By the Book by Scarlett Parrish
Primarily Male/Male Romance, some ménage January 4, 2011
Reviewed by Mandi
Favorite Quote: “I’m Daniel Fucking Cross.”
Librarian Reece Hutton has a great time with his girlfriend Georgia. They have a very passionate life, and they also like to play. As a birthday gift, Georgia invites her best friend into the bedroom for a little threesome enjoyment. Reece loves it and loves Georgia for giving him this gift.
Reece has something, or rather someone on his mind though. He meets writer Daniel Cross at the library, and can not get this man out of his head. He has never been with a man before, but cannot deny that he is attracted to him. When Georgia suggests that maybe they bring another man into the bedroom for fun, Reece immediately thinks of Daniel. Daniel is a self-proclaimed slut who loves both men and women. He gives Georgia a night she will never forget, but it is the eye contact he makes with Reece that sets things in motion between the two of them.
By the Book has one of my favorite scenarios – straight man who becomes attracted to another man. Reece’s feelings towards Daniel come across as very natural, and make sense. He is confused, scared – terrified really that his body is reacting to Daniel in this way. Even more confusing, is his heart starts leaning toward Daniel too. Daniel has tattoos and wears guyliner and loves to drink and have sex. (Can I claim him?) Daniel is a great match for Reece because he flirts so unabashedly. Reece describes him as “a cocky little shit,” and he knows it! And he is so very, very naughty.
“What does every man want for his birthday?”
Smiling, I (Reece) shook my head.
”Candy and hand jobs? Wait – a pony!”
”You want a pony for your birthday?”
”Okay, nipple clamps and a butt plug.”
”You’re a sick man, Daniel Cross.”
”Yeah, I mean, how many butt plugs does one man need?”
He proudly declares he loves men and women and having a good time. If it wasn’t for his pushing, and directness towards Reece, the relationship might not have progressed. As Daniel says:
“You want to get together?”
[…] “Yes. If that’s all right with you.”
”Sure. Why wouldn’t it be?”
”Just, you know. Residual awkwardness. About. Things.”
”I don’t feel awkward at all.”
”No. I’m Daniel Fucking Cross.”
I stopped and leaned against a shop front. “Oh. Well.” I drew a deep breath. “Good. Good”
Further, I really enjoyed Daniel’s eventual reaction to Reece – I think Reece gives him much more than he ever bargained for. Daniel “Fucking” Cross has become one of my favorite characters. He is soooo cocky – yet comes to care about Reece so much. One of my favorite scenes is their first kiss:
“We should do something about it.” Daniel dipped his head, drew back, furrowed his brow, and I thought, surely he can’t be nervous; he’s Daniel Cross, but he wanted to make sure I was sure.
[…]”I know you want this,” he whispered, so close his breath warmed my skin. “Just let me…”
I’ve never kissed a – Oh God. My resistance, such as it was, melted away when his bottom lip dragged over mine.
There is much more to that scene, but that is enough for just a bit of a tease ;)
I did feel like poor Georgia might not have gotten the most emotions from Reece. I believed in Reece’s love for her, and I wanted to see him a little more broken up about his new love interest, but I have to say I really love how Scarlett Parrish ends the book. It actually surprised me!
This is the second book I have read by Scarlett Parrish – and both of them have grabbed me immediately. I love her characters – I am greatly entertained by their sarcastic humor and wicked thoughts. Further, her sex scenes are very well done. The combination of really dirty scenes and my love for the characters makes her books very memorable.
I had such a fun time reading this book and subsequently chatting with Scarlett on Twitter, that I asked if she would visit Smexy. She will be here later this morning to chat about books, smut and James Purefoy.