This was an okay read. Not bad not good. I did enjoy it, but I felt like it could’ve been more. There was something about the dynamic between the two main characters where the tension just seemed off in places. And some decisions made weren’t what I was expecting. Overall though, the story was a decent tale.
The blurb led me to believe that an encounter would actually happen by describing a game night turned fun night. The book starts in the aftermath which is okay but doing so takes away from the fact that one character, Hatuey, has never done anything with a guy before from what I can tell so that whole experience is washed over. It’s a good character development piece that got missed.
The blurb also led me to believe the was about a guy, who has an encounter with another guy, and that guy is resisting their obvious attraction but he’s determined to win him despite this. Basically a nice fun rom-com. That didn’t exactly happen. There was a lot of internal monologues that were basically backstory of their relationship. Most of that space could’ve been filled with some clever back and forth and evidence of some master plan to win over someone running from their feelings. Fun angst instead of the drama-filled angst found in some romances.
Also, Hatuey is supposed to be bi but it just didn’t come across as shocking that he had this encounter with Yariel and with the story starting after the encounter I honestly thought he was gay until later on in the book when his previous relationships are briefly mentioned.
All in all, I didn’t dislike this novel, but I wasn’t head over heels in love with it either. The set up read like it would be this fun erotic journey of a guy trying to resist the other guy’s plan to make him his. Instead, there were the usual petty arguments, one scene with jealousy that didn’t quite pay off, and a bunch of history about why it couldn’t work from Yariel’s POV, and how, from Hatuey’s POV, he was too blind to see their attraction over their years of friendship. The whole ‘mission to win him’ plotline got sidetracked. There wasn’t enough page time after all the other stuff to delve into it. And the big question is what actually happened that triggered this realisation in Hatuey that sex with a guy for the first time, who happens to be his best friend, was a good idea? Starting the day after the encounter didn’t really address this epiphany as well as it could’ve.
This was a fun, light, and definitely steamy read. If you’re looking for something that won’t drive you mad but is instead a smooth, entertaining bit of friends to lovers romance, this will fill that void and it’s worth the read.