By the time Seth Wilder and Bryce McFarland return to Chicago after their UK cruise, they’re halfway in love. They decide to move in together to see if their feelings can survive in the real world.
Seth receives word that a mandatory autopsy was performed on his late partner because his death was a suicide. The medical examiner’s findings are disturbing and leave some doubt as to the underlying cause of death.
Because of the suicide clause, life insurance benefits had been denied, but in light of these new findings, Seth’s lawyer advises him to appeal. The insurance investigator turns out to be the man who broke Bryce’s heart twenty-five years ago. The guy has fallen on hard times, and when he sees how successful Bryce has become—and how large Seth’s potential payout might be—he decides he wants a piece of the pie. Bryce and Seth’s new relationship is severely tested in this second novel in the Open Series.
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This was a fabulous sequel to Open Seating. I adored seeing more Seth and Bryce. They are so good together it’s lovely watching them get together more. I was pulled in right from the beginning and couldn’t put the book down until I finished the story. I liked how Seth and Bryce handled all the twists and turns throughout the story and stayed true to their relationship no matter what. Like Lil said about “third party” influence, seeing them handle external things was very different than having their relationship rocked by something between the two of them. You can tell they’re still solid together and happily in love.
I adored Seth in this story. He gained so much confidence and showed his inner strength throughout the whole story. I love we get to see him come out of his shell and be this fierce man that sticks up for himself and the people he loves. He’s still gentle when needed but do not mess with him! The way he cares for Bryce and expresses his love is beautiful. I loved reading those scenes.
Bryce came shining through in this story. The way he evolved and was able to show his feelings was wonderful. The tender core under that outer shell is so sweet to see. He treats Seth like gold and I love how he treasures their relationship. He has a few moments of macho posturing but quickly realizes he needs to treat Seth as an equal. I’m really eager to see how he shows his love in the next book.
The suspense aspect of the story had me on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading. The way it was threaded through the story was effortless and felt natural. I felt bad for all the things Seth and Bryce had to endure. However it made them stronger. I’m left at the end of the story wondering what’s going to happen next. I’m glad I’ve got the next book in the series now to go ahead and read. I’d be pulling my hair out if I had to wait to see what happens next!
Four and a half
Reading and traveling are my hobbies, but writing is my life. I was introduced to the world of men who love men around the time I discovered Queer as Folk in 2000. The characters on that show intrigued me, and I began to read everything I could find in the m/m genre. Soon after, I found myself writing the kind of stories that I enjoyed reading.
All of my novels are contemporary, and yes, I admit, filled with angst. Drama and emotional upheaval seem to be the ongoing theme so far; I like hurt/comfort stories where my characters work hard for their happy endings. There are usually graphic sex scenes, so if you are uncomfortable with the concept of men loving men, I suggest you move on.
I’ve had the good fortune to live in many parts of the world, but right now, home is a suburb outside the Windy City where the long winters are very conducive to writing.
Once again, I’d like to say thank you for this great review. Very much appreciated!
Great review! Looking forward to reading series and getting to know Seth & Bryce
Thanks for your post and review, and congrats. Sounds like a good series, and a thrilling conclusion with the threat to their friends-to-lovers status.
The ending was so good! Definitely made the series for me. I hope you get a chance to read it too.