Rating: 4.25 stars
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Length: Novel

Nathan Blackburn is back in his home town helping his grandfather with some house repairs. He blows off some steam by finding a guy on a hook up app. As it turns out, sex with the stranger is mind blowing and Nathan feels an unexpected connection with the man. But it’s only a hookup, and Nathan is only in town for a few weeks anyway. However, Nathan is shocked when he learns the next day that his sexy stranger is actually Scotty St. James, the little brother of Nathan’s best friend, Tod.

Scotty grew up trying to fit a mold people expected of him, but he has finally reached a point in life where he lives on his own terms. He has crushed on Nathan since he was a kid, but Nathan never noticed him. When Scotty saw Nathan on the hook up app, he couldn’t resist connecting, knowing chances were unlikely Nathan would recognize Scotty given how much he has changed over the years. It seemed like the one chance he had to live out his fantasy, but the reality of being with Nathan is even better than he expected.

The two men realize that there is an intense attraction and a real connection between them. They know that there is an expiration date on things, as Nathan is returning home once the repair work is done. So they figure they will keep things casual, but continue seeing each other while he is in town. But the sparks between the men are more intense than either expected and things are getting serious more quickly than anticipated. Now Scotty and Nathan have to figure out if they can navigate their real life responsibilities and turn a temporary fling into something more permanent.

The Sweetest Thing is fun, sexy, and yes, sweet. The story is pretty straightforward with Nathan and Scotty hooking up, feeling an intense connection almost immediately, and spending most of the book getting to know one another and enjoying each other’s company (and having lots of hot sex). We know the main conflict right from the start in that Nathan is only in town for a few weeks, so there are no real surprises here. Honestly, on paper, this shouldn’t have totally worked as there is not a ton that happens and the conflict is clear early on. Yet somehow, this one ended up being really delightful and kept me totally engaged throughout the book.

I think the strength of the story really rides on Nathan and Scotty, both individually and as a couple. They are nicely developed characters and Denning gives them each enough backstory to flesh them out without overloading the book. Each man takes on a lot of responsibility for others, Nathan in particular, and part of their growth here is learning when to take a step back from trying to jump in and solve other people’s problems. There is also the complication that Nathan is dating his best friend’s brother, and Tod isn’t super happy about it, which is causing some mild conflict among all three of them. But really, it is the connection between Nathan and Scotty that carries the story as they are so sweet, sexy, and romantic together. I love how they accept each other unconditionally. They are honest about their feelings. They enjoy each other’s company, in and out of the bedroom. And while obviously we do get some conflict between them as things all get sorted, these guys are mature and communicate their feelings. Plus, they are hella sexy together. (And bonus points for the fact that cross dressing Scotty isn’t stereotypically the default bottom.)

The story is described as book 1 in the Blackburn Brothers duet, and we do meet Nathan’s brother, Christian, here in this story. We get enough information about Christian to give an intriguing set up for his book, without allowing him to steal focus from our main couple. I am definitely interested to learn more about him and I am quite eager to get his story.

So this one was definitely a hit for me. Like I said, sweet, sexy, romantic, and fun. Definitely worth checking out.