Jake Hansen has been crushing on Gabe Byrne for half his life, but since Gabe is a straight, self-proclaimed commitment-phobe who moved away years ago to join the Marines, that crush is strictly a fantasy-best-enjoyed-in-private. And even when Gabe starts to flirt with him like crazy, Jake still knows better than to think it means anything.
Because falling in love with your straight bestie? Not just a cliche, but a guaranteed recipe for disaster.
Growing up, Gabe never saw “Little Jakey” as anything more than the kid who always liked to tag along after him and his brothers, but somehow, being friends with Jake has become the best part of his day. And after a seven-month deployment? Seeing Jake is the one thing he’s looking forward to the most.
He just didn’t expect that hanging out in person again would be so confusing… or keep blurring the lines about how straight he is… or keep making him want things that he never thought he would.
Things that seem a lot like forever.
I liked this book despite myself.
I adored Jake. I loved his self awareness and fun.
Gabe is a commitment phobe and a reactor so not my favorite character type. He also is in the I have never felt desire for any other man but you type and not a demisexual so also not my favorite. He does a lot of not self aware stuff.
And yet it is a sweet romance and I liked Jake enough and he liked Gabe enough that I enjoyed myself.
A nice circle of friends and family. I have already started the next book in the series which is way sweeter and I like it much more.
The sweetest ending and a huge bonus for that.
Gabe and Jake were just sheer fluff. I love that shit. But it was a bit hard to get there; I cannot stand a guy who keeps denying being in or wanting a relationship while at the same time doing everything that most people would consider the definition of relationship. Gabe's insistence that "he's not my boyfriend, we're just friends-with-benefits" while a at the same time texting the guy heart emojis and counting down the days until his next visit was just downright annoying. Luckily he redeemed himself once he finally decided to go all in.
”Did you know pandas have one of the highest bite forces of any land animal? Zach was showing me some gruesome pictures of some dude’s leg in Beijing. He wanted to pet the panda, too, and then? Got totally mangled by a panda. His flesh was just gone. That big head the panda has? Those jaws just shredded the guy. His leg looked like some kind of Walking Dead zombie action, and...”
Jake hit Gabe in the shoulder. Hard. “Gross. Pandas are cute. Don’t ruin it."
Yeah, Gabe - don't ruin it :-)