Sam Cooper and Wesley Reed have been best friends since college. Though Sam is more bookish and reserved, and Wesley is outgoing and social, the two fit together so well and count on one other in their lives. Sam’s sister is getting married in Montana, but Sam is worried about attending — last year he cancelled his wedding at the last minute and things have been awkward with his family ever since. So Wesley offers to come for moral support and suggests a two-week, cross-country road trip to get there.
The guys get a chance to explore many different cities, trying new foods and having adventures as they travel the country. Being together non-stop for the first time since college also brings the two closer. In fact, what was friendship begins to turn to attraction for both Sam and Wesley. But the men are worried that acting on their feelings may ruin the friendship they have, and their bond is incredibly important to both of them. But eventually neither man is able to deny his attraction any more and the two act on their feelings. Rather than tear them apart, the romance between them just enhances their relationship.
However, the guys do face some roadblocks once the trip is over. Sam must face his family and his fears about seeing them again. And Wesley has a major secret he has been keeping that will have a big effect on his future. Wesley has been there for Sam as he deals with his family, and Sam is determined to be there for Wesley in return. But the question they now face is whether being together is the best thing for them, or if their new relationship will be over just as it starts.
As many of you guys know, I am a huge road trip story fan, so I was eager to check this book out. I think Anderson does a really nice job with the road trip aspect of the story and nicely combines the adventures the guys have along the way with the growing attraction their close proximity brings to light. For the most part, the guys are in a new city each day and we get to follow along as they explore and discover interesting things about the places they go. Things are a teeny bit repetitive with the driving, checking in, going out, etc., each day, but for the most part I found it a lot of fun to follow along with their adventures, especially to places I haven’t been.
The attraction the grows between them feels very natural and organic. It felt very believable to me the way these long time friends evolved into more, and I enjoyed their excitement as they experienced their newfound attraction to one another. It clear from the start that Sam and Wesley care deeply for one another and count on each other for support. So their evolution into love just felt like an extension of the close bond they already shared. The story explores the idea that perhaps these men are too dependent on one another, that they are not standing on their own two feet when needed because they are always there to take care of one another. It plays out in small ways with Sam, but a much bigger one as Wesley shares his secret. Sam wants to be there to support Wesley, but he also knows that Wesley has to overcome his hurdles without Sam being too much of a crutch. At times the way these guys negotiated this dynamic felt a little clunky and confusing, but overall I think things tie up well.
So this is an entertaining road trip story with a strong friends to lovers element. I can recommend this one for sure, especially if you are fan of either of these tropes.