3.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Author Provided Bi-Sexual Book coming of age Contemporary Friends to lovers Gay GFY/OFY Gym/physical trainer High but not hopeless Homophobia Hurt/comfort m/m Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Single Parent

Ricky by Ashley John


On the surface, Ricky Thompson’s life is one long party. His razor sharp wit and unwavering sexual confidence masks his true pain and suffering, and that’s how he wants to keep things. Ten years after the death of his fiancé, Ricky has completely given up on the illusion of love. Wild nights in the bar and even wilder casual sex have become his coping mechanism, and he wants to keep the party going at whatever cost. When he is attacked in a dark alley and left for dead, Ricky’s life takes an unexpected turn and the party suddenly comes to an end.

Chase Brody doesn’t know where life is taking him. Between running his gym and raising his son, Dylan, the only time he puts himself first is his once a week trip to the gay bars. His family has convinced him he needs to find a mother for Dylan, so he keeps his sexual desires secret. He always believed women were for love and men were for sex, but he is forced to reevaluate everything he thought he knew when he stumbles across a helpless man in need of his help.

After Chase takes Ricky to the hospital, he offers him free self-defence classes, but it soon grows into something more complicated and both men are forced to listen to their hearts once again. Chase doesn’t know how Ricky will fit into his difficult life, and Ricky can’t seem to let go of his past heartache. With so much at stake, will these men admit they were wrong about love and surrender their hearts to each other, or is the risk too great? 


This is a long book, over 300 pages. It takes a long while for our boys to go from acquaintances and friends to something more. Chase is determined that while men might be for sex, women are for love and his son Dylan needs a woman’s influence in his life.

Chase isn’t looking for entanglements either. He’s been hurt in the past by love and recent events only make him more paranoid not to trust, not the reverse.

I thought the writing was very good in this and the characters were really well developed. For the most part I enjoyed this and found it very satisfying.

What prevented this from being a five star read for me was three things. 1) the length. I think it was too long. While there was a lot for these guys to overcome, I found myself sort of flat-lining between the 30% mark and the 75% mark. There was a lot of waffling going on (for both guys) that got a bit tedious. Once Chase kissed Ricky I expected things to really pick up but that takes awhile to kick in.  2) Chase’s unwillingness to identify as gay. Even toward the end he was unwilling to own his sexuality and it bothered me that he was so stuck on this. 3) Ricky ran from everything and was set to run again then – on a dime- turned around to stay and I wasn’t sure we were given a really good reason for that.

Those things, when added together, took this to a 3.5 star read for me. It was still really good, just not great.

If you’re looking for a story with a lot of character and angst – this is for you!

3.5 of 5 stars


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Copy Generously Provided by Author for Honest Review


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