It started with one kiss. Which led to another. And another. And then to a mind-blowing night of intimacy Jeremy Reynolds can’t forget. He can’t stop thinking about the gorgeous, smart, compassionate man who tilted his world. Can’t stop seeing warm, sexy eyes gazing at him with breath-stealing intensity.
Jeremy tries to tell himself to let the incident go, move on, and chalk it up to a life experience. After all, what transpired between him and his best friend and roommate, Ben Cross, can never happen again. Ben is gay, and Jeremy…isn’t. At least he’s never thought he was before. But now he’s torn and confused and not sure what the night with Ben meant—for either of them. Already stressed about final exams before the holidays and his difficult family situation, Jeremy doesn’t know how to deal with the conflicting feelings he’s having. And the one person he’s always been able to talk to about everything, and who’s always been there for him, is the very person he’s been avoiding for the past week because he doesn’t know how to face him after waking up in his bed.
Afraid he might have already screwed up his and Ben’s friendship beyond repair, what haunts Jeremy even more is the backlash he could face if he admits to Ben, or even to himself, how much the night they spent together really meant to him.
And how much he still wants Ben even now…
Jeremy had been best friends with Ben for four and a half years and they shared a house with their friend Al while they were attending university. But everything changed the night of Al’s birthday party a week earlier when Jeremy came on to Ben and they had oral sex. The next morning Jeremy was devastated because even though Ben was gay, he thought he was too drunk to know what he was doing that night. Jeremy also broke it off with his girlfriend Lisa because he was no longer attracted to her and hadn’t been for some time. To say she took it badly was an understatement.
For almost a week Jeremy avoided Ben because he was too embarrassed – he would come home in the early hours of the morning when he was sure Ben was asleep and he often ignored his phone messages, but there was one thing he did all the time – look at Ben’s naked picture on his cell phone that he had taken that fateful morning.
Lisa, tired of being pushed aside and not getting any answers from Jeremy about the reasons why he broke up with her, kept demanding answers and eventually found out why he didn’t want her any more when she grabbed his cell phone and saw Ben’s naked picture. She was horrified and Jeremy was so upset at her tirade that he turned to the one person who had always been his rock – Ben.
I thought that the protagonists were really well drawn and I liked Al, the sex fiend roommate, a whole lot. Jeremy’s indecision about his sexuality and his avoidance of both his former girlfriend and the man he loved as a way of not dealing with issues showed that he was only human, and at 24 he had a lot on his plate including a homophobic, alcoholic father, school, a demanding ex girlfriend and on and on and on. It was no wonder that he took a time out from everyone.
Ben, on the other hand, was in love with Jeremy but never expected anything to come of it since he always thought he was straight. The night they made love was a revelation to him and he tried everything he could to get Jeremy to talk to him and stop avoiding the elephant in the room. He felt guilty about what had happened between him and Jeremy because he wasn’t drunk that night and knew exactly what he was doing, but with Jeremy running scared it was difficult to find out his feelings.
I thought that the way the issues were dealt with and resolved in the book showed that M.L. Rhodes put a realistic spin on the plot. I was pleased to see how the father got his comeuppance, and although I felt sorry for the ex girlfriend, I thought that her aggression played a significant part in how she found out about Ben, so she too got what she deserved. Of course the sex was incredibly steamy and when Ben and Jeremy got together it was enough to set the bed on fire. <g>
The story took place over approximately one week but there were references to a past incident when Jeremy took Ben home with him and experienced the other less than admirable quality of his father – racism. However I didn’t think his father’s character was over the top given that he lived in Nebraska, not exactly a hotbed of tolerance.
I loved this book – the characters worked, the pacing was appropriate for the length of the story, and the villain, Jeremy’s father, was the typical blowhard who couldn’t deal with a situation where he didn’t have any power. Highly recommended.