jlgribble.com | Book Review: Last First Kiss by E.M. Denning

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

This book is one of those stories that is exactly what it says on the tin, and absolutely nothing about that is bad. Denning is deft enough at characterization that Logan and Ezra are more than walking stereotypes of young twink and jaded, older bachelor. Instead, Ezra is so laid back that he might as well be horizontal, but he still contains a strong core of knowing what he wants (and doesn’t want) out of life, and he refuses to play the “what if?” game once he decides to reach for something. In the same (and by same, I also mean completely different) vein, Logan might seem like an overdramatic kid on the surface, but he’s mature enough to handle the problems he’s dealt in the best way he knows how—and also recognize when repetitive aspects of his life might prove problematic.

Some elements of this storyline were rather predictable, but in that low-angst way that made this book a cozy, familiar sort of read that you can sink into and enjoy for exactly the love story it is. Denning does flip the script in certain ways by making the father-son dynamic between Logan and his father (Ezra’s bestie) a source of conflict separate from the “dating dad’s best friend” trope. Ultimately, I appreciated that all of the various conflicts in the finale of this book were handled with mature communication rather than histrionics (despite one secondary character’s best efforts).

This solid book works as a stand-alone. Still, I can’t help but want to be a fly on the wall for later interactions between all of these characters as Logan and his dad develop a more mature relationship, and Logan and Ezra live happily ever after. I kind of want to hug both of these guys, and finishing this book left a giant smile on my face. I highly recommend it to readers interested in a fresh take on this particular trope, those looking for excellent bisexual representation in queer romance, and anyone searching for a particularly cozy read as the weather gets colder.

Rating: 4.5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

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