Rating: 3.75 stars
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Kai and Gray have been best friends since they were kids. Kai was crushing on Gray for a long time and, when he knew he wanted more than he could have, he left the country and has been traveling. He and Gray kept in touch and Kai is back in Boston now and convinced he’s got his Gray-sized crush under control.
Gray is a successful lawyer and makes plans and is organized. After a night of drinking and a few rounds of never-have-I-ever, Gray realizes he hasn’t done much that is fun in his life. He’s so organized that he makes a list, a happy list, determined to do something else besides work all the time. When Kai finds that list, Kai wants to be the one to make Gray happy, but some things on that list aren’t what platonic best friends do with each other. It’s painful for Kai to realize that his crush on Gray will never be finished. However, Kai never thought Gray would finally see what has been in front of him all along and Kai’s feelings may not be so one-sided after all.
Childhood best friends to lovers is my happy place and The Happy List works that theme. Kai and Gray fit perfectly as friends and Kai has always wanted more. When Kai moves back to town, Gray offers to let Kai stay with him and Kai is sure he has his crush under control after all these years. But being back in Gray’s space is certainly a challenge for Kai.
Gray’s life is mostly about work. His engagement is recently off and there really isn’t anything that sparks interest in his life. Until Kai comes back to town. The men easily fall back into their friendship, but Gray starts noticing things about Kai he never did before and the thought of Kai dating is more than Gray can even wrap his head around.
The story moves along as Gray starts to come to terms with his attraction to Kai. He has never been attracted to a man before and doesn’t know how to proceed and the happy list acts more as a catalyst to the story. The men are good together as they act on their attraction and slowly adjust to moving from best friends, to friends-with-benefits, to ultimately more.
The book was a little long for the story it told and nothing new was happening here for this trope, but if friends to lovers is your happy place as well, this book is low on the angst and higher on the happy.