spring breakup coverRating: 4.25 stars
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Length: Novel


Tyler just broke up with his boyfriend and needs a change of scenery, so he joins his best friend, Rosie, and her boyfriend, Leo, on a spring break trip to Alaska. The group is also joined by Dean, Leo’s good friend, who has also had a recent breakup. Although Tyler and Dean don’t really know one another well, Tyler has seen enough of Dean to know that he finds him incredibly hot. Despite that (or maybe because of it), things are more awkward than Tyler had hoped during the trip, particularly when he accidentally sees Dean having a threesome with Rosie and Leo. Tyler doesn’t consider himself a prude, but he is also not very sexually adventurous. And now that he knows that Dean has something going on with the other two in their remote cabin, he feels off balance. Tyler is a super smart guy, but he can’t stop himself from analyzing everything and getting caught up in his head all the time, and this situation is just throwing him.

Dean is a guy who never really gets too emotionally involved. Yes, his relationship of a year just ended, but Dean isn’t particularly sad about it. If he doesn’t get too invested, he can’t get too hurt. That is why he enjoys his hookups with Leo and Rosie. The three aren’t emotionally involved; the romantic side is all between Rosie and Leo. But they are great friends and have great sex and it works for Dean. He can admit to find Tyler adorable and sexy, but he also knows Tyler is a guy who would want more than he can give. While sex would be great, he isn’t interested in more.

When the rainy weather causes an avalanche that blocks the road, Tyler and Dean are left in the cabin by themselves for days. With Leo and Rosie trapped in town, the guys can’t keep avoiding one another. Seeing Dean’s attitude about sex and relationships also gives Tyler the confidence to just go for it with Dean. Tyler sets some ground rules to keep things casual and the guys begin to explore things together. Being with Dean is the hottest thing Tyler has ever experienced and he finally starts to open himself up to all the things he really wants in bed. Dean helps Tyler get out of his head and just enjoy. For his part, Dean finds himself really connecting with Tyler in unexpected ways. In fact, it is Dean who can’t help but imagine more, while Tyler is the one holding back. The guys have fallen for each other and the road is getting ready to open back up. Now, Dean and Tyler have to decide if they are willing to put aside their fears and take a leap with each other.

Spring Breakup is the fifth book in Erin McLellan’s So Over the Holidays series. The series includes a mix of pairings and character sexualities and, while the characters do crossover between books, the two I have read stand alone just fine. The first three books feature the Holiday siblings and I really liked Candy Hearts, which focuses on Rosie’s brother. I’m not really sure why I only have jumped in and out of this series, but I can tell you I regret it now, as I have really loved the two I’ve read (not to mention that Leo and Rosie’s story, Bottle Rocket, seems like it is scorching). This story is that perfect balance of super sexy, erotic, and fun, but also with enough plot and character development to give it some weight.

I really loved Tyler and Dean together and they make a nice sort of opposites-attract pairing. Dean is more bold and sexually adventurous, but he is also sort of emotionally closed off to everyone but Leo and Rosie. People describe him as “surface level” and he keeps these walls up to stop himself from caring too much or getting too hurt. Then there is Tyler, who is all up in his head all the time, analyzing and thinking and worrying. He is more reserved sexually, mostly because he is too afraid to ask for what he really wants. Not to mention he can’t quite turn off his brain and just enjoy. Things are awkward for the guys at the start, especially given Tyler’s surprise to find Dean hooking up with the other couple. He feels out of place and unsure, having had no idea this was going on. (But seriously, how do Rosie and Leo not think to mention to the fourth person coming with them — and Dean’s roommate for the trip — that three of them are having sex together and he will be the odd man out?) But once the guys decide to go for it together, Tyler just is able to let go in ways he can’t with other people. These guys are seriously on fire together and there is just this lovely, sultry vibe between them that works so well. The conflict is a nice switch, in that Dean is ready for more and Tyler is the one holding back. I liked how things come together in the end and really enjoyed this couple.

McLellan also nicely takes advantage of the Alaskan setting to showcase the region and give the story a nice sense of place. I like the play on words in the title, as we have Rosie and Tyler’s teacher spring break, the two recent break ups, plus the rain causing the slushy avalanches is called the “break up” so it all comes together well. We also meet the set of triplets who run the lodge where the group stays and, let me say, I’d love a story for them!

I’m guessing this is clear, but just to be sure, this story does contain scenes of sex outside the main pairing of Dean and Tyler (both Dean with Rosie and Leo, as well as Dean and Tyler with a third man). However, the scene with Dean and the other couple is just observed from Tyler’s POV, so we see what is happening, but are not experiencing it in Dean’s head. The main HEA is exclusively between Dean and Tyler.

Overall, I really found this one such a great story. I loved Dean and Tyler and enjoyed watching them find their way together. They are super sexy and this is just the heat level I enjoy, with a nice balance to the rest of the story. If you are new to this series, do yourself a favor and start at the beginning, because from I’ve read so far, I really think it will be worth it. And if you are looking for a relatively short novel with high heat and great characters, definitely check this one out.

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