I like romance and boys loving boys in my books.
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As I said before, there are two kinds of Ethan Day books - the funny, fluffy kind and the more serious ones. This is one of the former.
This was laugh out loud in many places (gosh, Ollie should get an award), but also a little frustrating in others. Liked the flashbacks that showed Cassidy's and Nate's history, but hated Neil and the fact that he was basically just a tool to make Nate jealous. In a book about love and family relationships, I expected more. He was one of the sore spots that prevented the book from reaching four stars for me.
Cassidy has just returned to Piper's Point after being gone for years, bringing home his grandmother's ashes after inheriting her house. He's sad, he misses her, and he's feeling guilty for not being able to fight his father (who's a complete homophobic asshole). Sadie, the grandmother is introduced in flashbacks and she is portrayed as a formidable woman who loved life and lived it to the fullest each, not caring what anyone thought of her. Much of her is reflected in Cassidy, who adored her and tries to emulate her zest for life as much as he can.
Piper's Point holds many memories for Cassidy, most prominently those of Nate and his explorations during a few summers. His first kiss. His first sexual encounter. His first love.
While all that might not seem hilarious, and while there are certainly serious undertones to the whole book, most of it is a fun romp. We spend the whole time fully immersed in Cassidy's head space, and it's an awesome place to be.
There's a bit of angst, sure. The relationship between Cassidy and Nate is strained, both of them fighting against falling for each other again, afraid to take that step that would bring them back together. Neither is aware of the other's feelings and the UST hits the roof frequently. Cassidy also misses his grandmother something fierce, but he tries to contend himself with the memories he has.
I really appreciated the writing in this book. Ethan Day delivers the humor with well-placed zingers and over-the-top situations that often had me in stitches. The whole island, tiny as it is, is soon overrun by gay men all looking for love. With alcohol flowing freely, and jealousies flaring brightly, the house is filled to the brim with sexy men and their follies.
Most of the characters were well-rounded. The only one that consistently irritated me was Neil who just wouldn't take no for an answer. He became much of a cardboard villain and I was glad to see him not succeed.
I liked the subtleness of the family issues, that despite being important never overtook the hilarity of the main plot. I liked the poignant moments that were sufficiently explored without ever dragging down my amusement.
Overall, it's a sweet, fluffy romance, a friends to lovers to enemies to lovers story spanning many years, with two hot as hell MCs who both needed to get their heads out of their asses, and were helped along quite nicely by their friends.
It's a fun romp. Give it a shot.
I received a free ARC from the publisher. A positive review was not promised in return.