This was a fun and heartfelt friends-to-lovers romance. Ashton and Beau have known each other since they were kids - and Beau always seemed to come off 2nd best to Ashton. Ashton was the star quarterback and captain, Beau the co-captain; Ashton was first place academically for their grade, with Beau a close second; Ashton got scholarships to college for football that he was able to take, while Beau chose to stay and support his family instead of following his dreams and taking the scholarships he was offered. What Ashton never knew was that the one drunken kiss he gave Beau on graduation night changed Beau's world, making him realise he was gay.
10 years later and Ashton is forced into early retirement due to his off-field antics - he's an image risk for any team, so now none want him. Doesn't help that a vindictive ex set him up and released photos to the press after blackmailing him - that was just the final nail in the coffin. He returns to his family home, alone and confused. Especially when he catches up with Beau and realizes that the feelings he thought he felt all those years ago are there, 100% real, and making it very difficult for him to focus on anything else. Especially when Beau is the one person who always seemed to see past his facade and not put up with any crap from him.
As they explore their friendship, deeper feelings develop and Ashton starts to explore this new side of himself. He also begins to realise that he doesn't want to spend time away from Beau, that Beau might just be it for him. But that all might just fall apart when the press catches up with him, and his sexuality is revealed on a very public and national scale. While he goes into hiding, Beau and his family have to deal with the fallout and the press hounding them.
It was well written, with great character depth and development. The supporting characters such as Beau's mother and brother, and their friends Wyatt and Lincoln, were all well developed as well. I liked that we got a special needs character in Kenny - who has high functioning Downs Syndrome. I felt this was researched well, and Kenny was presented in a very realistic and beautiful way.
I loved the wit and humour throughout the story, and felt it was a good balance for other aspects. No real angst or drama, so it kept the story light and fun. Definitely a book I'd recommend.
Oh how i love a super hot fireman. Ivor’s good enemies to lovers story and this one fits that criteria in my opinion to a tee. I love the whole dynamic between Ash and Beau and thoroughly enjoyed watching their story progress. I especially loved Beau’s love for Kenny his special needs brother. Such a brilliant start to a new series by Riley and Devon. I always enjoy their collaborations when they write a story together and am a tad excited to see how this series works with both of them trading of whole books rather than characters/chapters. I received an arc of this book and am voluntarily leaving an honest and unbiased review
What am amazing story this was. I love the whole concept of a hot shot pro footballer and a Fireman who chose to stay in Fever Falls to look after his family. The love Beau has for his brother was off the charts he was involved in all aspects including being the coach of his footy team. Ashton returns to town after being forced into early retirement and he hopes he can hide from the press. He meets up with Beau they shared a kiss on graduation night and the Ashton left town leaving poor Beau devastated This is the start of a beautiful new series.
A great story includes a past friendship dislike, straight to gay, hot firefighter, Down Syndrome character, funny humour, an aghast over being gay and sexy scenes beautifully told. This is a fantastic book to read for the start of the series. Beau couldn't stand Aston (18 yr) in high school. Beau always played second fiddle to Austin, graduating from high school there next step of their lives begins but not with out a shared stolen kiss. Then time jumps to 10 years later...... (KU Read)