Review by Rafa: HeartOn, by Amy Jo Cousins

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hearton-amy-jo-cousins

HeartOn, by Amy Jo Cousins
Series: Full Hearts, Book 2
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: January 25, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

summary

When an injury sidelines NFL player Deion McCaskill—maybe permanently—he heads to Miami to stay with an old college teammate and his boyfriend. He packs his tailor-made suits, anxiety about the future, and the bisexuality he’s ignored for years because it didn’t fit with his drive to succeed at football’s most elite levels.

Set designer Carlos Kelly has always known he’s bi, but dating women is easier than making waves with his Puerto Rican/Irish Catholic family. His friends and coworkers from the theater community might be almost entirely on the rainbow spectrum, but Carlos keeps things simple. Except for this heat that keeps flaring between him and the hot football player visiting his best friend.

Two weeks. Two guys who’ve never explored their bisexuality before and don’t plan on coming out, ever. One promise to let each other try out every fantasy they’ve ever had. Zero feelings involved.

At least, that was the plan. . .

tropes-tags

M/M Pairing
Bisexual Characters
POC/People of Color
Pro Athlete
Coming Out
Sexual Experimentation/Exploration
Vacation Romance
Contemporary

If you enjoyed HeartShip, the first book in this series, chances are good that you’ll also like HeartOn. It proved to be a fun and flirty – not to mention hot and sweaty – read that checked off quite a few of my favorite boxes.

What’s not to love about two dudes embarking on a fling to explore their bisexuality? I mean did you see that cover? And by all accounts, Carlos (presumably that’s Deion on the cover) was no slouch either looking like a young, fine Andy Garcia. My imagination went into full overdrive at every speculative look between our two heroes and I loved the intensity in which things ramped up between them. Sexy times did involve some very practical (and educational!) steps for the uninitiated, but seeing them gamely go about the business of getting it on was more endearing than embarrassing. Speaking of embarrassing though, am I the only one who did not catch the cute play on words in the book titles in this series until just recently? Don’t answer that.

Unsurprisingly, I very much enjoyed the bi rep in the book. I liked that there was no judgemental tone in the way the author took on the premise of two closeted bisexuals  finding it more “convenient” to only date people of the opposite sex – until now. Their story enforced the idea that it’s okay to experiment – or not – just as it’s okay to come out – or not – which I really appreciated.  With that said, I liked that both heroes expressed their desire to continue to date men if things didn’t work out for the long term, and I adored Deion’s heart-to-heart with his bff Josh about homosexuality and bisexuality. However, while I liked that Deion and Carlos were surrounded by a supportive group of friends, except for Benji and Josh, I thought the rest of the group might as well have been stand-ins.

It think at the end of the day though, I could’ve used a bit more depth to Deion and Carlos’s romance. The author kept it fairly light and sweet, only ramping up the feels and the stakes towards the end of their fling. It didn’t make the book less satisfying, but I wouldn’t have minded more… heart.  If anything, Benji and Josh stole the romantic spotlight for me with the many wonderful ways their relationship had evolved over the years.

You can read HeartOn as a standalone but be warned that Benji and Josh from HeartShip feature quite prominently in it and you’d be missing out on their awesome backstory. I’m also very excited about a possible glimpse into book three which looks to feature a redhead looking to seduce his neighbor or die trying. I’m ready for it.

 

more-from-author

Amy Jo Cousins writes contemporary romance and erotica about smart people finding their own best kind of smexy. She lives in Chicago with her son, where she tweets too much, sometimes runs really far, and waits for the Cubs to win the World Series again. Amy Jo is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

You can purchase HeartOn from:

Amazon | KoboITunes | Google Play| Smashwords

Or add it to Goodreads

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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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