Author: Posy Roberts
Publisher: Labyrinth Bound Press
Genre: MM Contemporary
Summary: After everything Marc owned burned to a crisp, he’s living off the kindness of others. A model condo is his temporary home, and his last dime went to essentials. He doesn’t need another distraction, but the fates conspire against him, setting up a chain of encounters that bring him face to face with Cas.
Cas’s love life has been in limbo for years, lovers moving on as soon as they discover how close he is to his best friend, Maisie. Then he meets Marc. The attraction between the two men can’t be denied, but Cas isn’t sure he can risk his friendship for a guy who will only end up leaving when he sees how close he and Maisie are.
When Marc and Cas discover they live in the same building, it’s kismet. But Marc has to invite chaos into his life if he and Cas stand a chance, and Cas faces a choice between friendship and love. Luck may be on their side… if they’re willing to risk it all.
Review: This is sort of two stories in one. We have Cas and his absolute best friend, Maisie, who used to be in love. Then we have Marc and Cas, strangers who meet accidentally (more than once) and end up wanting more.
Cas and Maisie have been roommates for the past eight years, since they split as a couple. Maisie now dates women, Cas dates men and women, but no one is ever able to compete with the best friend bond they have going. These two are extremely comfortable with each other and that’s hard for a new person to step into. When Cas first meets Marc at Goodwill while he’s trying to find a Halloween costume (the first non-matching one with Maisie in years) Marc laughs at the Michael Jackson Thriller jacket he has one. Cas assumes Marc is judging him and he’s rude first but then kind later.
For his part, Marc is living at a model condo on the grace of his friend, Sylvia. A fire cost him everything and until the insurance money comes in, he’s stuck making do and having to clear out of the condo every time there is a showing. That was so odd to me, since I assume that meant he wasn’t allowed to leave any personal things anywhere. How difficult, on top of the fire. When he then proceeds to smash into Maisie’s car, well, can you blame him for feeling really unlucky?
Marc and Cas find out accidentally they are living in the same building and the chemistry flares even more. Cas does come clean with Marc about how his friendship with Maisie has affected his previous attempts at a relationship and everything seems to be doing smoothly. Of course, it can’t actually be that simple.
Speaking of not simple, the relationship between Maisie and Cas. I did not see this as Maisie using Cas. Yes, they have a relationship that is way too close for even the best of friends and they are pretending to Maisie’s parents to still be together. I actually felt sorry for Maisie, she is losing as many potential lovers as Cas, all because she is so fearful about making a change. Cas is safe, he keeps her from having to change her life or lose anything. He knows it’s not right, “He had to escape, but how did you leave the one person in the world who understood you better than anyone?” Cas thinks that, but Maisie feels it too. Yes, she tightens her grip when it seems she is losing him to Marc, but fear will do that. I wanted to hug him when he is trying to get Maisie to understand how he needs to pull away from this relationship that “…wasn’t friendship. That was something different.”
I liked the way this was written. No one was perfect but no one was villainized either, which would have been an easy out. Marc is awesome and you end up really pulling for Cas and Marc but I’d love to see Maisie happily settled as well.