A Stella Review: Thirty Things by Cate Ashwood

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Thirty Things coverAll their lives, Finn and Nate have been inseparable, sharing everything, and when a childhood accident left Finn broken, Nate stood by his side as all his other friends left. After all their years together, there’s one secret Finn still hasn’t revealed: he has been in love with Nate since they were eight years old. Hiding his feelings for twenty-one years—terrified of what might happen if Nate ever found out—has been difficult, but losing his best friend would be worse than living with a bad case of unrequited love.

Unfortunately for Finn, Nate doesn’t make it easy.

Nate believes there are some things that just have to be done before your thirtieth birthday. As a gift to Finn, he plans an adventure to check off a list of thirty things to experience before hitting that milestone. Starting in Crawfordsville, Indiana, they tour the country, trying new things and meeting interesting new people. Nate’s having the time of his life, but he can tell Finn is holding something back. As the days count down, navigating the back roads suddenly seems easier than figuring out where their relationship is heading.

One thing’s for certain. There will be no turning back.

Thirty Things by Cate Ashwood was a perfect reading, it caught me from the start. I simply loved it! I don’t have a lot to say about it. Do you ever have that feeling of satisfaction and completeness when you have just finished a book? When you have nothing to complain about, just good feelings? Thirty Things was like that to me. I’m a huge fan of Cate Ashwood works. I love how she writes and in particular Keeping Sweets is one of the first mm books I ever read. It stayed in my heart and I was so happy to found a little (very little) more about Evan and Bran in this book too.

There’s nothing special in this book, and when I say nothing special I mean there’s no drama, no angst, no mystery to solve, but this book is special. It was a joy to read. So peaceful, light, easy, hopeful, entertaining from page one till the end. I can’t find one little reason to give Thirty Things less than five stars.

Nate and Finn are best friends since kindergarten, they live together, Nate is a writer and Finn is an editor. Finn has been in love with Nate for twenty-one years, but Nate is straight. Just when he starts thinking it’s time to put a little space between them and maybe start looking for someone else, Nate treats him with a road trip for his thirtieth birthday, with a list of thirty things to do before he turns thirty. We’ll see them going through scary bungee jumping, spending an amazing night in a tree-houses, watching delusional rodeo shows, but most of all they will discover that the fear of losing a true friendship like the one they have has no real basis. Sometimes being with someone who knows you better than you know yourself is the most beautiful things that can happened in your life.

These two guys have a beautiful friendship. Nate in particular was the only one to stay by Finn side when Finn, only seven years old, had a bad accident that left him with a reduced mobility in the legs.

“I am so proud of you, every day, for doing what you do. I know you’re in pain, and you never show it. You are the strongest person I know, but sometimes strength means accepting help from other people. I have always been, and will always be here to support you. It’s not a sign of weakness to fall on me if you need me. I will always catch you. So let me catch you, Finn.”

I think it’s the first time I read a “friends to lovers” story in which the author decides to approach the switch from friends to lovers in a so easy way. It was a pleasure to read it. We get some glimpse of their life together, some important moments to remember, but the story isn’t made of them, it’s made of present events. Moreover I usually prefer to have an alternate POV between MCs so I can be able to know both of them better. In this book we get just Finn prospective and I didn’t need Nate’s one. It felt complete to me.

Highly recommended!

Cover art by Alexandria Corza. I loved the book and I loved the cover. It gave me the same peaceful feeling and it represents the story perfectly.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press      All Romance (ARe)       Amazon      Buy It Here

Book Details:

Published April 3rd 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ebook, 210 pages, also available in paperback
ISBN13 9781632169006
Edition language English


By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.


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