always you coverRating: 4.5 stars
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Length: Short Story

Thom Novak is keeping a secret from his best friend, Lee Conway. Thom is in love with Lee. There’s only one problem…Lee is straight. Thom doesn’t want to say anything for fear of losing their friendship. The guys have been BFFs since they were born…even their moms were best friends! They went to school together, to college together, into teaching together, and live together. Lee has a girlfriend, Deborah, and even though Thom is a little jealous, he suffers in silence. One night, Lee returns home early from a date with Deborah. He’s quiet and after watching the end of Thom’s favorite movie, he heads to bed without an explanation.

After a day of radio silence, Lee returns home and makes a  major declaration to Thom. Will Lee and Thom get their happily ever after? Or will their mutual confessions ruin the beautiful friendship they’ve built for years and years?

Friends to lovers stories, especially lifelong BFFs, always make me happy. I enjoy seeing the couples descent into love. Always You is a short story, so it seems Thom and Lee’s descent feels quick…only it’s not. It’s very clear the men have been “together” forever. Thom knows he’s in love with Lee, but he’s not about to ruin their friendship by confessing this love because he doesn’t want to ruin their friendship. Even though we don’t have a lot of time to actually get to know Thom and Lee, I did find them charming. The author manages to give some nice character development in a short time. We get little details like Thom’s love for the young Clint Eastwood, and Lee’s tendency toward almost obsessive cleanliness.

Always You  is an excellent example of a friends to lovers story. There isn’t really anything new, but it’s a really nice read. Thom and Lee manage to be sweet and sexy, even though there is no “on page” sex. This was a great choice by Iris. Details of a sex act wasn’t necessary and it didn’t lessen the heat between them.

All in all, Always You is a lovely short read. It only took me  20 minutes to read it, but it was a relaxing and happy 20 minutes. Thom and Lee get their HEA, and the epilogue was adorable. I highly recommend this one. You don’t have to be a big fan of BFF’s falling in love. You only have to be a fan of delightful (and I know I already used this word, but…) charming characters finally getting what they want and deserve.

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