I read this book expecting some fun, mindless, sexy crack. A quick read to enjoy on a relaxing holiday off work before diving back into the multiple series I’m juggling. Opposites attract and all that, but the premise of this book promised escapism, not a poignant commentary on the importance of healthy relationships.

Instead, this book was a fun, sexy, poignant commentary on the importance of healthy relationships. Some escapism and suspension of disbelief are still required, especially for Dante and Frances’ first hookup. Striker and Frances’ first time together is slightly more realistic but still relegated to sexy fun. However, instead of established partners agreeing to welcome Frances in and everyone riding into the sunset, this is when the trouble starts. Luckily, Dante and Striker are self-aware enough to recognize some of the communication problems they share and how their pasts affect their present coping mechanisms (or lack thereof) regarding stress. They also have a decent support system in loving family members written as more than cliches. Frances has one as well, and the way he refers to them as his “gaymer” group is perhaps the most stereotypical thing about them.

Frances might have lots of fantasies regarding his unexpected tattooed “biker” friends, but the reality is more complicated. The sexy bits that happen in this book are almost secondary to Dante and Striker’s attempts to foster a genuine friendship (and perhaps relationship) with their new favorite geek. In addition, adding Frances to their dynamic does not “solve” the problems between the other two men but instead gives them a brand-new outside perspective to consider.

So, looking for a fun, sexy read? This book will be right up your alley. But it’s certainly not mindless, and I ended up much more satisfied emotionally by this book than I would have from a mindless holiday novel.

Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.