Danny Yip is a very successful financial analyst for the Jade Harbour venture capital firm in Toronto. He’s been semi-adopted by the family of his best childhood friend, Wei Lok, and values those relationships above nearly everything. While growing up, the Loks always found a way to make Danny’s life a bit easier, if it was a tuition payment or some extra cash at just the right moment. It meant the world to Danny, who grew up in modest means, raised by his single mom who died a few years ago.
Danny may now have a penthouse apartment and a Rolex for every suit and setting, but lately he’s felt…off. He spends a lot of his free time with Wei and his young twins, and avoiding Wei’s sexy younger brother, Tobin, with whom Danny had a tryst several years back. Tobin went to school out west and worked hard to be his own man, not lean on his wealthy parents because he wanted to establish his independence. Tobin is also a financial analyst for a consultant firm that helps struggling businesses restructure and thrive. When Tobin and Danny cross paths again, it’s in a most unexpected place, the headquarters of WesTec, a floundering tech company Danny wants to acquire and divest. Unfortunately, it’s also Tobin’s first big client to save.
This is a fun and interesting story of falling for a best friend’s brother, as Danny and Tobin take moments while in the same town to explore the magnetic connection that has only grown during their long separation. Danny is lonely, and Tobin is so loving and fun. He’s also familiar with Danny in ways that connect them. Tobin loved Danny for his whole adolescence, worshiped him to be honest. But, that doesn’t mean he’s going to just let Danny take control over everything between them. These are two fiercely independent men, and their needs are more emotional than sexual. Danny needs to not upset the Loks and risk the family dynamic he’s grown to need. Tobin has no desire to upset that balance, but he’s also sure that his folks would welcome Danny as a true son, if their relationship continues to grow.
There are stumbling blocks, notably the cross-purposes of their jobs. Danny isn’t above making some big problems for WesTec’s owner, exploiting personal weaknesses even to get his company their payoff. By contrast, Tobin’s ethics are pristine, and his commitment to doing the best job he can for his client means that he’s going to upset Danny—at least professionally. The family situation brought a different layer of conflict. Wei gets suspicious and they both feel rotten keeping their relationship on the down-low. I was really invested in how this would get sorted out, especially because Tobin’s drive for independence was sometimes alienating to his family. They each needed time to discover and reconcile the differences in their lives and life plans since their shared history back in Toronto. I liked how Danny finally acknowledged his true needs, and how professional success wasn’t his most important goal any longer. It showed a lot of maturity and growth, which I enjoyed. Tobin wasn’t the pushover he’d been as a child, and his determination to have a solid and loving relationship made him all the more admirable.
There are a good bit of sexy moments, all working to deepen the bond between Danny and Tobin. They are an interesting couple, and I loved also that their Asian heritage was celebrated in their cultural sensibilities and customs. This is the first book in a series and I would definitely read on.