Rating: 4.25 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

 

Auggie, Emory, and Casey are all second year students at Leeds University. Auggie is a slacker, unhappy with his dictatorial father telling him what course to take. He’s been disconnected from his parents since his early years, having been shipped off to boarding school at age 7 and expected to take over the family business of a successful pharma company–a future he neither asked for, nor wants. So, Auggie spends his time throwing parties and hooking up with one-night stands, preferably anonymously. Now, his father says he needs to get his grades in order or they’ll be kicking him out of the home they bought for him to instead return to London and get started working at the company. Feeling cornered, Auggie reluctantly attends class, where he meets Emory.

Emory is a wunderkind in the pharmacology course at Leeds. He’s also best friends and roomies with Casey, who’s on the Leeds performance swim team. Emory takes pity on both Casey and Auggie and assists both of them in their courses. Auggie needs more tutoring, however, as Casey’s already a fair student, just super busy with his swim training. Emory’s a bit smitten with Auggie’s careless sexiness and he’s far gone for Casey too. But, he believes Casey to be straight and uninterested, and doesn’t want to jeopardize their friendship. Casey’s never dated anyone, ever, and has no true inclination for that sort of business, but he adores Emory and loves cuddling with him.

Auggie picks up on the tension held between Emory and Casey rather quickly and offers to fake-date Emory to see if it will trigger Casey’s interest. In reality, it only complicates matters in the short run, as Emory finds both men attractive and is rather desperate to shed his v-card. Meanwhile, Auggie is falling hard for his sexy, compassionate nerd tutor. And Casey is riled by the idea that slick Auggie might mess around his dearest friend, when Emory deserves the moon and stars.

This is a slow-burn, polyamorous, new adult romance with three young men on a path to adulthood finding love when they didn’t anticipate. There isn’t a tense love triangle here, just a lot of introspections and self-inquiry that leads to loving relationships for all three of these men. They support one another, and challenge one another to be better people–well, except Emory, who’s pretty awesome on his own. He just wants a truly loving partner and ends up with two of them. I was really interested and invested from the beginning, anticipating a lot of extra drama and shenanigans. As it turns out, I got far less silliness and far more heart than I expected from the blurb. All three characters take turns telling the story, and it’s wonderful to see inside their heads and hearts as they undertake the unexpected. I thought Auggie would be way more cavalier, given his introduction, but he’s a super decent–albeit a lonely and self-sabotaging–character. I adored all of Emory’s caretaking for both men who are his lovers, to the extent they can be. Casey, through his conversations with Auggie and later Emory, recognizes that he’s on the ace spectrum, and this is handled in a way that felt respectful. It’s not super steamy, but there are lots of loving moments and so much real talk I felt like a fly on their wall.

I really enjoyed this story and wanted all the epilogues, so I could follow this triad into complete happily ever after bliss.