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Thursday, May 9, 2019

Top Secret by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

This was SUCH a great read and exactly what I expected from Sarina and Elle. Though the idea behind the synopsis sounds like a great fun, a spice up sexual experience, this book is much more complex, it's not a MMF novel, it's a story about two young men finding a special friendship, learning to trust one another and against their "better judgment" also falling in love. It was tender, it was raw, it was difficult to read at times being so heart breaking, yet the sweet moments between these two, the hope they both share made this book a BEAUTIFUL read.

Keaton Hayworth III has it all. He is studying biology in a prestigious college, he has a beautiful girlfriend - Annika - he adores. They have been together for 5 years and she is his best friend. He lives with his friends at their "Alpha Delt" frat house preparing to becoming its president. He is wealthy and he is very close to fulfilling his dream in an exciting expedition looking for a new species of killer whales. Well, his parents won't approve as his dad have BIG plans for him running their pharmaceutical company, but he'll get to telling them when he actually gets accepted.

When Annika surprises him with the offer of a threesome for her 21st birthday. At first Keaton isn't sure if she is serious but once he realizes she MUST be if she keeps bringing it up, he opens up the "Kink" app looking for a candidate.

Luke Bailey is the polar opposite of Keaton and it's quite obvious not only because they live next door on the frat house. Luke is a local, and locals aren't the elite who usually get into this collage, but he got in through a scholarship and he will do his best to use it to make something of himself, he studies finances and for him it's his way OUT of a life of poverty and insecurity with a mother who couldn't care less about him and idolizes his criminal brother, both not feeling ashamed of asking him money whenever they feel like it. While his scholarship covers his school expenses he still needs to pay rent, buy food not to mention books and the likes he needs for his studies.. The best paying job he found is as a stripper in a local club. It's fun, he loves dancing, and the money is GREAT allowing him to mostly work in the weekends and study hard throughout the week.

Though living next door to one another, they know NOTHING of each other's worries. But when they stumble into each other as "LobsterShorts" who is looking for a man for a threesome and "SinnerThree" is up for a party they find an easy casual friendship. It starts with "SinnerThree" trying to figure out if "LobsterShorts" won't freak out when the big day arrives, but it quickly turns into something else entirely, a sexy friendship they enjoy having, almost forgetting it's not just about THEM it's about "LobsterShorts"'s girlfriend as well.

When the big day arrives I think you can imagine the reaction they have to one another. Le'ts just say the night ends VERY differently than EITHER expected and not for the best. But when Keaton finds himself unexpectedly single it's easy to gravitate towards one another even with the truth of who they are being revealed. But even with both of them being single it's complicated. Keaton is not out to the world, and even if he was it's not a great idea for them being together for a bunch of reasons and also Luke doesn't DO relationships. He doesn't trust anyone and he has good reasons. Keaton on the other hand has found something he didn't even know he was missing. He is HAPPY with Luke even if Luke keeps him in an arm's length. He can see he is warming up to him even if it's little by little.

When Luke's world comes crushing down Keaton does his best to be there for him, but while Luke accepts his help it's also the exact thing that makes them realize they have growing up to do on their own before they can promise anything to one another. Keaton is living a lie with with family, not just his newly revealed sexual orientation, but also what he wants to do with his future. His parents, mostly is father is VERY controlling and he needs to find a way to make a life of his own. Luke needs to learn how to trust and the RIGHT people, but it's so difficult for him with the life he has been living. Keaton is asking but also offering TOO MUCH, he needs to make a choice what he is willing to accept.

I've probably said WAY too much about this novel but there is so much going on with these guys, the journey they went through was heart breakingly beautiful to read, it's no wonder I read this one in ONE sitting. I just couldn't put it down. I wanted them to be together while realizing it's not that simple. But this is a romance story - they get there in the very end. Speaking of the very end, there is a free epilogue though THIS LINK. Register and you'll get it right to your email. It was a great finish. Really appreciated this glimpse into the future.

I'm sad to say goodbye, but I'm also SO happy for Keaton and Luke.


Read on:
8 May 2019

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