Top positive review
5 stars - with an asterisk
Reviewed in the United States on July 26, 2020
When I sat down to write this review, I still wasn’t sure if this book was going to get five stars or three stars from me, that’s how strong my feelings are. Technically speaking, this is one of the best books I have read this year, hands down. But emotionally, I had a lot of issues with the level of OW/OM drama. However, I can honestly say I have never read a romance that played out at all like this one does, and I will surely be thinking about it months from now. The story is beautifully written, emotional, intense, and a delicate balance of right/wrong. You can tell that these two are perfect for each other, but their path to happily ever after is... complicated.
I will tell you right now that there is a glaring omission in the blurb. I don't consider this to be a spoiler because the reader finds out right away, but... keep that in mind before you continue reading this review. The story follows Nathan and Eliza, two friends who have gotten closer and closer over the last ten years. When they first met, there was attraction on Eliza's end, but Nathan quickly made it clear that she didn't have the right equipment to interest him. That's right, Nathan has only ever been with men. But as Eliza and Nathan have gotten closer - probably too close for two platonic friends - things start to change for him. Not wanting to destroy the most important relationship of his life by making a rash decision, Nathan is determined to look deeper at his sexual orientation.
Since that is the heart of this book, it seems too important to leave out of the blurb. Nathan and Eliza are clearly meant to spend their lives together, it's just a matter of what they're meant to be to each other. The level of depth and emotion there is what makes this book; these two have a rock solid foundation of friendship - even if there are aspects of their lives that they've kept secret from each other. I loved that there was a clear catalyst for the shift in their relationship, and I empathized with Nathan along the way. But I did NOT always agree with his decisions. Or Eliza's, for that matter. There is an incredible amount of tension and drama in a relationship that's been so easy for so long. It's also an unashamedly STEAMY book, so be prepared for your Kindle to burn up as the story progresses. This love story is not for the faint of heart, but the reward is worth the struggle. I don't consider this to be a safe read in any way, shape, or form, but it's so well written that I will begrudgingly admit that I'm willing to overlook a few issues that would normally trip me up BIG TIME. I received an ARC (then purchased it for my collection), and am voluntarily leaving a review of this sexy, angsty, friends to lovers romance.