Disclaimer: I received an advanced electronic ARC of this novel from the author.

The first book in this planned trilogy introduced me to an amazing author pairing and lived rent-free in my brain for the entire summer. I put off re-reading it until right before the sequel came out and enjoyed it just as much the second time. The moment I got my hands on this book, I devoured it in a single day and already can’t wait to read it again. Honestly, I’m not sure how much better my review can be than that.

Except I’m totally willing to shout about these amazing characters and their nontraditional relationships, so don’t worry, you get to keep reading.

Breaking the Rules ends on a pretty solid happily ever after because it’s obvious that Troy and Saul have found their person and are in it for the long haul. Except characters don’t exist in a vacuum, and Troy is still connected to his long-time found family who gave him a true home in Boulder. Though the book doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, per se, it leaves readers with a moment of excitement and delight that’s like teetering on the edge of that cliff.

The freefall of how everything comes together picks up immediately in Making a Mark, which drops us directly into Carter and Geoff handling the aftereffects. Now, we also get the perspective of this long-standing couple who thought they knew the limits of their friendship with Troy until Saul came in like a whirlwind and interrupted the status quo. Thus, this book is not a traditional romance arc between two characters; instead, it’s an evolution of the deep connections between two couples (as both two pairs and four individuals) who don’t necessarily believe that limits exist to love. It’s an intricate and sexy dance between four unique men balancing power dynamics and their own needs and histories. Payne and Tortuga introduce the potential for angst but then manage it deftly thanks to their excellent use of character and focus on communication, a necessary component for any relationship but especially ones that include elements of power exchange.

I already know that I’ll be re-reading this book soon to truly absorb all the character development and fascinating interactions between these four incredible men. Payne and Tortuga have set the bar high for pretty much all found-family and poly dynamics I read in the future. This story does not end on the same level of tease as the previous one, but I’m thrilled that the journey is far from over (even if I’ll have to wait even longer for the final book).

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

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