Kyle has successfully gotten Aiden’s attention at their club, Enchanting Encounters, and things went well during their two-week trial run. Now the guys are on to a three-month extension to see how things work between them over the longer period. Kyle knows he wants Aiden and enjoys their time together. He can even see Aiden being the one for him long term. But Kyle isn’t sure that Aiden feels the same. Now Kyle has to hope that at the end of their trial, the connection he feels with Aiden is strong enough to move things along to a more long-term relationship between them.
To Have and to Hold picks up shortly after To Seek and to Find in the Enchanting Encounters series. Project Notice Me was a success and Kyle got Aiden’s attention. Things are going so well that they have extended their contract and so in this second book, we see the guys continue spending time together, doing scenes and developing their relationship.
For me, the thing that works best about this book (and perhaps this series) is also the thing I struggled with the most. What I really enjoyed is how well we really sink into Kyle’s story here. We are solely in his POV and I feel like we really get a great sense of Kyle, who he is, and what he wants. The story is told in third person, present tense, which honestly isn’t the easiest style for me to settle into, but I think it works here as it gives us an immediacy to Kyle’s POV that complements the focus of the story. This series thus far is definitely Kyle’s journey and Eradani does a great job getting us in his head and helping us to understand his desires and his feelings. Kyle is a likable guy, a bit arrogant at times, but with a vulnerability that balances it out nicely. So I find him an entertaining narrator for this series and this once again had me rooting for his happiness.
Where I struggle here is that Aiden often feels like an afterthought. Even after two novels, I feel like I barely know more about him than that he is a professor, he can’t cook, and he is a Dom. It is not just that we aren’t ever in his POV, it is that he often just fades off the page to me. Everything comes to us reflected through Kyle — what he likes, what he wants, his reactions to what Aiden says or does. And even though Aiden is ostensibly guiding their kink scenes, we get so little sense of him or what he wants or what he is getting out of it. And since most of the time the guys are together it is during a scene, we have limited time with them interacting beyond that. Much of the story is either the guys having sex, or Kyle thinking about or planning having sex, which further keeps us from really getting to know Aiden. It is hard to even have a real sense of what Kyle sees in Aiden and why he wants him so much. This is something that was an issue for me in the first book, and here two books in I still feel the same way. While Aiden seems perfectly likable, there is just not enough here of his character to feel like I understood why Kyle is so desperate for him.
So what I really need here is better balance. I can handle this being Kyle’s journey, and even for him to be the primary focus. But if I am going to be invested in them as a couple as the series continues, I need to have more of a feel for Aiden and for the connection between them. The series is definitely holding my interest and I am excited to see where things go from here, so I am hopeful that as the series progresses, we get to know Aiden better and things even out somewhat between them.