When they were teens, Castor McCormick was the bane of Blake Kowalski’s existence. Their mutual animosity led to summers filled with rivalry. Now, nearly two decades later, Cas is moving back into the neighborhood to live in his grandmother’s old house. Blake tells himself he isn’t interested in seeing how snarky little Cas grew up, but when his mother dupes him into visiting his former nemesis, he finds out “pretty” can evolve into “sexy as hell” on the right man.
Cas didn’t think he wanted to see Blake again. No one has ever pushed his buttons like the arrogant boy he remembers from their youth. Turns out, the adult version of Blake still gets him hot under the collar—and everywhere else. With Blake on leave from work to nurse an injured leg and Cas taking time to move and unpack, they form a tentative friendship that turns into a sexual affair neither man can deny. But when Cas’s job sends him out of state to deal with a difficult client, their new relationship will be tested, and if they fail, Blake’s broken leg might not be the only thing to end up scarred.
The cover sets up an expectation of hawtness. And I'm happy to report that the book delivers. The steam factor is SCORCHING. There's lots of explosive, lightly kinky fun to be had, oh HELL YES.
Blake and Cas were frenemies when they were teens. Blake was cocky, and Cas pushed all his buttons. Almost 20 years later, they become unexpected neighbors and form an uneasy friendship tinged with lust that erupts into unbridled passion.
Blake is toppy, possessive, and growly. Cas is smart and sassy, with a submissive streak.
Their passion becomes something more, much more...until Cas has to leave town for work, and the long separation threatens to destroy their connection.
I loved the alternating POVs here and how the relationship progressed naturally. Blake has a broken leg at the beginning of the story, so it wasn't all smooth sailing.
The guys joke around and hang together. They go to ball games, dinner, and camping. They meet each other's friends. It's not all sex, although there's plenty of that, don't you worry.
We briefly get to see Aaron and Malachai (from Wood, Screws, & Nails) again, which made my heart feel all squishy.
I absolutely loved Blake's mom (BONUS: Blake's heritage is Polish, and Polish food was featured!), who knew just how to work Blake so he'd toss the stubbornness and go after what he wanted.
The writing was fabulous and flowed effortlessly. I was totally caught up in Blake and Cas's relationship.
However, I ended up liking Blake more than Cas in this story. Blake took all the blame for being jealous, when Cas's behavior at the club was not entirely appropriate. I wanted to kick Cas's arse when he gave poor Blake the silent treatment, even after Blake apologized immediately and repeatedly.
I grudgingly forgave Cas, but I ADORED Blake. The ending went a long way toward soothing my Cas-induced irritation.
What a SWEET and HAPPY ending it was!
I can't wait to read Gavin and Riley's story; I HOPE it's up next!