Erica PikeAbsolutely Eric (Boston Boys #2)MLR Press | May 11, 2012
Author’s website | Goodreads | Buy book here
Eric Wesley is short and snazzy, hot and happy. Or that’s what he thought. After three years of living on the wild side he’s tired of being a playboy and wants to find love.
Eric, however, has never been in love before and doesn’t see that the guy who’s been gazing at him all summer might be Mr. Right. Boring-suit-guy Alexander Centauri isn’t only style-less and clumsy, but also terribly awkward. After a miserable date, Eric plants Alex on another guy’s lap and goes after Mr. Wrong…who looks so right.
When Eric realizes his mistake, it might be too late.
Genre & Keywords: Contemporary Romance, M/M, College, Opposites Attract, Making Wrong Choices, Jealousy, Past Promiscuity, One Time Threesome Sex, Abuse, Friendship
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2 out of 3 flames
The first word that comes to mind after closing this book is 'intense'. Knowing lighthearted Eric from the first story in this series, A Life Without You, didn't prepare me at all for the course this second installment took. Sure, Eric's happy out and proud persona was still providing the lightness and humor here but his romance story also has a much darker and heavier side to it.
First, it's probably good to know that the main characters are having both sex with other men and are even in a relationship with other men, before they hook up together. Not every reader likes to read about that, on page, when it comes to their romances. Personally, I thought it fitted the plot here perfectly, so it didn't bother me.
Secondly, there's some on page violence and abuse directed at one of the main characters. It's not happening between Eric and Alex, but it's pretty graphically described and thus might be a trigger to some.
As I said, this is an intense read.
Now that I've given off enough warnings, let's talk about the awesomeness that is this story. There's the fact that I couldn't put the book down even if I'd wanted to. It kept me up until 4 in the morning on a school/work night. The tension is omnipotent and you just want to know when they, meaning Eric and Alex, will get things worked out already. They take the better part of the book to finally start talking about their feelings for each other. Meanwhile there's plenty of sexual anticipation building up between them. This suspenseful tension is what makes it difficult to put the book down once you've started it.
The novel is entirely written from Eric's point of view. We see his opinion of Alex change drastically throughout his own rite de passage. At the beginning of the story Eric is the happy playboy who hops from one bed into the next. He doesn't think he's relationship material. But this changes after he's spent a night with his best friend and boyfriend, Adam and Jesse, who invited him for a threesome. He sees the love they have for each other from up close and suddenly craves something like that for himself too. His path to find Mr Right is bumpy though. He falls in love with the wrong guy, while Mr Right is all this time right in front of him. But he's too blind to see and when he finally notices him it's too late.
During his initial journey of self-discovery Eric is somewhat of an ass to be honest. He's trampling hard on Alex's feelings and treating him rather badly because he thinks Alex is a boring klutz. He's well aware of Alex's crush on him but can't imagine ever feeling the same for Alex. How wrong he was, of course! But by the time he comes to the conclusion that Alex is hot, Alex seems to have falling in love with Eric's friend. And Eric is in a complicated relationship of his own.
Thus begins a careful dancing around each other, feelings of unrequited love playing a part in every encounter between them. Eric's friends and their sex game of Spin the Bottle are helping them building quite some steamy sexual tension too. I enjoyed this phase of their building romance a lot. It was made believable with a little help of lack in communication. Of course, Eric acted like a blind guy most of the time, but I found his lack in confidence rather refreshing and credible thanks to his inexperience with relationships.
The first book in this series wasn't without controversy either (cheating was the issue there) and this second book shows some unusual choices again. This time it's not really cheating, since the MCs don't have a relationship yet (or anymore), but like I said before not all readers will appreciated the fact that we see the heroes having sex with other characters, especially since it hurts the love interest too. However, I admire Pike for these not so usual choices in the romance genre. It definitely brings a new dimension to the emotional spectrum of my romance reading. My poor heart.
It's surely Pike's skill to write compelling and solid romances that is to blame for tugging at my heartstrings so hard and keeping me up half of the night. Her engaging characters and clever use of humor don't hurt the enjoyment either.
There are a few secondary characters in Eric's circle of friends that I'd love to read more about as well. Luckily, this month the third book in the Boston Boys series, Black Hurricane, will come out. It's Jazz's book and his love interest is a rock star. I'm excited!