Henry Beckett’s life has disintegrated while he wasn’t looking. But now he’s determined to get his boyfriend back, and the first step to that is losing the weight that he’s unwittingly put on. He takes the first step by joining a gym, and that’s where he meets personal trainer Reed Henske. Reed is perfect and beautiful. And more than that, he encourages Henry in exactly the right way.
Pretty soon, Henry is getting in shape for the right reasons: to take care of himself. And as his and Reed’s friendship grows, Henry starts coming out of his shell at work. Henry has no filter, and he’s previously done his best not to speak much at work. But now everything in Henry’s life is changing, and that’s due to Reed. But when Henry unwittingly makes Reed feel bad, Henry has to take a step back and really look at himself. There he finds someone who is truly happy for the first time in a long time. And with a heart to heart conversation with Reed, Henry finally has everything he wants.
I’m a fan of this author and I usually snap up anything she releases knowing that I’ll get a great story with great characters. But with this one, I was very…reluctant. Let’s just say that a character having to lose weight in order to finally be happy is a touchy subject with me. So I was hesitant, but it was still on my radar as one to read. But when Reading Challenge Month came up, and we needed something for TBR Pile Week, I decided it was time to take the chance. And I am so very glad I did.
So it became quickly apparent that while Henry may have joined a gym in order to get his ex back, his attitude shifted within a few days (pages). He realized he wanted to do this for himself, that he wanted to take care of himself and be healthy. As soon as this happened, I relaxed. Henry was all about being healthy, but he wasn’t doing it for anyone but himself anymore. Even more than that, Henry is an absolutely fantastic character. He’s got no filter, and the things he says are hysterical. I mean, I was literally laughing out loud, and that doesn’t often happen to me with books. He’s got a great sense of humor, even if he doesn’t always mean to, and he’s a totally adorable geek. I loved him from the very start.
We don’t get to know Reed quite as well, but he’s very open and forthcoming. So even though we don’t get his POV, it’s clear to see what kind of guy he is. He’s got a huge heart, and he’s so dang nice. Even better, he’s believable in that way. I adored him just as much as Henry.
I loved the slow burn of their relationship. First they become friends, though it’s clear they both want more. Reed is a complete support for Henry, and what starts out as recipe swapping quickly turns into sharing parts of their lives. As their relationship progresses, the attraction grows. And when they finally act on it, it’s wonderfully satisfying.
The story has got great pacing. All the way up until the end that is. Then it felt a little rushed. I would have liked to see a bit more of them as a couple, and to see their relationship flourishing a bit more. But otherwise, I really loved the way the story progresses.
So yeah. This one is an easy recommendation for me. The characters are great, Henry especially, and there’s a realness to them that I really enjoyed. I adored this story and I’m really glad I finally took the chance and read it.
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!