Avery Hextall, a junior architect at a prestigious firm, is thrilled when his design is chosen for a new performing-arts centre—even if it means working closely with his insufferably uptight project manager, Malin Lacroix. When a chance encounter in the boss’s office proves that Lacroix is anything but cold, Avery is determined to learn more about the real man beneath the aloof veneer.
Despite their growing attraction and their increasingly kinky encounters, the enigmatic Malin remains as emotionally distant as ever. Worse, Avery’s friends are convinced Malin thinks of Avery as a dirty secret and nothing more—a secret that might destroy both of their careers.
But the real secret is a single moment in time that haunts Malin and keeps him from committing to the life he wants with Avery. In order to move on, Avery must help Malin come to terms with the tragedy in his past before they can work on building a future together.
I was a little hesitant to start reading this one because of the kink factor (I had recently had some misfortune when choosing kinky books) and at first I thought I had been right and it was going to be a no-plot-just-sex kind of book, where the kink wasn’t even particularly enjoyable, because they were even doing it wrong (not that I’m a professional in that department or anything), but then the most amazing thing happened: IT ALL CHANGED!
Avery Hextall, an outgoing, talkative and friendly architect, the kind of person who as a kid invited the whole class to his birthday parties, fantasizes and falls for Malin Lacroix, his cold, serious boss who is extremely introverted by nature. They start off with intense (not enjoyable) kinky hookups but after a while their play turns less rough. Then serious emotions build up between them and a lot emotions mix in you because YOU JUST LOVE THEM SO MUCH!
The book actually addresses the fact that how their relationship started was incredibly unhealthy and they couldn’t continue to do it that way. Plus, the character development on both sides was so palpable, the way their very different personalities influenced each other and transformed them into better versions of themselves.
Avon Gale explores the discovery of one’s sexuality and desires and the confusion it bring with it in a very real and authentic way, making the characters, especially Avery and his friends, relatable every moment of the way. I think we should give the author props for portraying bisexuality (in more than one character) and in a very honest manner.
Two last things that are very worth mentioning from the book is Avon Gale’s writing, which makes the story and the characters much more approachable than, I think, the situation allows it them to be. And the friendships; Harlan, Justin and Brandon are possibly the best friends one could have, they all have their own problems and quirks and bring a new light to the story. I have heard the author is planning to write a Harlan book, personally, I would like to encourage her from here to write a Justin/Brandon one too.
There’s a moment of silence, and then he says, “I love you.”
Avery kisses him and says, “I know,” which is a thing he’s always wanted to say because Han Solo was pretty cool and also because, hey, he does know.