Jordan has been in love with Gael for what feels like forever. The two of them are the best of friends and when Jordan’s parents kicked him out of their house and their lives for being gay, Gael and his family became family to Jordan. Except, Gael is now engaged to a woman and Jordan has no idea how to fall out of love with his best friend. Sure, he’s dated, but no one will ever be Gael.
Jordan now has a successful real estate career, and he spares no expense taking Gael and a few friends to Las Vegas for a bachelor party. Being in close proximity to Gale away from home does nothing to tamp down the feelings Jordan is desperately trying to let go. But there might be a possibility that Gael has feelings for Jordan—feelings that he has kept closely hidden because Gael thought Jordan didn’t see him like that. Their lives are forever entwined and now maybe their futures will be as well.
Ache is an expanded version of a novella that was originally titled Regrets and Resolutions and was available in the Winter Wonderland giveaway earlier this year. The author’s note states that fifty thousand words have been added and if you have read that first story with Jordan and Gael, you will notice considerable additions, as well as changes. What does remain the same is the bond that Jordan and Gael share and the intense longing that the men have for each other. At first, it seems one sided with Jordan doing the heavy pining. But an incident ten years prior had Gael thinking that Jordan wasn’t interested in him romantically and for as close as these guys are, they certainly haven’t shared what they really want from each other.
Gael has been with his fiancée, Elena, for two years now and the wedding date is approaching. Things are fine and he does love her, but he also feels a sense of loss for something he can’t quite name. Las Vegas is the perfect escape for the guys and although everyone always jokes about Jordan and Gael being a couple, at different times everyone can also see the lingering glances between the two of them.
The story takes a definite shift from the earlier version and things are not easy at all for the guys. Starting a new relationship at your bachelor party is certainly stressful and then a near tragedy further keeps Jordan and Gael apart a little longer than they planned.
Men being childhood friends is one of my favorite tropes, but I did find the scenes choppy in some places. I could tell where new content had been added from the original version and the flow was not seamless. The men also have similar voices and in a back and forth conversation—of which there were many—it became difficult at some points to determine who was speaking. There is also POV from Elena in a couple of chapters and her voice sounded the same as the men. I also didn’t feel the deeper emotion that I look for in a book like this and while I did enjoy seeing Jordan and Gael find their way to each other, it was more difficult to lose myself in this story.