submitted to my enemy coverRating: 4 stars
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Length: Novel

 

Alex sometimes finds himself mentally spiraling and needs to get out of his head. His best friend used to be always there for him, but now that Beck has a new boyfriend, Alex is alone more often and he is struggling. The one thing that helps Alex let off some steam is a kinky online hookup where he can let someone else tell him what to do. When Alex has a super hot phone encounter with “MrWrong” one night, the guy’s sexy bossiness sends Alex soaring. But Alex only does one offs through the app. Plus, most people don’t even know he is bisexual and he rarely gets with guys other than for just a hookup. But even as Alex knows it should just be a one-time thing, he can’t resist continuing to reach out to his online man, as he has never before felt that bone deep sense of being settled and satisfied.

Even as things are going great with MrWrong, Alex finds himself saddled with a guy he hates to work on a class project. Not only did Kai crush Alex last year when he never called after they met at a party, but Kai doesn’t even remember Alex. Kai is infuriatingly calm in the face of Alex’s irritation, and Alex has no choice but to find a way to get along with him. To Alex’s surprise, however, the two men begin to actually become friends.

As Kai and Alex begin to build their friendship, Alex and MrWrong continue their online connection as well. Alex finds himself opening up to MrWrong in ways he never has with anyone before. And MrWrong is sharing things in return, furthering the bond between them. Things are going great, until the day the men realize their their study partners and their online sex buddies are one and the same. On one hand, spending time together in real life lets the guys forge an even deeper connection. But also, both Kai and Alex opened themselves up online and shared things they never talk about with others. Suddenly having to come face to face with someone who knows their secrets is challenging for both men. But the feelings the guys have for each other are growing even stronger and their sexual connection continues to be scorching. Making that transition from casual sex partners to something real is scary for both of them, especially Alex, who has a painful past when it comes to relationships with men. But if they can take that leap, Alex and Kai may just find a great future together.

Never Have I Ever: Submitted to My Enemy is a steamy, kinky, quasi-enemies-to-lovers story. It is the second in the Never Have I Ever series, but it does stand alone just fine. I didn’t read the first book and had no problems starting here. That said, Beck and Finn from Punched My Roommate’s V-Card show up here as side characters, and Ash from Step Bully (which appears to be otherwise unrelated) has a brief cameo here.

There are two parallel storylines happening here with Kai and Alex, one in person and one through the app, until they ultimately realize what’s going on. The story starts out with the online hookup, as Alex is feeling out of sorts and goes online looking for a little kinky fun. Alex has known he is bisexual for a while, but after a bad relationship with a guy, he doesn’t really act on it much, particularly as his taste in men is very specific. So he surprises himself when he is drawn to MrWrong’s profile, but the guys have a super hot encounter that leads to more. Kai is a bossy, dominant guy and he loves to direct Alex’s sexual experience, and Alex loves being told what to do. What starts out as a one off turns into multiple encounters, which slowly expand to the guys opening up to each other in ways they rarely do with others. So even as this story is super sex heavy, the men are also getting to know one another and sharing things on a deeper level. That said, be prepared because this one has a lot of sex and is definitely kinky. The guys play with consensual non-consent scenes, bondage, sleep sex, and various other fantasies and role play. I appreciated that everything is well discussed between them beforehand and Kai checks in often with Alex along the way. So things are definitely steamy here, both when Kai and Alex are interacting online, as well as once they start connecting in person.

The second storyline is the enemies-to-lovers element as they get paired up for an assignment and Alex has some bad feelings toward’s Kai. Eventually, they work through it and we see a friendship start to build. I thought it was an interesting dynamic to see how the guys handled that transition to a real life relationship after being so anonymous and exposed online. It made them closer, but also left them both feeling vulnerable. So it made for a well-developed conflict as the men try to make that transition in their relationship. I think Dixon does a nice job with character development here. Often authors will lean so heavily on the heat that they skip the substance, but here I think there are a lot of issues well explored as we get to know Kai and Alex. Alex, in particular, struggles with some mental health issues, and it’s also suggested he has undiagnosed ADHD, so he is working through a lot. I really appreciated that Kai is a support system and always there for him, but also that they recognize that Alex may need professional help as well.

My only real issue here is that this is a fairly long book, and at times things felt repetitive. One big source of conflict is that Alex’s best friend is now dating a new guy and doesn’t have time for him anymore. This comes up over and over and there just seemed like too much focus at times on Beck. Alex also spins a lot mentally over the same fears and anxieties with regard to abandonment issues. Dixon does a great job grounding them in the story and the character development, so I never felt like this didn’t have a foundation. But as a reader, the story just seemed to circle back over and over to these same conflicts and it began to feel a little repetitive at times.

That issue aside, I really liked this one. It is a nice combination of hot and sexy, but also with some well developed characters and an interesting story. We get lots of tidbits dropped for the next couple in the series and I am definitely interested in continuing on.

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