Rating: 4 stars out of 5
I didn’t know this was book two in a series, so I had not read book one. While I might have enjoyed this more if I had already known the large cast, I slowly got into the main characters. There is a lot of telling instead of showing at the beginning. The recaps are sufficient so that I understood what happen in book one. Jesse Murtagh and his business partner, Kyle McKee own a speakeasy named Under in New York. They are also friends with benefits. There is also a former lover of theirs named Carter who is now with Riley. Another couple they are close with is David and Will. I am fairly sure almost all of them have had sex with each other at some point in book one. Jesse is bisexual and not a monogamist so if that is going to bother you, this is not the book for you.
Cameron Lewis is the music teacher for Carter’s two kids. He’s also a local DJ. He’s the working class guy in this scenario, commuting a long distance for his jobs and having three roommates. He seems as adverse to settling down as Jesse at first, but soon develops more feelings for Jesse than he expected. This leads to some bad choices and a stunning lack of mature communication.
This started out as a bunch of wealthy people enjoying themselves. Nothing wrong with that, but it seemed like Cam was expected to fit into their world or not. I was pleasantly surprised when Cam takes Jesse to Brooklyn and they explore his world too. Just when things started to get good, Cam starts running hot and cold. By the the time a disastrous misunderstanding happens, I am well annoyed with Cam. I had expected Jesse to be the annoying character with his rigid adherence to non conformity and his privilege, but he was always honest about who is and what he wants–at least as far as he knows. It’s Cam who tries so hard to protect himself, he hurts them both. He doesn’t even effectively communicate why. The angst pulled me in, but it was Cam’s family and Jesse’s friends that hooked me in to the story emotionally. In the end, I like the open partnership they achieve, but I think there were some spots on the way that could have been more smoothly written. By the time they actually talk and work everything out, I was invested in what was happening, but it was also fairly anticlimactic. Yet, isn’t that life? Sometimes you have such a strong idea about something, it’s earth shattering once you realize you can compromise, or things don’t have to be that way, or things aren’t quite what you thought they were, even though not much has actually changed. This book is about the family they have chosen and the safe space they have created for them and their friends to be who they are.
The cover art is by Cherith Vaughan and shows scenes from the book: the club and the cityscape.
ebook, 345 pages
Expected publication: March 26th 2019 by Pride Publishing
Edition Language English
Series The Speakeasy #2