Reviewed by Helyce
Kyle Wakefield’s up and coming production company has been contracted to do a big action movie in London. It’s a film that could put his company on the map and bring him lots of business. It requires some pretty elaborate stunts, so he hires a stunt company, also up and coming, called Second Chances. Kyle is taking a big risk hiring Second Chances and while he believes they are the best company for the job, it’s not the only reason he’s hired them.
Nathan Carnes started Second Chances after he got out of prison for a stupid stunt in his late teens. His business has taken off and this big-budget action movie in London would mean a lot to his company and could conceivably put him in contact with the “money people” and push his company to the front of the line for future movie endeavors. But he’s in for a very big surprise when he arrives in London for filming.
Kyle and Nathan have history. Back in their teens, away at boarding school, these two were best of friends….and lovers. Kyle came from old money, rich and privileged, Nathan was there on scholarship; but at school they were just two young men who ventured into an affair where their hearts got involved. They had a plan to be together after high school, but it all fell apart. Misunderstandings and fear push Nathan to make a stupid mistake that landed him in jail. Now, 13 years later, Kyle Wakefield is that last person Nathan expects to run into when he walks into the first meeting at the London shoot.
I had a little trouble with this book and it took some thinking to put my finger on it. While I was pulled in to certain aspects of the story, enough so that I kept reading and wanted to finish, the story itself is overshadowed by its over abundant sex scenes. Yes, surprisingly, there is just too much sex in this book. God, did I just say that?
So, what was good about it? London! Very cool, very descriptive writing – I felt like I was there. The story takes place in December and the weather is crappy which makes the stunts they are trying to film dangerous. The writing here is realistic and I really enjoyed the bite your nails, edge of your seat feel to these scenes. Even with the asshole director that both Kyle and Nathan had to deal with; this part of the story and getting through the filming of the most dangerous stunts provided an emotional aspect for the characters that worked for me.
So what didn’t work? Kyle and Nathan meet in boarding school, become friends and then lovers. They have a plan to stay together, but Nathan misconstrues something he sees and in that moment throws it all away when he steals a car and then does 3 years in jail for it. When Kyle goes to the jail and visits him they have words and part ways. Jump ahead 13 years and both men have successful careers. Kyle sees a write up in some magazine about Nathan’s company and decides to hire said company to do the stunts in London. Kyle has an ulterior motive of course; to see Nathan. When Nathan walks in and sees Kyle he’s shocked, but for both of them old sparks fly.
And so begins the massive amount of sex scenes between Nathan and Kyle. After that very first meeting, they get it on, Kyle bent over a pool table in the offices set up for Kyle’s production company. This isn’t, “wow I’ve missed you sex”, this is “ugly, mean, why the hell didn’t you tell me you were going to be here”, sex. And it continues in this way throughout the book. For almost the whole book, these two have mad, angry sex instead of sitting down and maybe having one conversation about what exactly happened the night Nathan made the choice to steal a car and why. Oh, the conversation happens, but not soon enough in my opinion.
Additionally, there is a slight D/s vibe that absolutely did not work. I am the first to admit that I know nothing about a true D/s relationship except for what I’ve read in a few books just this year, but in here, it was weak and almost felt like it was added in. While all the sex was consensual, there was one scene that really crossed the line a bit for me and made me quite uncomfortable.
Okay, enough sex stuff.
The bulk of the story for our main characters is the fact that Kyle refuses to come out of the closet and Nathan, who is out, refuses to be in a relationship with someone who is not out. From this standpoint I could totally understand where Nathan was coming from. When you’re in love, you don’t want to hide it and this is essentially what Kyle was asking Nathan to do. What never came across clearly for me is why Kyle felt this was his only option. Just because of his family? Was he that worried about being cut off? Even now, as a successful businessman, he was worried about how he’d be perceived as a gay man. Really? In Hollywood? Where promiscuous sex is the standard?
Ultimately, Kyle redeems himself in a really big way, and our main characters get their HEA. In spite of everything I disliked in the book, I did enjoy Kyle’s very public coming out scene. There was a lot of emotion involved and it was a truly romantic scene at its heart.