fabulous prize from NineStar Press. Four lucky winners will each receive a $25 NineStar Press gift card. 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 TBR Pile Week here. And be sure to check out our prize post for more about the awesome prizes!