Ryan likes his job and enjoys his home-town, but being a gay man in a small, conservative place certainly wears after a while. He’s seriously looking forward to taking a summer break with his friend, Caroline at Crystal Coast. The beach – full of shirtless studs – is exactly the sort of therapy he needs to refresh his mind and revitalize himself. Tanner is in the Army and still mostly in the closet – but he can’t deny the strong attraction to Ryan when the two men meet. Can their chemistry turn into something more?
This is a fun, summery and sexy short story. I liked both Tanner and Ryan’s characters and the sex between them was explosively hot. I found the sex to be deliciously explicit. I was a little disappointed, however, with the “conflict” aspect of the plot. A somewhat clichéd misunderstanding, the situation – while completely serious – felt rather like it had been simply inserted into the story as the obligatory argument/conflict aspect to the plot. Add on to this, despite the seriousness of it, barely a few pages was given to Tanner and Ryan discussing it and with what felt to me like no effort or proper discussion it was forgiven and practically waved away. This resolution made the conflict feel even more derived and insubstantial to me. I really felt as though the whole situation could have been handled differently and better.
With a strong cast of secondary characters the absolute high point of this story for me was all the different people. Ryan and Tanner both came across to me as vibrant, complex and interesting characters and each of them had a small number of equally impressive secondary characters in their lives. Add in some very hot and well written sex and this is a fun, summery short story that is sure to appeal to a lot of readers wanting a quick and spicy read.
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