Oliver Hayes wears his heart on his sleeve, and his friends never let him forget it. Every Friday night spent at Wild Side, their favorite West Hollywood bar, Oliver’s lack of hookups becomes the hot topic. It’s not that he doesn’t want a good time. He just wants it to mean something, which is a lofty goal when he’s still pining after his childhood crush, Matt, who left ten years ago to start a new life in New York City.
Matt Daniels has always felt most at home seated at a piano. He might not have entirely fit in with his family and friends, but he was always able to find himself in music. Or at least he did before he gave up his dream a lifetime ago. Now, he has a successful modeling career and should be enjoying every second of it. Yet nothing feels right, and Matt fears he’s losing himself.
Just when Oliver decides to get over Matt for good, Matt waltzes back into LA. As Matt struggles to understand what he’s missing in his seemingly perfect life, he falls right back into leaning on Oliver for support. Things aren’t what they used to be between them, though. They tumble into bed together, and it’s hard not to continue ending up there. For the first time in years, Matt’s inspired to compose again, reigniting a spark he thought long extinguished.
But as always, Oliver can’t keep his heart in check, and soon Matt realizes he’s gone for Oliver too. The biggest question is, can he fully give himself to someone if he still hasn’t figured out how to love himself?
Unique Intro, Great Cast. Not a fan of format.
> > Looking Deeper < <
POV ~> Third person
Unique beginning ~ a ten+ year span, in a highlight reel format, takes the reader from childhood to modern day.
Normally, when I read a third person POV, it's like the narration is following one character or the other and telling it not from that person's POV, but from the angle in which they'd be seeing / experiencing things; it's still easy to follow this way. This one was different, it was as if there was a narration from directly overhead, encompassing and providing perspective from both lead men at the same time, it was a bit muddied at times and not quite as enjoyable this way because one sentence spoke of one character, directly followed by the other. It was difficult at times to ascertain which "he" or "his" was being referred to.
That said, rating the book itself -
Oliver is an author. A dreamer, romantic, optimist. He's a good guy, but a little more naive.
Matt composes music, but feels he needs to prove himself without the help of others. He never seems to be able to be good enough for himself, causing doubt and discontent. When not immediately taken in as a composer, he moves on to modeling despite hating it and suffering carefully camoflaged anxiety because of it. These guys have a lot of history, a lot of denial and a LONG road ahead of them. The relationship develops from friendship to ... something more over the course of one highly-emotional night.
The secondary characters consist of parents, friends, and the prequel couple (which I'd not read yet), one of which owns Wild Side. Dialogue was believable, interactions felt realistic. The plot had enough dynamic energy to keep the plot flowing, but (personal opinion only) the writing format / style was more difficult to really enjoy. There were some conflicts, that were almost too-easily resolved right at the end. Predictability was low. Conclusion was solid and satisfying. Included was a preview of book 2, indicating that Miles will get a story next.
Overall, the characters were enjoyable and I liked the story itself, I just was not a fan of the style in which it was conveyed.
Rating: [R] ~ Score: 4.05 ~ Stars: 4
⭐ ⭐ **** Disclosure of Material: I received a copy of this book from the Author's Assistant with the hope that I would voluntarily leave unbiased and unsolicited feedback. I was not asked, encouraged, or required to leave a review - nor was I compensated in any way. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising". ***** ⭐ ⭐