Rating: 5 stars out of 6
Henry goes through men faster than his friends can count. None of them have been worth an effort to get to know, and he doesn’t need them anyway, because he loves his best friend, Ivo, maybe more than he should. But his other friends (from Rule Breaker and Deal Maker) are so happy together, settled, with plans for children and a long-term future that it makes him yearn for stability. He decides to give up casual sex and look for the real deal. Of course, his friends are full of suggestions, and so begins a parade of calamity dates that Henry most definitely isn’t interested in.
In the meantime, Ivo has come home, but he’s wounded and knocked down, suffering from nightmares and PTSD and wanting nothing more than comfort from his best friend, Henry, the man he loves. Yes, this is one of those stories with unrequited best friend love. I would normally think, ho-hum, not my cuppa, but the author has injected humor with the angst and provided readers with a heartwarming story of two emotionally damaged, yet sweet and perfect for each other, young men. The characters are well-developed and each has enough unique charm to hold readers’ interest on their own. But together, they make a terrific package deal.
The story progresses through the time Ivo is recuperating at the home they share, and he and Henry are growing closer, yet each still thinks he doesn’t want to ruin their friendship by going one step further. Ivo steams as he awaits Henry’s return each time he goes on a blind date, but he still can’t take the first step to stop him. Though this portion of the story could have dragged, it actually went quickly because some of the dates were hysterically funny. The author also wove Henry’s and Ivo’s back story in by opening each chapter with a note or letter from one to the other, most from the time they were schoolboys separated by holidays or vacations.
The revisits from characters featured in the earlier stories will be appreciated by those who’ve read the series, but their presence does not take away from this story being a standalone. In fact, the highest praise I can give this story is to say that I am going to purchase the first two books in the series so I can catch up because the author’s writing style, sense of pace, and touches of humor have dug into my subconscious, which is now begging me for more.
This story was, in a nutshell, an unexpected gift, and I highly recommend it to those who love MM romance with a touch of humor and a very happy ending.
The cover by Natasha Snow features a handsome young man wearing a suit coat and glasses with an intense look on his face. The coloration is a faded black and white with some gold and purple splashes. It ties nicely in with other books in the series.
Sales Links: Amazon
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published July 22nd 2018
SeriesMixed Messages #3