Andy Tyler has been the class daredevil since middle school. Over the years, he’s convinced his best friend, Jake Masterson, to perform some dangerous-looking stunts with him. But the dare they attempt on the night of their college graduation goes sideways. The firecrackers explode too soon and both of them end up with badly burned palms.
But hey, nothing gets the “terrible duo” down for long, and they recuperate in style at Andy’s family cottage in Nantucket. As the weeks go by, both Andy and Jake grow frustrated over the inability to use their hands for all sorts of daily activities—including getting off. So Andy begins a new series of dares that don’t just cross the friendship line, they obliterate it.
But what might be mere sexual relief to Andy is serious business to Jake, who only recently got over years of secret pining for his straight best friend. Inevitably, the burns heal, summer ends, and hearts are broken. To fix things, Andy will have to face the greatest dare of all.
With this story being written by Eli Easton, I'd expected to enjoy it, but I ended up flat-out loving it from start to finish.
Andy and Jake had been inseparable for a decade, having been best friends since the 7th grade and had just graduated from NYU, after rooming together all 4 years.
Enter Dare #1. Ill-timed sparks.
But when one of Andy's stunts left them both without the use of their hands for the entire summer before Jake headed to California for a tech job and Andy attended Harvard Law, well, things began to get interesting, and quickly, as the two recuperate alone at Andy's family's isolated, oceanside cottage.
Jake had (of course) secretly been in love with Andy for years, always his wing man and partner in crime, but what happened when their only outlet for possible 'release' was one another?
A whole, whole LOT, that's what.
I loved the scene where Andy confessed that he'd been trying out different surfaces around the cottage. The lip of the sink was too hard, the mattress was too soft and so on and so on.
“Rubbing against the tiles in the shower didn’t work. They’re too hard.”Enter Dare #2. Each of them "helping a brother out."
He snorted. “What are you, the Goldilocks of self-love?”
I chuckled. “That’s me. I need something just right.” I used a filthy voice on the last bit.
So Andy, about to climb out of his skin in frustration, dared Jake to a summer of 'oral' relief. To just close their eyes and pretend. But when you're in love with someone, pretending can become damn near impossible.
Enter Dare #3. Frottage with a side of feelings, anyone?
Eventually 69'ing for weeks on end began to get old, so in a fit of uncharactaristic passion, Jake mixes things up a bit (so freaking hot, let me tell you), which led them to becoming even more intimate. The kissing scenes were some of my favorites in this story.
But alas, in time, their wounds healed and that part of the book was among the hardest to read.
[E]very time I looked at Andy on the drive home, he was staring out the window, his face blank.Enter Dare #4. "Experimenting," after the gloves come off.
And then it struck me, and my heart crashed from the sky like Icarus on his waxy wings.
We had no excuse to touch each other anymore.
Watching as the guys battled revealing their desire to continue to be with one another wasn't easy, as there wasn't a *legitimate* reason for them to continue. Unless they were brave, honest and willing to take a chance. Thank fuck they were, or I'd have killed a bitch, no lie.
Then, on their last day together, everything got royally clusterfucked, leaving Jake heartbroken as he fled to his job in California and Andy feeling lost and confused about his life path.
Enter Dare #5. Revising your 10 year plan.
One of my biggest fears when reading the blurb was that there would be an extended separation, but I'm happy to say that didn't happen here.
My very favorite moment in the story was when Andy had a major epiphany while talking with his mother. That scene was seriously EVERYTHING for me.
However, the big "grand gesture" scene at the end, well, it felt a bit premature and over the top, in my opinion; although, I must admit that it was extremely sweet and I ended up loving the solid HEA epilogue so hard, you wouldn't even believe.
I'd have to rate this fun and sexy book at 4.5 stars for the sheer enjoyment alone and highly recommend it to anyone who has liked steamy 'best friends to lovers' stories, like Jay Northcote's "Helping Hand."
My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.
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