Jesse Anderson lives a quiet and steady life. He was raised not to take chances or risks, to take the safe path, and that is what he has always done. Part of Jesse longs to break free a little, but the idea of rocking the boat or shaking things up is just too overwhelming for him. One day, however, Jesse shocks even himself when he notices his very sexy new neighbor across the courtyard. With their windows almost aligning, Jesse can see right into his neighbor’s apartment — including watching the guy have sex. Jesse knows he should shut his blinds and look away, but he can’t help himself. His neighbor is all his hottest fantasies rolled into one and Jesse can’t help but indulge himself as he watches. Until, of course, he gets caught.
Jesse figures nothing more will come of it until his company brings in some consultants to help with the launch of their upcoming video game. And who should be part of the team, but sexy neighbor, Skylar Behnam? Jesse realizes that pursuing anything with Skylar is a bad idea considering they are working together temporarily. Not to mention that Skylar is a hard ten and Jesse can’t imagine the guy would be interested in a geeky programmer like him who is boring and without much of a social life. Yet to his surprise, Skylar reaches out to Jesse to strike up a friendship and the two end up spending time together. Skylar is nothing like Jesse expected; he is kind, funny, warm, and a little bit geeky himself. And he seems truly interested in Jesse. The one drawback? Skylar’s work assignment is temporary before he is on to another city, which means any relationship between them has an expiration date.
Jesse is determined to enjoy his time with Skylar while he has it. And spending time with Skylar helps Jesse break free of the rigid boxes he has put around his life. The two of them explore the city, try new things, and have great experiences. Jesse also gets the confidence to stand up for himself at work and try for some new opportunities. But as the clock ticks on Skylar’s time in Portland, Jesse’s heart is now on the line and he fears is going to lose his chance at the man who has helped him find such happiness.
I’ll admit that based on the blurb for this book, I was expecting sort of a sex-filled romp, something porny and fun, but maybe not with a whole lot of story. And I was totally fine with that. But I was even more pleased to find that Just Watch Me not only has all the fun, sexy, voyeurism/exhibitionism the blurb promises, but also some nicely developed characters and an engaging story. So first, the high heat side. The story opens up with Jesse accidentally spotting Skylar having sex with some guy he brought home and even as he knows he shouldn’t watch, he can’t help himself. The twist here is that Skylar sees him watching, and Jesse is mortified. As the guys get to know one another, Jesse is hesitant about moving forward too fast and getting his heart involved, given that he knows that Skylar is leaving town. So instead, the guys have a few more sexual experiences while watching one another/performing for each other through the windows of their apartments. So this is a sexy story and a fun bit of play between the two men.
What enhances the book nicely is some character development for both Skylar and Jesse. This is primarily Jesse’s story as we are in his POV, but we get enough of Skylar I felt like I got to know him. Skylar is a military kid who has moved a million times growing up, and now travels for a living for work. He likes to explore, but part of him is looking to put down some roots. He is pretty much too perfect to live — gorgeous, kind, sexy, warm, understanding — yet, somehow, Blair keeps him from being over-the-top. He is basically a dream man and exactly what Jesse needs. Jesse’s parents are super overprotective and they taught him to pull back and be safe at all costs, which means Jesse isn’t really living and he isn’t really trying. Jesse gets a sense of safety and security from Skylar that gives him the confidence to try new things, to explore, to want more for himself, and to take some steps to break free. There is a nice sense of these guys balancing one another out and meeting in the middle, giving each man what he needs from the relationship.
This is a shorter book (somewhere in the long novella/short novel length), but Blair manages to do a lot with it. I enjoyed this story for both its super sexiness, but also its interesting characters in Jesse and Skylar. I will definitely keep an eye open for more from this author.