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Patrick Mason travels to Bristol to spend the summer with his brother, Ben. He’s cat sitting for the first two weeks while Ben goes on holiday. But Ben neglected to tell him he wouldn’t be doing it alone. Will Adams—Ben’s mate and Patrick’s long-time crush—is staying in Ben’s guest room while he waits to move into his new house after a breakup.
Against his better judgment, Patrick convinces Will that a little no-strings fun is just what they need. Patrick doesn’t want to get involved with a guy on the rebound, and Will isn’t interested in starting something serious with a student. But Patrick’s never been good at separating sex from feelings, and this time is no exception. As their weeks together draw to a close, they need to decide if they have something worth pursuing or if it’s really just a casual thing.
Patrick stopped, the words dying on his tongue as he noticed Ben wince.
“No.” He jumped off the bed, fisting his hands in his hair. “No fucking way. Ben, please tell me you’re not leaving me alone for two weeks with the guy I have a huge unrequited, and frankly, embarrassing, crush on?”
Ben shrugged. “He needed somewhere to stay. I’d sort of forgotten you had the hots for him.”
“How could you forget?” Patrick paced in front of the bed. “The last time I was here, I tried to climb into his lap and told him how hot he was. In front of his boyfriend.”
“Oh yeah.” Ben grinned, and Patrick stopped his pacing to punch him on the arm.
“It’s not funny.”
“It was hilarious.” Ben ducked out of the way when Patrick tried to punch him again. “Look, you were drunk. We all were. He doesn’t hold it against you.”
“But he won’t have forgotten.” The whole thing still made Patrick cringe every time he thought about it. He may have been drunk, but sadly not drunk enough to wipe the horrifying experience from his brain.
“Sit down. I think you might be overreacting just a tad.” Ben even used his finger and thumb to demonstrate how much he thought Patrick was overreacting before grabbing Patrick’s arm and yanking him back down onto the bed.
Patrick sighed. Fine. Maybe he was being overly dramatic, but come on. This was Will. Tall, dark, and handsome, and as easygoing as Ben. He oozed charm and made you want to curl up with him somewhere warm and never ever move. Well, that last part could just be Patrick.
He was going to make such an arse of himself. He flopped onto the bed and covered his face. “I hate you. You are the worst brother ever.”
Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with her three rowdy children, and two cats.
An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.
This is a very low angst love story between a slightly older and wiser Will and the still in university Patrick. Will has been burned in the past and is leery of younger men and long-distance relationships, especially with the brother of a friend, so he resists Patrick’s obvious adoration until it becomes apparent that he can’t anymore. When he gives in, it’s with the (this never works out) idea that they can somehow be fuck buddies and no strings.
Of course Patrick is already having feelings before they begin, so Will’s already set up to fail. When Patrick does ask for more – even vaguely – and is summarily rejected – everyone is heartbroken, including Patrick’s brother for having been caught in the middle.
Ultimately the story ends with a solid HFN and a happy enough ending and certainly Patrick deserves it, though Will… I’m not so sure. He was mostly a jerk throughout the entire book and he didn’t do much to redeem himself even by the end.
I really liked Patrick’s character, he was earnest and sweet and besides the obvious chemistry didn’t see how Will deserved his goodness. I wish that we got to see them a little later down the road, maybe a year or more, so that I could feel good about their HEA.
All in all this was a nicely written, relatively light hearted romance with some nicely developed characters. 3.5 of 5 hearts