What happens when friendship catches fire?
Former Marine and lower-leg amputee Carey Everett keeps a grueling schedule of counseling fellow war veterans and their families. The injury he received in Afghanistan forces him to rely on a reserve of strength he didn’t even know he had. A much deserved vacation will let him reconnect with his best friend, who saved his life and has been there for him through devastating injury and painful recovery.
Part-time EMT and aspiring singer Jase DeSantis has been in love with Carey for years, but he’s come to accept that his straight friend will never be able to offer more. Jase fills his days with band rehearsals, ambulance shifts, and willing groupies, all while trying to cope with debilitating PTSD.
A week of sun, fun, and music in San Diego changes Jase and Carey’s lives forever when their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Jase has been longing for that change, but it leaves Carey reeling with confusion. As Jase fights to hold things together, Carey deals with doubts, fears, and his own preconceived notions about labels and the true nature of love.
I have no idea why it took me so long to read this book, but shame on me, because this story has it all:
Incredible chemistry between two damaged MCs (Carey is an amputee, a disability that is not sugar-coated, and Jase has horrific flashbacks to his time in Afghanistan, where he found—and almost lost—Carey.)
Melt-worthy, hotter-than-fuck sex (First-time man-on-man lovin', y'all!)
FEELS galore (The flashbacks, particularly Jase's memory of his mission with the SEALS in chapter 10, slayed me.)
Realistic GFY (Carey and Jase have such a strong connection, a friendship build on trust and CARE and love. Jase saves Carey's life not once but twice, and Carey is the rock Jase needs.)
Raw and real portrayal of war (There are no winners. Only loss. And pain.)
Fanfuckingtastic HEA (When Carey comes back and claims his man, I couldn't even ... hell, that was brilliant!)
I wanted to throttle Carey when he pulled away from Jase. He just couldn't imagine that that the love of his life could be a MAN, but when he finally got it, it was beautiful.
"But that Jase-shaped hole can never be filled by anything else. Only by you."
I loved this book: strong writing, heart-felt romance, dirty & tender lovin', best-friends-to-lovers, and two MCs who are as real as rain.
Life is fragile; take it:
Day by precious day.