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Jake Tanner is a gay asexual man who finds peace on his small Australian farm and is content to lead a quiet life taking care of his animals. Then a random act of kindness on his part sets in motion a complex series of events that results in him playing the piano in a local pub and meeting Damien Jamieson, a sexy gay biker with a penchant for leather. Damien finds Jake instantly irresistible, but that could be the worst thing for their budding relationship, as Damien is determined to bed the reluctant Jake. However, Jake has no intention of going along with his plan. If there’s a chance for anything between them, Damien will have to figure out how to turn Jake on without scaring him off.
I have very mixed thoughts on this book. There seems to be a lot of love for it, but I had trouble throughout much of the story. Not so much with the story itself, but with the behavior of the characters. Behavior that felt inconsistent, forced at times, and puzzling. For me, Jake and Damien didn’t fit most of the time. When they did gel better, things still felt off and inauthentic. A spark of interest that seemed far fetched at first, builds into a strange sort of friendship that left me feeling bad for a lot of the book.
Jake is asexual, gay, and sort of has no idea. Literally. He’s got no clue. The part of the story that drew me in most was the struggle Jake goes through to figure himself out… except there is hardly any of that. The trouble for me was that Damien was this force of nature that Jake had not clue how to handle. But Jake also didn’t seem to know how to handle any of the relationships he had. Not just intimate relationships, but friendships, co-worker situations, everything. Jake felt overly sheltered from life, whereas Damien was the total opposite. Damien is strong willed, temperamental, an addict, and so completely childish that I didn’t like him very much. Damien seems to only want to be with Jake to get him into bed. They don’t communicate well, so it really feels off. So what I got was a lot of Jake trying to keep Damien around, but not feeling like it will work out, and Damien acting like a child because Jake won’t sleep with him.
On the other hand, there are scenes in the book when the two of them are at their best, and them come together in beautiful intimacy. I don’t mean sex. Intimacy. Spending time together, little looks, new experiences. Those were the times when the story was at it’s best. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel like there were enough of those moments. Inconsistencies, poor pacing, lack of understanding and communication, and childish temper tantrums, took me away from where I thought the story was heading… until the very end. By that time, the book had already lost me.