accidentally august coverRating: 4.25 stars
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Length: Novel


Sixteen-year old August Shaughnessy had a crush on his older brother’s best friend, 26-year-old Crispin Tate. While drunk at his brother’s wedding, teenage August tried to kiss Crispin, who politely turned him down. It was bad enough having his teen heart broken, but it was made even harder as Crispin is so close with August’s family. Crispin comes to holidays and dinners and spends lots of time with August’s brother, Warren. August has spent years harboring unreturned feelings, all while Crispin has been right there at every turn.

Crispin obviously wasn’t going to encourage teenage August’s drunken attempt at a kiss, not when there is ten years between them. He knows it was the right thing to do, even if August’s feelings were hurt. As the years have passed, the Shaughnessy family has continued to be a major part of Crispin’s life. Sadly, Crispin’s romantic life has been a mess, including an ill-advised marriage that fell apart.

Now, August is a 24 and over the years he and Crispin have built a friendship. As a grown up, August totally understands why Crispin rebuffed his teen advances. But that hasn’t stopped his feelings for the man to continue to grow and, at this point, August has been in love with Crispin as long as he can remember. He has pretty much resigned himself to the idea that nothing will ever happen between them, however. So August is shocked when one day Crispin realizes his feelings for August have grown from friendship to something more. August is thrilled to finally have the man he has wanted for so long, but he also can’t help but worry he will be crushed if things don’t work out. For his part, Crispin cares deeply for August and doesn’t want to hurt him, but wonders if he is really the right guy for the younger man. But despite their fears, the connection between them is intense. Crispin and August may have waited years to finally be together, but now that they have found each other, they can’t help hoping for the love to last a lifetime.

Accidentally August is a sweet and sexy, best friend’s brother, age-gap romance. The story sets up in two parts, beginning at Warren’s wedding and that ill-fated kiss when August is sixteen. The first portion of the book covers from that time to present day, as we see the men continue to build a friendship, August grow up, and Crispin marry and divorce. I enjoyed this part of the story as it gives a slow burn effect. We get to see the guys build a non-romantic. but emotional connection, particularly as Crispin is so close to the Shaughnessy family. It also helps to see that their relationship moves beyond August’s teen crush to real feelings. August pretty much assumes he has no chance with Crispin, so he is not pining away or anything. He continues to date and live his life, but there is always this undercurrent of want. August mostly pushes it aside to keep from being overwhelmed by his feelings, but his feelings are clearly there.

The second part of the book takes us to present day, where Crispin realizes that he feels an attraction to August in return. I think Denning strikes the right balance here of making it feel very natural for Crispin to move from feelings of friendship to more. We have watched them over the years and they have an adult relationship now, not adult and teenager. This part is sweet and sexy as we see August finally get his heart’s desire, as well as Crispin’s happy wonder as he realizes just how much he truly wants and cares about August. Things move to high heat as the guys can’t keep their hands off each other. The conflict here is kept pretty light, but there are some interesting notes as Crispin worries about letting August down after all these years, and August can’t help but be a little worried that he is finally getting his dream come true and fear it may all fall apart. But this is generally low-angst and a nice payoff after watching these guys circling one another for so many years.

I found this one lots of fun and very engaging. I enjoyed the structure of the story and fell for Crispin and August together. This is a great choice for contemporary fans, particularly those who enjoy age gap and best friend’s brother tropes.

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