When Aiden agrees to run the Mad Mucker—a twelve-mile muddy slog over an obstacle course—he’s expecting it to be a bit of a laugh. The training will be tough, but Aiden could use the motivation to regain some fitness.
Matt is the sexy cousin of one of Aiden’s coworkers and a last-minute addition to the team. When he agrees to train with Aiden, Aiden suddenly finds the prospect of regular workouts a lot more appealing.
Soon attraction flares, and they embark on an intense physical relationship. Matt doesn’t want to fall in love with a man, and Aiden doesn’t want to fall in love at all, but despite their insistence on no strings, they grow closer. As the day of the race approaches, time is running out for them to work out how they feel about each other.
Hell yeah, this one was by far my favorite Jay Northcote book so far.
The setup is that Aiden, who is only a little out of shape (despite the blurb making him sound a bit rotund), gets roped into participating in a 12 mile mud run during "Tequila-gate" by his drunken co-worker/bestie Liv.
Liv has also tagged her (hot, muscley fitness trainer) cousin, Matt, to be on their team for the race. She then enlists Mat's help to whip Aiden's wee-bit flabby ass back into shape. And the race is in 12 short weeks.
So the training begins and Aiden slowly begins to chip away at Matt's stoic personality and the two become mates. And training partners *with benefits* -- after putting a very strict "no strings attached" boundary in place.
The book, for me at least, was about overcoming parental issues and learning that their shit is just that. *Their* shit, not yours.
"They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had and add some extra, just for you." ~ Phillip Larkin
For Aiden, coming from a broken home and witnessing his parents' multiple remarriages and divorces has left him unable to believe in lasting love, so he stringently limits himself to hookups and is unwilling to even consider ANY type of actual relationship.
For Matt, his continual pursuit of his homophobic, military father's approval (even 9 years after the man's death) limit his potential life partners to only those *without* genitalia matching his own -- although he's truly bisexual by nature. So he will sleep with men (on the down low), but only date women. Ever.
However, as hardly anything in life ever goes according to initial plans, the 'sex only' hookups turn into something much more for both Aiden and Matt, as they develop true feelings for one another.
But commitment-phobic men tend to do what commitment-phobic men do best. They don't face their fears and then run from situations that make them uncomfortable. Which is precisely what Matt does when Aiden confesses that he would break his no relationship rule for him.
They're both miserable alone and come back together again for good during the race, when some Shrek-like twat puts Aiden in danger and Matt comes to the rescue.
I loved the chemistry between the two MC's and the sexy parts were FLAT OUT HOT! (Flip-flop, yay!) : )
My copy of this book was provided by the publisher for a fair, unbiased review.
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