Author: Jamie Craig
Title: Aquarius: He Said, He Said
Series: Boys of the Zodiac, #11 (no reading order required, this one is a standalone)
Publisher: Amber Allure
Date: January 30, 2011
Word/page count: 51k words / 144 pages
Backblurb/Goodreads link | author's website | buy link
Genre & keywords:M/M, Contemporary Romance, Fatherhood
Synopsis in short:On the surface, the only thing single dads Peter and Aaron have in common are their eight-year-old loner sons. They develop - reluctantly at first - a friendship thanks to the friendship of their sons, Morgan and Sammy.
Setting: A modern city, probably San Francisco (Fisherman's Warf is mentioned). The men first meet in a city park where they take their kids to play. Other settings where the events take place are their apartments and other sites in the city.
POV: First person narrators, alternating between Peter and Aaron's point of view per chapter. Both have their own, distinct voice.
H/H & characterization: Peter is a divorced single dad and has to deal with his ex-wife and seeing his son Morgan only every other weekend. I felt for him and his difficulties with finding a serious partner. Aaron on the other hand is a single dad because his wife died. After her death his life only exists of his work and his son Sammy who has health problems. His loneliness was saddening and I was glad for him that he met Peter. At first Peter and Aaron don't like each other very much, but then a platonic friendship blooms after which they gradually grow into a more physical relationship. The slow build-up is nice and makes for a believable emotional connection. The author does a good job 'showing' instead of 'telling' who the heroes are, what they feel and think.
Empathy level: Thanks to the alternation first person perspectives and the excellent characterization you get a very good insight in the heroes’ feelings, thoughts and doubts. This made it very easy to empathize with them, and also with their sons to a certain level.
Heat level: The sex scenes were scorching and plenty, although it took the guys a while to get there. I really liked it that they didn't jump into bed from the start. I also felt the growing emotional connection through all the physical hotness. 2.5 out of 3 flames.
Angst level: There was a bit of a misunderstanding about what both men were expecting from the sexual arrangement they had, which made my heart squeeze a bit, especially for Peter. 1 maybe 1.5 out of 3 hankies.
Overall entertainment level: From the first to the last page this was a greatly entertaining story. The men were not only fun to observe together but also in interaction with their sons. The little guys were as engaging and lifelike as their adult cast members. Kids and romances are not always a good combination, but here it was a great addition. So, yes, overall a very enjoyable read.
4.5 out of 5 stars