Jet Denton works at the Carnal Tower brothel, embodying the sin of Sloth. At work, Jet knows just how to give his clients what they need and he enjoys his job. But after a client attacked him, almost killing him, Jet is feeling a little off kilter. Watching his friend, Stone, find love has also thrown him, as Jet longs for someone with whom he can settle down, but doubts he will ever find someone who can fit with his life and his job.
Taylor is a photographer who runs a studio in the mall. He loves his job, but the bratty kids and difficult parents take a lot out of him, particularly as he almost never gets time away from work. After his ex cheated on him, Taylor was left without a lot of confidence in himself and his desirability. So when he sees Jet in the mall, he can’t imagine the gorgeous man would have any interest in him. But as it turns out, Jet is friendly and kind, helping Taylor out with a photo shoot for a sick kid. Taylor assumes that will be the last he sees of Jet, but as the two of them end up running into one another again, a connection starts to build that both men want to pursue.
As Jet and Taylor begin to develop their relationship, both men start falling hard for one another. Taylor fits into Jet’s life in a way he never expected he would find. But Jet worries that his job as a sex worker will ultimately become a problem between them. He wants to share all himself with Taylor, but can’t help but be afraid of how Taylor would react to Jet’s persona as a Sloth. For his part, Taylor has been struggling with self esteem after his cheating ex, and Jet’s godlike looks leave Taylor worried where he fits in with such a beautiful man. Taylor can also tell that Jet is holding some of himself back, and he worries he may never really get to see all of the man he is growing to love. But Taylor and Jet have found a happiness together neither one expected, and now they are determined to make things work and build a future together.
Waiting on Forever is the second book in E.M. Lindsey’s Carnal Towers series. While we met Jet in the first book, and the various Sins make an appearance here, I think this story stands alone just fine. I think Lindsey does a nice job early in the series not overwhelming the reader with too much about all these side characters, so while most of them make a brief appearance, the focus is mostly on just a few of Jet’s closest friends. I assume as the series continues, we will see more of all these guys, but for now, Lindsey is doing a nice job of keeping this cast manageable.
This story has a great meet cute as Jet and Taylor connect at the mall. We see the softer side of both men immediately, and there is a clear connection between them, but both men are a little afraid of reaching for more. As they end up reconnecting a few times, they finally work up the nerve to take a chance. Taylor doesn’t have a ton of confidence, his ex having done a number on his self esteem. He is mostly broke and works a ton of hours, has a self-described “dad bod,” and sees himself as mostly average. So he can’t quite believe Jet would possibly be interested. For his part, Jet grew up well off with a mostly disinterested family, who grew more disinterested when he became blind due to illness as a teen. So while Jet is outwardly gorgeous, he struggles internally with feeling wanted. So there is a sweetness here as these guys start off dancing around each other a bit, both a little afraid to try, but ultimately finding such happiness together.
I enjoyed the side characters here, particularly Maya, their friend from the pretzel stand at the mall. Maya is direct and snarky and doesn’t take much crap, and I love how she helps get these guys to wake up and realize that they are both into each other. She is that right balance of an active side character who doesn’t feel overly meddling. I enjoyed how Maya’s story plays out alongside theirs and how things come together for her in the end. There is also a bit of a fun fish-out-of-water element that Jet, this rich, gorgeous, sex worker, ends up becoming good friends with the heavily pregnant, single woman who works at the pretzel stand in the mall. He never quite seems like he fits there, but somehow he forms this strong bond with both Maya and Taylor. We also get to spend time with some of the Sins, particularly Stone and Flint. I enjoy the camaraderie of the group and learning more about them all. We find out at the end of this book who is up next and I am super excited for it.
This story brings up a lot of issues and plot threads and I do think the ending comes together a little quickly on resolving some of them. In particular, the issue of the woman who hurt Jet and continues to threaten him feels like it resolved mostly off page. I’ll also note, FWIW, that while the story does address Jet’s life as a sex worker and the duality of things between him and his Sin, this book doesn’t really show much of Jet in action, so to speak. While we saw a lot of Stone as Wrath in the first book, here we don’t really see much of the Sloth side of Jet, aside from one very brief scene with Taylor. For me, I don’t think I missed seeing the more kink side of things with Jet’s job, but I just mention it so readers know what to expect.
Overall, I found this another fun installment in this series. I love the camaraderie and friendship among the group and seeing the way they are bringing the new relationships into their little found family. As always, Lindsey is great about including representation in their stories and I definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.