I Saw You First by Darien Cox

Title: I Saw You First
Author: Darien Cox
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: January 18, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 232
Reviewed by: Renée
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5


Following a devastating childhood trauma, Jude Applegate has spent years picking up the pieces of his life and gluing them back together. Now, as an adult, his life is solid enough to begin taking some risks. So when an intriguing and handsome man asks him on a date, he says yes.

But then he’s forced to contend with the man’s brother, whose presence creates conflict, chaos, and confusion that threatens to upend the careful peace Jude’s spent years building.

Darien Cox has written about:

    – inadvertently seeing one’s college professor at a sex party
    – falling for a guy while babysitting one of the most hellish teenagers in existence
    – meeting an intriguing person who one finds out is actually undercover
    – falling for the guy who stole one’s phone and made one chase him up a sand dune to retrieve it
    – falling for the upstairs neighbor who is in a relationship

So I took a gander at Cox’s author bio:

Well that explains a lot.

Because THIS book? Well, let’s just say Cox is the master of taking the uncomfortable situation and making me root for them anyway.

I’m convinced, now, that he takes his time to think of some of the most awkward situations and decides to throw them into his books. And because of the way he does it, I’m not complaining.

So what do we have here?

One MC (Jude) who went through a pretty traumatic coming out story. All because of his best friend who betrayed him – check

Jude meets a charming, grown up version of ex-best friend’s brother and begins dating him – check

Jude sees ex best friend (Walt) after 15 years and befriends him again – check

Jude feels more for Walt than the actual man he’s dating – check

Walt and his brother are close. Incredibly close. Like, die-for-each-other close – check

This was just all kinds of wrong until it was all kinds of right. I loved it! Darien brings the fantastic one-liners, the feelz, and he made everything ok.

This was another winner. Recommended!

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of I Saw You First provided by author in exchange of an honest review.


I love boys who love boys! I'm in my 30s, from the southern US, and my crack is m/m romance.
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