Some secrets are too heavy to hold on to forever.
For Ethan, pretending has become second nature. After all, he’s spent the last decade pretending to be straight, pretending to be happy, and pretending he isn’t desperately in love with his best friend. But in a single moment of raw honesty, all those lies come crashing down around him and he’s left wondering what to do next.
When Jase learns his best friend is going through a breakup, his first instinct is to come to Ethan’s rescue, and he knows just the thing to help. The cabin where they spent summers as kids is sitting vacant, and a week there is the perfect remedy to start healing a broken heart.
In the seclusion of the mountains, long-buried fears and emotions take their friendship into unexplored territory that will either bring them closer together… or tear everything apart.
The friends to lovers trope are tried and true. They always spark my attention and so does Cate Ashwood’s bookshelf. Put them together? I consider it my lucky day. What makes a besties-to-boyfriends relationship soar above all the others? Quite simply, the bond. And Ashwood knows how to make her boys click. I honestly believe true love and true friendship go hand in hand. My spouse and lover is also my best friend. The one person that sees straight into my soul and understands me unlike any other. I think this quote, “And sometimes if you’re really lucky, you’ll find out that your soul mate was disguised as your best friend the whole time” describes this story perfectly. Ethan and Jase have been best friends for…well, forever. When the ground underneath Ethan crumbles and cracks, Jase is there before the dust settles. He’s not even sure what caused the upheaval. He just knows that Ethan needs him and that’s all that matters. That’s one of the things that I loved about their bond…words aren’t necessary. Jase feels Ethan’s composure shattering and he’s immediately present and holding him together. They are solid. Even when the rest of the world around them isn’t. Take it to the next level, from platonic to passionate, and it’s all he ever needed.
Ethan is on an emotional rollercoaster. He’s been coasting along…fairly content with his life. He’s been with his girlfriend, Allison, for a decade. He loves her. But he’s can’t deny something is missing and always has been. When he admits his biggest secret, his hidden desires for Jase, Allison breaks things off. Suddenly he’s free-falling. I liked Allison and my heart hurt for her. I was pleased that Jase cared for her as much as she cared for him. Feelings were crushed but no ugly words were thrown. It was clear they all cared for each other…even if it was in completely different manners. I appreciated how their split was handled. Jase takes Ethan to his Uncle’s cabin, a sanctuary, and place of refuge. Ethan can’t hide the source of the grenade that shattered his life for long. When Jase realizes why Ethan is suddenly single, he quickly pounces on the opportunity. It was fairly speedy but considering their history, it was perfectly progressive.
Although they have known each other for many years, this intimate turn was intimidating. The consequences of it failing was harsh and heavy. Putting all your eggs in one basket is…risky. But the rewards can be abundant. I loved watching Ethan and Jase embrace their new status. And it’s uhhh, really really hot. Ethan has secretly desired Jase for years but never allowed himself to hold on to the feelings. Now he hangs on for dear life. Jase recognizes he has held himself back from fully appreciating Ethan and now that he can, he can’t seem to sate his hunger. They spark and explode into scorching red-hot heat. But then…reality comes knocking and they must return to their lives. The perfect escape in the woods is over. Real life hits Jase hard. But the possibility of losing Ethan hits him harder. Thankfully his panic is short-lived but the ecstasy is everlasting.
A break up that shatters and rattles three lives. A too-close-for-comfort friendship that blossoms into a fiery blaze of passion. And a beautiful and tender transformation from best friends to soul mates.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing Ashwood’s customary burning romance, this is a beautiful place to start. And if friends-to-lovers is your thing, this is the perfect example that friends do indeed make the best lovers.
TITLE: All He Ever Needed
AUTHOR: Cate Ashwood
LENGTH: 178 pages
RELEASE DATE: September 19, 2018
BUY LINKS: Amazon