Liam is a closeted professional rugby player who’s just been traded to the Melbourne club. He has no family or friends there, so he’s making friends where he can—on the beach. Matty’s a professional lifeguard on Melbourne’s beaches. He couldn’t miss the big, solitary man who’s been swimming daily.
Matty can’t read Liam’s interest, but he’s always eager to make a good friend. He’s got mates at the pub, but Matty’s tired of his lonely apartment, and Liam is pleasant company. As they spend more time together, Matty and Liam struggle with making their mutual interests known in fear that they’ll scare away a good friend. And, when they learn they both fancy one another, well, then they are nervous that getting physical might ruin the friendship.
This is a slow-burn love story. I’ll be honest, I wanted more sports. Also, I felt as if these guys really could have been anywhere—particularly a west coast US locale—instead of Melbourne. Considering what I know about Aussies, the ozone layer, and rising skin cancer rates, well, these folks spend an unexpected amount of time in the direct, beachy sunlight. Setting aside a few dialect choices, I couldn’t feel any Australian vibes coming through.
I liked how Liam built good friendships, and I loved how Matty and Liam dealt with bigots in their midst. Liam, who is bisexual, was nervous to come out to his teammates, and the situation there turns out better than expected. I felt the angst was low, which was nice. Unfortunately, the story felt a bit generic. Like, with the setting and the lack of rugby, these could have been any two guys anywhere. For me, that was a detractor, though it might not be a trouble to other readers.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.