We met Noah in the previous installment, he is Dylan's best friend from childhood. Dylan was Rick's best friend while Noah was his boyfriend, the same Rick who died of AIDS while Noah who is rich as one can get couldn't help him because his parents didn't approve of the relationship (considering Rick was "turning tricks" for a living..). I always assumed Noah never got over Rick but this book explains it differently. Noah is filled with guilt and self loathing for everything that happened in the last few months of Rick's life. He tried to get into a relationship a year after Rick's death but his body literally rejected the idea leaving Noah with one-night-stands, literally - never hooking up with the same guy twice.
I'm not sure why I didn't connect with Noah, I mean, he is funny, had a few Laugh Out Loud moments, his banter is so funny to read! and yet it feels so fake, or rather that he is always trying TOO hard. Also I have my issues with his alcohol consumption. Let's just say it out loud shall we? Noah is an ALCOHOLIC. There is no other way to refer to it. It might have been funny in the beginning, but very quickly I was disgruntled with his stupid drunk behaviour. I HATE drunks. When I was in my early 20s and we used to go out for parties, I remember I was ALWAYS the driver because I don't really drink (certainly not what is offered in clubs - YUCK!), I had to watch my friends being sick and puking, hardly standing on their feet. What did I do? Told them clearly that I'm going home and if they want to get there, they better start walking. I'm NOT joking. I never held someone's hair and brought them water or whatever. You drank? deal with it! Or drink at home and don't be a nuisance to your friends. Not to mention, since Noah's drinking is CLEARLY masking something else, where were his friend and mostly Dylan all this time? why not do SOMETHING to help his stubborn best friend?
Ky on the other hand is SUCH a sweetheart! I loved him right from the start! He is gay, he knew that from an early age, but being raised by his stepdad made it impossible for him to be out and proud without paying a steep price - losing his home but more importantly losing his twin sisters he raised since they were 4 years old when their mother died. His mother always told him family means everything and so trying his best not to separate his sisters from their father, and being the best brother he can, he stayed closeted and endured his stepdad's behavior towards him, hiding it all from his sisters. 20 years later when he finds himself deeply interested in Noah feels a bit too much, especially since his stepdad own the farm his father's family used to own, and his little sister Sierra wants to build her future there.
There's a lot more to the story, the two couples from the previous books have a big role in the book, they are always there and not only because Alec and Tyler are making a bachelor benefit for their clinic who offers the poor an opportunity to a better medical care and Noah and Savannah (Ky's sister) are the ones organizing it. The Makeover part of the story refers to Noah trying to take Ky over his wing and try to make him "better presented" as a bachelor in the up coming event. Something Ky is not really interested in, yet he can't refuse his sister.. (for several reasons..).
Ky and Noah are both attracted to one another but they have their reasons to stay away, yet it doesn't work, and when they hook up together, they both have to deal with "what's next" - Noah doesn't do more than a singular hook up and Ky might actually want more.. and how to make that happen, especially with Noah he doesn't know..
When Ky is forced out of the closet things start to change. Leading to a possibility from Ky's side but from Noah that's a totally different story.. which is why Ky needs to make a stand and Noah has to do some difficult decisions.
I have to add one more thing.. This is Contemporary Romance, I expect to have explicit sex scenes, but I felt the portion of the sex was a bit too much, and again, masking or ignoring more important aspects. There's actually one sex scene spreading over a WHOLE chapter (something like 30 minutes of reading) I skipped most of it because I wasn't even interested anymore. I read Erotica sometimes and then I know it means the sex would have a bigger portion of the story, but here it just felt too much, especially with all of Noah's sexual remarks. I wanted more ROMANCE is what I'm saying and mostly I wanted more of a JOURNEY in which BOTH characters evolve. Ky did, that's for sure, but Noah? up until the last chapter he was still the guy I couldn't even relate to.
That's where I"m going to end my review. I wish we could have seen Noah working on his issued sooner, or seen more of his conflicts and less of his drinking habits and their consequences.. I wish we would have seen more of Ky's interaction with his sisters, especially after everything blew up. A possibility was offered but nothing was actually done not to mention, we didn't get enough of what happened between the twins and their dad which I think would have been a needed closure. I just wanted this book to be much MORE than it actually was..
I really hope that the next book by River won't take as long as this one to be published. Yeah my review isn't very flattering, but I LOVED what I read by her before and so I'm STILL waiting for MORE, and not only so I can forget my misgiving about this one.
Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 300 pages, 22-25 November 2016 / On GoodReads