Jaded by relationships gone wrong, Bret throws an anti-Valentine’s Day party to celebrate being single and burn his ex-boyfriends belongings. Who needs a commercialized holiday that only serves to make you feel bad about your relationship status, anyway? But not everyone at his party agrees. The cute blond guy who could be a member of a boy band challenges Bret, calling him bitter, and the truth comes spilling out: Bret’s low interest in sex has destroyed every relationship he’s had and tarnished his view of romance.
Harry is tired of fast hook-ups and meaningless sex, but finding a guy who wants a serious commitment has been a challenge. When he meets the cute hipster throwing an anti-Valentine’s Day party, he’s immediately charmed. But when he learns Bret is graysexual — willing to have sex only occasionally in the right circumstances — he’s leery of making promises he can’t keep. He doesn’t want to break Bret’s heart or his own, but can he really walk away from a chance at real love?
This s a novella of approximately 17,600 words.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
*I received the book in exchange for an honest review*
This is a very cute novella by DJ Jamison and has an interesting premise. From the beginning we know Bret is greysexual. And this is ‘a problem’ for him because it was ‘a problem’ for his previous partner(s), which is why he is so jaded and annoyed at…well, anything to do with love. Which is also why he is throwing an Anti-Valentine party, where he is planning to burn the stuff his exes have left behind.
Harry, on the other hand, is constantly hooking up but grows ‘tired’ of it. But he has no idea where and how to find the right person for him. So when these two meet at Bret’s party, there is attraction but also distrust, especially from Bret’s side.
And to Bret’s credit, Harry is not sure whether he can do it. Can he be with Bret, someone who could be THE ONE, a person not interested in hookups or even sex most of the time? I liked that Harry was careful. It might have hurt Bret, but at least Harry took some time to think about it and has not rashly promised anything.
And they communicated a lot. I loved that! Harry has never pressured Bret into sex, has never made him feel guilty or ‘wrong’ intentionally. Not being ace, I can’t say whether the rep was good or bad, but the author did her research as it is seen in the beginning, and also in the fact that with the exception of ‘douche-ex-boyfriends’ who left Bret thinking love doesn’t exist without sex, there is never a feeling or idea that something is wrong with Bret. It’s who he is and his friends and Harry accept it.
It’s a short and sweet and feel-good story including a hatred against Valentine’s Day 🙂
Brad has everyone fooled. He’s the casual, sexy friend. The fun-time guy who sleeps around. Except not really. There’s one man who holds his heart: his best friend — with benefits — Riley. Too bad Riley has no interest in a relationship, and as far as Brad can tell, never will. But once Brad acknowledges his freelings for Riley, he can’t continue to ignore them. He pulls back, trying to find a way to shut down his hurting heart so he can remain Riley’s friend.
Riley has everything he needs: a decent job, plenty of hookups, and his wingman Brad, who also makes for great fun in the sack. He’s happily oblivious, until Brad starts avoiding him. Riley is baffled when Brad starts skipping regular nights at the gay club, fails to return calls and otherwise ignores him. He can’t imagine what he’s done wrong, and when he finally corners Brad and learns the truth, he’s scared to death one more person is going to abandon him. He misses Brad like crazy — both the friend and the lover — but he’s never even considered a relationship.
Now Brad and Riley have a choice to make: friends or lovers. Riley’s days of having his cake and eating it too are over. Then again, maybe Brad is tasty enough to keep a man satisfied.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
* I received the book in exchange for an honest review*
First, I’ll admit I read a really emotional and REALLY slow-burn book before this novella so my rating may have been a little influenced.
This book is second in the Anti-series, but can totally be read as a standalone. The only thing is that Harry and Bret occasionally appear, as did Riley and Brad in the first one. This novella also has much more sex in it.
Brad is tired of being just a fuck-buddy to Riley since he starts to develop romantic feelings for him. But Riley has been abandoned by everyone and is not big on commitment. Which is why Brad starts to avoid him. Being away seems easier than resist falling in bed when they hang out.
Since it is a very short novella, there is not a lot of place for angst if one wants a happy ending, so the guys get (back) together soon. As I said, I have just finished a slow burn book beforehand so it had a bit of a ‘wrong’ feeling about it. It may have been a bit too short, so it might have functioned better as a longer story?
But in any case, it was still sweet, low-angst, friends-fuckbuddies-lovers story with cameos from Harry and Bret. 🙂
Oh, and the next book is coming soon – My Anti-Marriage!
About The Author
DJ Jamison worked in newsrooms for more than 10 years, which helped tremendously when she began her series centered on The Ashe Sentinel, a fictional small-town newspaper in Kansas. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, two sons and three glow-in-the-dark fish.