Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Hot Licks by A.M. Arthur

Title: Hot Licks
Author: A.M. Arthur
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Off Beat #3
Main Characters: Benji, Joshua, and Van
Release Date: February 2017
Publisher:  Swerve by St. Martin's Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
Benji Moore is living his dream traveling as the lead singer of his band. His life would be perfect if he could get his boyfriend, Josh, to commit to an exclusive relationship.
Even though Josh loves Benji, he has good reasons not to trust in long-term relationships. So Josh decides to take some time to himself and sublets a room at a friend’s beach house. But when he walks into the nearby Off Beat bar, he finds a bartender who may be a good distraction from his relationship problems.
Van Holt doesn’t do anything deeper than sweaty one-night stands. But when Josh sets his sights on him, Van is surprised by their connection. Except Van also doesn’t do complicated, and the situation between Josh and Benji defines complicated. But the more time Van spends with them, the more he’s realizing how hard it would be to let Josh and Benji go.
Can the three of them find a way together, or will they all end up going solo?
My Review:
In the past year or so A.M. Arthur has become one of my favorite authors...with good reason...amazingly good books! This one was no exception to the rule. It starts out with a shocking prologue and the story doesn't ever let you go again. I loved this one so much.

Like I said, the book starts with a shock...and it took me a while to figure out which one of these guys were in that scene...my heart just hurt for him. Benji and Joshua have been in a committed, open relationship for three years. They both travelled a ton for their jobs, so it just made sense to stay open when they were away from one another for so long. It was something Joshua wanted, not something that Benji did. But after the horrible car accident last year that almost killed Joshua, Benji wants to close their relationship. Joshua is reluctant, but not for the reasons you would think. He absolutely and without a doubt loves Benji, but he grew up in a family where cheating was accepted and commonplace. He doesn't ever want to hurt Benji that way and it's caused them a lot of strife. In the middle of all that strife, each of them met...and were attracted to...Van. But those meetings happened separately. There's an undeniable connection there for all three characters...and the story goes from there. 

The thing I love about this story is that there is NEVER any doubt about the commitment between Joshua and Benji. Even when they are on the outs, there is no doubt that they 100% love one another. That aspect of this story makes it work so well. But that's also what makes it so difficult for Van to accept that he might have a place here. These two guys have 3 years of history and love between them. Van is a good guy...he doesn't want to do anything to come between that. In fact, he works hard to make sure that the guys sort out their issues and takes himself out of the equation. But Van also has such an aloneness to his character. I wanted him to be happy so badly. There's a vulnerability to him.

For me, Van made this story. I love a guy who can be vulnerable. Most people never see it with him, but his walls are down when he's around Joshua and Benji. I liked the perspective of the different sexual spectrums represented in this story, too. It really made the triad aspect work...and explained a lot about Benji. 

Overall, I loved this story and there were most definitely some tears in this one. Lots of emotions and I do love that in my romance reading. Another recommend here!
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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