Rating: 4 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Zach Keller has a great life with a job he enjoys and his best friend as a roommate. The only downside (aside from some family issues) is that Zach would love a relationship, yet he doesn’t think he has much chance of having one. After Zach’s last boyfriend freaked out when Zach revealed one of his fantasies, Zach is resigned to the fact that he is unlikely to find a guy that will share his kinky interests.
Craig Pela works in a gaming store and he loves his job. He had a rough time of it growing up and going to college was never in the cards. But while Craig can see a happy future working at his store, part of him wonders if he should be aspiring to more. When Craig meets Zach through one of his co-workers, he is immediately drawn to the shy and somewhat awkward man.
As Zach and Craig begin dating and spending more time together, they realize that they are a great fit and the relationship could turn into something serious. But Craig sometimes fears he is not enough for Zach given his background and lack of education. And Zach worries that if he is brave enough to share his fantasies with Craig, it could ruin things between them. Now both men must trust in their partner’s love and affection if they are going to have a future together.
Ok, so for full disclosure here, this book got my attention after reading Kenna’s review for the story. The book was a DNF for her as she was not comfortable with the sexual content, but reading more about the book convinced me that it would be right up my alley. Chambers generously agreed to let me give it a shot for review myself and I am glad I did, as I really enjoyed this story quite a lot. So before I go too far, let’s talk about the sex. Zach’s kink is that he is turned on by the idea of being shared by his partner. It gets him hot to think about his partner being so into him that he wants others to know and experience how sexy Zach is. So in addition to the fantasizing, there is a scene where Zach and Craig engage with another guy in an anonymous glory hole situation, as well as a gang bang Craig sets up for Zach. Craig is involved with both scenes, but you obviously have to be cool with the idea of multiple partners being brought in on occasion for this book to work for you. Personally, I think Chambers did a great job here, both with bringing the heat into these scenes, and also showing the deep connection between Zach and Craig and how it played into these scenes with other guys. So that part of the story worked for me just fine.
I really loved these guys together and there is a light, fun tone to the story that I enjoyed. Both the men have a geeky side and there is fun banter and just a nice, relaxed flow to their relationship. Chambers could have let the story rest on the sexy times, but she instead really gives some depth and development to both of these characters and makes the story more than just about the heat. I also loved Zach’s roommate and he is a great source of comic relief and fun in the book.
My only real issue here is that I think these guys get too bogged down in guilt and self doubt and worrying that they are not enough for one another. Craig fears that he isn’t educated enough and doesn’t have the right background for a guy like Zach. And Zach lets himself get walked over by his family and gets mired in guilt after a family conflict where it seemed almost absurd to me that he would possibly blame himself. So I think some of these issues dragged on longer than I would have liked and seemed to add a little too much drama.
Overall, however, I really enjoyed this story and I am so glad I took a chance and picked it up. It is the first book in a series (the second and third are out now) and I am really interested in continuing on, as I definitely enjoyed Chambers’ style and voice. So this may be a story that isn’t in everyone’s wheelhouse, but personally I enjoyed Only with You quite a lot and definitely am glad I gave it a try.
I find it intriguing to see how different people perceive the same book; the book is only part of the equation.
Yes, that is why reading (and reviewing) is so much fun! Everyone can have different feelings about the same book. I really enjoyed this one and glad I gave it a try!