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Top Secret, Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

This book was a blast. It’s been so long since this duo did their last MM book and I can tell you it is well worth the wait!

Top Secret begins with Keaton (Lobster Shorts) deciding to gift his girlfriend a threesome for her birthday. He cares so much for her he wants to make it perfect so he has to do his research right?

He wants a stranger so he joins a hook up app where he meets Sinner Three who he immediately hits it off with. Sinner Three wants Keaton to really think about what he is comfortable with before their hookup and when Keaton needs help working out whether he will be ok with a man touching him… let’s just day that’s when things get fun.

Little do they know, that in real life they are closer than they think…

“Logging out of the app last night was painfully hard. So was the state of my dick. You have no idea how hot it is helping a guy explore his sexuality.”

This was right on the money for me. I particularly love MM books where one or both protagonists is discovering and learning about their sexual preferences Something just makes me happy about people finding out and getting comfortable with who they are, especially since often clicking this together helps them to realise what was missing in their lives and happiness.

The banter between these boys was hilarious especially over messages. It was cute how they could switch from joking to serious, from lovers to friends so comfortably and I loved how they couldn’t stay away from each other.

“He said I was stingy with love, and he was right. I am really not sure that will ever change. But if there’s anyone in the world I could change for, it’s certainly him.”

As they get to know each other more we see a bit of a change in roles. The boy that initially came across as a douche actually became the one who pushed and cared more for the relationship when it was in trouble. And the boy who seemed to have it all together, was the ones whose life started to fall apart.

I found the characters had depth and their actions throughout the book felt consistent with their situations and personalities. The classic break up and reconnection felt realistic and not too rushed for the sake of the book ending.

“I’m just a guy, standing on a beach in nothing but his favorite pair of lobster shorts, waiting for the right man to love me.”

There was a nice foil with the reactions and treatment of the boys sexuality by those around them. One’s parents were awful while the others were surprisingly accepting some friends were supportive while others were assholes.

I particularly enjoyed how they played with the main “asshole” Judd. At first Keaton was insistent Judd was a great guy, a real bro and not as bad as he could come across. But as Keaton started to realise he was gay and therefore becoming part of a minority he started to realise that Judd’s behaviour was not ok. This kind of learning really showed growth in his character and I think it was a good message of how we can sometimes excuse awful behaviour simply because it doesn’t effect us, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still awful.

“Acknowledging my sexuality is starting to feel inevitable. My attraction to Luke isn’t just a one-off thing. My attraction to men is here to stay and keeping that bottled up feels wrong now. It makes the secret feel enormous.”

I do feel like Keaton and his girlfriends relationship was a bit unexplained. When certain things happened it felt a bit forced for the sake of the plot as I hadn’t picked up on the vibes earlier in the book.

I can’t wait to get more of these books!

It’s terrifying. Still. I don’t pull away yet, because the things I want are bigger than my fear.


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