not allowed coverRating: 4 stars
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Length: Novel


Wyatt has just graduated high school and is headed off to college in the fall. His parents divorced when he was young and Wyatt has lived almost completely with his mom. But now she is selling the house and moving on to the next stage in her life, so Wyatt will be living with his dad, Adam, for the summer. Wyatt is the one who stopped spending weekends and summers with his dad, but he never really felt like his dad was part of his life, not to mention that his dad didn’t fight it when Wyatt stopped coming. So things are sort of awkward as Wyatt isn’t looking for Adam to suddenly become a hands on dad and the two have mostly drifted apart, yet they will now be living together. Wyatt definitely isn’t looking forward to having to spend the summer with Adam. At least, not until he meets Adam’s hot next door neighbor, Grant.

Grant is Adam’s neighbor and best friend. The men have shared sexual interests and a group of like-minded friends, which has brought them close. Grant is also coming off a break up, and while he has no interest in getting back together with Oscar, ending a year-long relationship has left him a little at a loss. When Grant meets Wyatt, he can’t help but find himself drawn to the young man. Grant knows it is crazy. Not only is Wyatt Adam’s son, but he is also 18, not experienced with men, and only in town for two months. Not to mention that Grant is in no way in a headspace for anything serious. But as much as Grant tries to put Wyatt out of his mind, he can’t help the intensity of his attraction. And when Wyatt makes it clear how much he wants Grant, and that he wants Grant to show him all about sex with a man, Grant’s resolve crumbles.

As the summer goes on, Wyatt and Grant get a chance to explore Wyatt’s wishlist of sexual adventures. They have to keep things hidden from Adam, and Grant can’t help but feel guilty about that, but he also knows that the attraction between them is just too strong to ignore. The men had always planned for this to just be sex, a fling to get them through the summer before Wyatt heads out for his new life in college. But neither man expected feelings to get involved or for things to get quite this complicated.

Not Allowed is the first book in Kate Hawthorne’s new Not Ready for Love series and this book is essentially the first part of Wyatt and Grant’s story. After book two switches to Adam and Cooper’s story, book three will give us the conclusion of Wyatt and Grant’s journey. So don’t expect everything to tie up here and we get a cliffhanger of sorts, and definitely not an HEA/HFN at this point. I think it is an interesting choice to split the book in two with another set of characters in the middle and I’m kind of intrigued by it, to be honest. I know that a lot of folks will want to wait and read this once book 3 is out, but I am really interested to see how it plays out with that second story in between. Adam and Cooper are prominent side characters here and their story will have to connect on some level given their relationships to Wyatt and Grant, so I am really curious to see how the series comes together when reading it with the breaks between books as Hawthorne intended. I also was happy that this story doesn’t end in the way I expected, so it was nice to see how things played out and how the ending sets up the future books.

The chemistry comes through very clearly between Grant and Wyatt. They see each other and just want. I could really feel that connection and desire brewing and, while Grant knows he shouldn’t be sleeping with his best friend’s son, he can’t help himself. Grant has definite dominant tendencies and Wyatt’s more submissive side is just such a perfect fit for him. Grant does hold back on getting fully into the kink with Wyatt and he is clearly trying not to let things get too intense between them. But there is a great heat as Grant helps Wyatt explore all the things on his “to do” list before college.Things are a little messy between the men though, mostly because they are in this weird limbo between totally hot for each other, and even falling for one another, but also knowing that they can’t get in too deep. Grant, in particular, is sort of hot and cold in terms of leaning and pulling back, mostly as he knows he shouldn’t be doing this in the first place. I think it absolutely works from a character standpoint, and I think the way it ends is exactly as it should at this point in the story. But I did feel like some little things aren’t really resolved or addressed here the way they would be if we were getting the full story. So I didn’t fully sink into this quite as much as I like, but overall, I really enjoyed these guys together and most definitely felt the heat.

The other conflict running alongside Grant and Wyatt’s relationship is the situation between Wyatt and Adam. It is clear they have a lot of unresolved issues between them stemming from the fact that they had such limited contact for much of Wyatt’s life. We get hints that there is more to the story than Wyatt knows, and it is clear that Adam very much loves his son. I was expecting to see this conflict addressed more here in this book, but we really don’t see any kind of real discussion or resolution to anything between them. I assume it will come in the next books, and I am going to give Hawthorne the benefit of the doubt that there is a reason for holding off on it here.

I think this is story is a great start to this new series. Things come together just the way they should for these characters, and particularly for Wyatt. But at the same time, it is clear that there is much more for these men together and Hawthorne really sets the stage nicely by the end of the book for what is to come. I am really eager for the next two books in the series and quite excited about this story.

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