Author: Lane Hayes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Narrator: Tyler Stevens
Jay Reynolds has a crush on his project leader at work, but an office romance with Peter Morgan isn’t likely to happen since Peter is straight. Worse, Jay soon fears Peter is homophobic, and his initial infatuation turns to loathing. But one fateful night, Jay is forced to acknowledge things aren’t quite as they seem with Peter. Suddenly, his crush is back and unbelievably, Peter is interested too.
They begin a friends with benefits arrangement, which becomes difficult for Jay when he starts falling for his sexy boss. Peter’s past issues keep him from committing, and Jay has to decide if he can be satisfied with friendship if Peter isn’t ready to take a chance on anything more.
I went back and forth on this book for a few different reasons. I was a little annoyed right off the bat because chapter 1 (prologue?) starts with Jay talking about their upcoming wedding… then we jump back to the start of their story. It’s a romance, I know they’re gonna end up together! For me, this throws off my rhythm and is unnecessary. It didn’t add anything.
It’s definitely a solid 3 star, but sometimes the problem with audiobooks is that you can’t parse out what’s the story and characters versus what’s the narration. Jay kinda annoyed me, his narrated voice was often overly soft and lilting, frequently just being a straight out whisper for no reason. Combined with his accent it felt very Gone With The Wind (which I have admittedly never actually seen). But very southern belle. He did feel accurately represented, but I wasn’t really a fan of his voice.
I’ve read several books that have been narrated by Tyler Stevens, and generally he does a good job. He’s not a favorite narrator of mine but also not one I’ve had issue with. It was probably more an issue with some of the plot and dialogue than the narration, but I also don’t think that the narration necessarily adds anything to this story, if you’re trying to decide whether to read or listen.
So, the story itself? It was alright. There were niggles here and there, but honestly, 10 minutes after finishing the book I can’t even really remember them. Jay was very presumptuous and rude for a large part of their early interactions, and I think that put me off. Once they got together it got better. They had good chemistry and the sex was definitely hot.
I couldn’t place the timeline with relation to book 1, which was distracting. The boys from book 1 aren’t together in this until the epilogue, so I guess technically this book takes place before book 1? That’s a bit confusing. If so, they probably mentioned Jay and Peter in that book but I don’t remember.
The secondary characters in this book were likable, really only there to progress Jay and Peter’s story, which was fine. Although after all the buildup about Peter’s history and his mom, that never eded up being addressed in a significant way or resolved. That would be fine if they had another book, but as we’re moving on after that, I’m left feeling a little unsatisfied.