I like romance and boys loving boys in my books.
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Really cute friends-to-lovers story. If the implied possible GFY in the blurb is keeping you from buying this book - don't worry, there's no GFY here at all. None.
Tony is 24, stuck in a dead-end job working for the local big box store that has driven all the small business out of their little town, and still living at home. Both have crushed his dreams of college and coming out to his parents. He plays baseball on a small team with friends he's known since high school, and lusts after his straight best friend Alex, also 24, when he thinks no one is looking.
And he loves to bake cookies. Lots and lots of cookies that he brings to the baseball games, and pretends his "girlfriend" made, so nobody will know that he's a gay man who bakes cookies. He bakes cookies when he's upset, or frustrated, or thinking too much. Rocky Road cookies. Oatmeal Raisin cookies. Chocolate chip cookies with coconut. Lots. And. Lots. Of. Cookies.
He has a beard of sorts, his friend Jennifer, who's officially his girlfriend, just to keep any rumors at bay, because Tony can't come out. Jennifer knows all about Tony's lust for Alex, and comes up with a plan to get them together - Tony just needs to get Alex alone, and convince him that, since all guys are horny, and if something should happen, Alex is just gay for Tony.
Right. That's not creepy at all.
Tony is not convinced that this plan will work - he foresees a black eye and possibly broken bones, if he were to make a move on this straight friend, and then lose his best friend, and he's not keen on that idea either. But he reads the book Jennifer gives him, which is about two men who live in a small town and play on the same baseball team. Like, a book within a book, with some similarities to Tony's situation.
The rest of the book is a comedy of errors and misunderstandings and false assumptions. I laughed a lot. Tony is soooo oblivious. He should win an award for how very oblivious he is. This was also where I had a bit of a niggle, because he sounded so much younger than his 24 years, and I had a hard time believing that anyone could be so blind. However, considering the fact that Tony, much like Alex, still lives at home because of the dead-end job and no college money, it's not completely infeasible to still be not quite an adult and sound like not quite an adult.
But whatever, I enjoyed this book a lot, and I laughed and laughed, like during the camping trip, or whenever Alex's snarky younger brother is in the scene, or when Zach tries to put the moves on Tony, and Alex is upset, and Tony doesn't get it.
I laughed and laughed and laughed when Tony finds out that his big "gay" secret isn't so secret after all, and when Alex and Tony finally get their acts together and show up at the baseball game with huge smiles on their faces (I'm sure you can guess why), "skipping like schoolgirls", I smiled too.
This is a fun rom-com, with lots of likable characters, a religious nut mom who gets put in her place, supportive parents (except that one), and friends who love our MCs just the way they are, and who might have been keeping secrets of sorts themselves.
Also, baseball. Hot players in uniforms. Fun!
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves rom-com; just ignore the fact that the MCs sound a bit younger than their actual years.
Good stuff. This was the author's sophomore offering, and I can't wait to see what else he'll come up with. Sign me up!!
** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **