Will Barter’s been in love with his best mate Jack for as long as he can remember. They’ve shared everything: love, life, laughs, even Will’s first kiss. But Jack’s straight, and Will’s long-buried infatuation means nothing until their last summer together draws to a close.
Then one night, everything changes, but with Will bound for university in Leeds, and Jack for his dream DJ job in Ibiza, there’s no time to explore their blurred lines. Before long all that’s left are secrets, lies, and misunderstandings.
In the months that follow, anger and hurt overshadow fifteen years of friendship, and Will must dig deep to remember Jack is his mate… his
best mate, and nothing matters more than that, right?
Best friends to lovers is a tried and true trope that can be pulled off spectacularly or shabbily. I’m pleased to say that this was a smashing success. Will and Jack became best mates at a tender age and have held fast to each other. They experience many ‘firsts’ together, including Will’s first kiss. It’s during this cataclysmic moment when the world shifts. Will has longed for Jack, craved an intimate touch for much longer than he’d care to admit, but he kept this secret carefully guarded. He couldn’t gamble ‘them’. While their lips explore, heartbeats race and minds kick into high gear. This is it. Everything Will has wanted. It’s a game changer. Will’s desires surge to a whole new level and he knows in that exact moment, he will never love another like he loves Jack. But Jack is straight. Little did Will know he wasn’t the only one feeling the ground tremor that day. Jack felt it too.
I really enjoyed the sneak peeks into the past. Flashbacks can be a wonderful wealth of information and it gave us a firm grip as to how Will and Jack make it to the position they are in now. They toe the line of exploration and take things past the point of no return when one gifts the other with his virginity. The crossroads after graduation is such a scary and glorious time. Their paths separate and distance takes its toll. Some friendships are only with us during a season in our lives and others stay with us forever. Angst will bombard these two and only they can control if they drift apart or not.
Between the beautiful bond between Will and Jack, the warm secondary characters and the brilliant writing, Leigh creates a stellar story. I’m still a fairly new fan but I expect to dash through her bookshelf at a steady clip. And a shout out to the fabulous new cover!
The relationship between Jack and Will is solid and real. I felt it…I felt them. I loved how focused they were on each other, so zeroed in that the rest of their vision was out of focus. We are allowed to see the bigger picture (knowing they are destined to cross that sacred line) even when they were oblivious to it. We knew, their friends knew….even their loved ones knew. Will and Jack resist fate until it nearly splits them but then when they finally accept it, they crash together. There are no annoying habits to reveal, no awkward secrets (now), they know it all. They are each other’s past, embrace the present as one and soar into the future together. My heart is happy and full and I have no worries that they will live…happily ever after.
Potent British influence. I am definitely drawn to authors on the other side of the pond, in fact most of my favorites reside in another country. I am addicted to picking up new slang and sayings. Garrett’s voice comes through thick and strong with heavy British charm.
If friends to lovers is your thing, this is sure to leave you with a giddy smile and a hankering for more British boys. Psst, never fear…..there IS more!