Title: Cast Off (Toronto Tales #3)
Author: K.C. Burn
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Amazon: Buy Link Cast Off (Toronto Tales #3)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 200 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Andrea
Review Summary: An interesting romance because it starts out with no strings attached sex, between two men with absolutely no plans for anything more, ever.
Thirty-five-year-old Rick Haviland is a well-respected speech pathologist, but while his friends are all settling into relationships, he refuses to give up his no-strings-attached club boy sex life. For him, relationships are dangerous; he’s got a secret to hide. When he meets Ian O’Donnell, an account manager with a local tabloid, Rick figures his personal rules for relationships should be enough to keep him safe from more than a one-night stand.
When Ian comes out of the closet, tired of anonymous hook-ups and keeping secrets from his large Catholic family, Rick is right there, and he’s just the sort of man Ian might like to get to know better.Their attraction is immediate, electric and mutual. Ian convinces Rick to break more and more of his rules, and his defenses crumble. But someone watches, someone who’d like to see this new relationship fail. When Ian’s job becomes a means to expose Rick’s secret, it could destroy both their careers and their hearts.
I’ve read both the previous books in this series, but I couldn’t immediately recall anything about the characters. I remembered enjoying the books, I just didn’t remember them. So, it wasn’t too big of a surprise when I read the blurb for Cast Off and didn’t have a clue as to the who Rick and Ian were.
Just in case anyone else suffers from as bad of a memory as me, I’ll try to connect the dots and clear up any confusion 😕 . In the first book, Cop Out, we met Davy and Kurt. Kurt had thought himself to be straight prior to meeting Davy, so there was a dramatic coming out scene for him in that book. Ian is Kurt’s brother, and they have been estranged in the months following Kurt’s big reveal. Rick is an old friend of Davy’s, and they have recently reconnected. So, that’s how Rick and Ian play into the series. Now, you don’t have to be a follower of this series in order to enjoy Cast Off, but it is best enjoyed when you know the background.
I’ve got to say, I found Cast Off to be a very odd book in the MM romance genre. First of all, Rick and Ian aren’t immediately likable. Rick’s life struck me as being very cold and structured. To the casual observer, he comes across as the happy party boy, but there’s more to him than that. He is a very fun and friendly guy, but he doesn’t let anyone get too close to him. The most critical part of that being that he doesn’t do relationships at all. He has his string of fuck buddies, but the minute he feels they want more, they’re gone with brutal efficiency. Ian isn’t much better. He has been living in the deep recesses of the closet for the past 18 years. He has kept up a facade of being a womanizing player the entire time he was hitting the gay clubs and hooking up with nameless strangers. Relationships are not on his radar.
Cast Off basically starts with Rick and Ian meeting and then rushing off for exactly the type of sex they’re known for. It’s hot, but in a very carnal, no strings attached sort of way. It was an interesting change of pace to see two men meet with nothing but sex on their minds. They were much more likely to run like hell when faced with the threat of developing feelings. That made for a very different type of romance when Ian chose to come out and decided he wanted Rick as much more than a fuck buddy.
What I found really interesting was how Ian and Rick developed as the story went on. I warmed to them over the course of the book, and ended up really liking them. I enjoyed getting to know them slowly and seeing their secrets revealed over time. The crazy coworkers, family drama, and jilted ex-lovers were only icing on the cake.