Rating: 4 stars
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TJ is in middle school when he meets Cole, who becomes his best friend. They fit together perfectly and do everything together, including some sexual exploration in high school. When Cassidy moves to town, TJ thinks she is the perfect girl for him, but when Cole makes his move, TJ backs off. Except, Cassidy isn’t as interested in Cole as she is in TJ. While Cassidy is attracted to Cole, he also intimidates her in ways she can’t understand as a teen. Cole and TJ never have a chance to figure out what their relationship means as Cole moves back to England during high school and he thinks it is best to cut TJ off completely.
TJ and Cassidy become close, falling in love and getting married after college, and their life looks like a fairy tale. But, after a few years of marriage, their relationship starts to grow restless, as Cassidy has secret desires and TJ has never forgotten the feeling of his best friend. Over in England, Cole is thriving with a successful business, but he never has forgotten TJ or Cassidy. When Cole sets out to reconnect with his old friends, their lives will change in ways they never saw coming.
Suzie Webster is a new author to me and Perfect For Me was a great introduction to her work. The story starts with TJ and Cole at a younger age and shows their friendship as they move through high school. They never defined their relationship, even when things took an intimate turn, and they never had the chance to before Cole moved away and wouldn’t return TJ’s calls or texts.
There was also Cassidy, who moved to town during high school and, as high school kids do, Cole called “dibs” on Cassidy, which led TJ to backing off. (I suppose this is not the place to get into all the problematic issues with calling “dibs” on another person completely negating what that person wants for themself.) The narrative really shows the connection TJ and Cole shared, how there was something more there than just friendship, and then how TJ and Cassidy fell in love.
With point of view from all three characters, we then see Cole in England as he makes new friends and is exposed to the kink side of life, which then turns into a lucrative career. All through the decade that follows Cole leaving America, there are glimpses of how he never forgot TJ or Cassidy and then his plans to reconnect, but certainly with ulterior motives in mind.
There are plenty of heated intimate scenes that create different bonds and awakenings for the characters. The MCs do start out as teens, but I would not consider this to be YA material. Cole and TJ also don’t see each other for ten years and Cole then explores his desires with others during that time, which completely makes sense and also works for the story being told. It’s also easy to see how they each can be in love with more than one person, although for me, Cassidy wasn’t as interesting as Cole and TJ.
Some parts of the dialogue didn’t flow as well as they could have as Cole was English, but spoke more American most of the time. When he was in England, he only used British terms when he spoke with specific characters and it felt too obvious and not natural to the conversation. The MCs’ conversations as teens also fell in and out of teen language and at times it felt natural to the scene and other times it felt like they were older and recounting their stories.
The book then ends with a “to be continued” and a soft cliffhanger and the series is a trilogy. I got completely hooked on the lives of Cole, TJ, and Cassidy and I am heading over to see how their relationship progresses in Stay With Me, which is already released.