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When Aiden agrees to run the Mad Mucker—a twelve-mile muddy slog over an obstacle course—he’s expecting it to be a bit of a laugh. The training will be tough, but Aiden could use the motivation to regain some fitness.
Matt is the sexy cousin of one of Aiden’s coworkers and a last-minute addition to the team. When he agrees to train with Aiden, Aiden suddenly finds the prospect of regular workouts a lot more appealing.
Soon attraction flares, and they embark on an intense physical relationship. Matt doesn’t want to fall in love with a man, and Aiden doesn’t want to fall in love at all, but despite their insistence on no strings, they grow closer. As the day of the race approaches, time is running out for them to work out how they feel about each other.
Jay Northcote is an auto buy/auto read author for me. I love how I know what I am getting when I start one of her books; great meet-cutes, adorable/sexy boys, low angst and hot physical scenes. It’s a comfort to me and this story was another fantastic read.
There are times you read a book at exactly the right time; where everything just fits and this was the perfect time for me. Nothing Ventured centers around Aiden and Matt as they train for the Mad Mucker and while I am not training for the same event, I am training to run a half marathon so the fitness aspect of this book, had me nodding along as they trained.
I had a thought when I started this book, as Aiden realizes he agreed to run the Mad Mucker with Liv and team, was that Aiden was not aware of the first rule of life; Tequila is Diablo. That devil of a spirit can talk you into the most deranged and debauched situations you would normally never get into. Lesson learned, Aiden? Okay.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained, and all that.
Aiden, I loved this boy. From his thoughts on not wanting to get up early and exercise (I don’t do mornings, I get my runs in after a 9hr day at work) to his crush on his possibly straight training partner, being in his head was comfortable. It was comfortable and hot and I would have totally ogled Matt’s ass *ahem* arse – right along with him and any other part that boy was working out because, Matt is total eye candy.
It seemed he’d acquired a training partner. An annoying, bossy, sexy but tragically straight training partner. But at least the view of Matt’s arse would be nice while Aiden was trying to keep up with him.
Matt, our “straight” boy who gets a bit hands on with Aiden than necessary during training. I know he wants to help Aiden, to get things hard and he does a fine job of that as well as helping Aiden get fit. Bad Pun Penalty? Ha! Matt was fun and smart and… well.
These two, they were fun and frustrating. I think this is the most frustrating couple I have read from the author. I really liked that Matt was bisexual, not gay in the closet or pretending, he makes it clear he fancies both sexes but good lord, I wanted to beat Matt over the head a few times with a pair of muddy trainers. I know Aiden and Matt are our MC’s and that they will end up at some point with hopefully and HEA or at least an HFN but Matt fighting to be what a memory thought he should be, was frustrating. I get it, I do but the angst it caused hurt me and it hurt Aiden, as well as Matt hurting himself. Is Ms. Norhtcote delving into the side of angst as she produces more books? I am not sure but the few times I grunted with “Come the fuck on, Matt!” makes me wonder and really curious to see her go full angst on readers.
So back to the story, the boys start out as training partners – getting dirty on their runs and after a wrestle in the mud, they of course have to get clean. Right? Good Lord. Who would have thought a simple gesture of asking to borrow clothes after a separate shower with your mate/training partner would turn out so hot. I LOVED Aiden’s response to Matt and how they went from there – training partners with benefits and no strings. Oh the no strings situation… does that ever go as planned?
He was getting what he’d said he wanted, after all: no-strings sex and lots of it. He just needed to make sure they had better boundaries. The damn touchy-feely snuggle hormones were messing with his head. If they could get back to getting off and keep the intimacy at bay, he’d be fine. They’d be fine.
The pace of the story was perfect, the balance between the training for the race and the budding relationship between Matt and Aiden was told well. With both men fighting their own demons on commitment and what they thought was the right thing to do along with the sexy times they had together, in and out of Aiden’s shower was just wonderful. I fell hard and fast and couldn’t wait for that first kiss. Oh. My. Gawd. That first kiss! *swoon*
Two people who had feelings for each other, but both fighting against them for different reasons.
Nothing Ventured is another great read from the author. I absolutely adored these two along with the “Questers” as they overcame their own obstacles to become a team of acceptance. I loved Aiden and Matt and was right there with Liv at the end cheering Matt on and was nice sized puddle of goo with the epilogue.
Oh, one last thing. I will issue a warning to any perspective readers of this book… it will likely encourage you to lace up a pair of shoes and hit the pavement, trails, track or wherever your feet can make contact in good weather or bad. The fitness aspect will make you high as you catch the adrenaline rush with the boys as they train and you’ll want to join them, instantly. Speaking of hitting the pavement, it’s my time for a run. Where’s Matt and his arse to lead the way?