My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Okay, Diego is hot. Not gonna lie.
All reasons to stop hoping he takes the rest of his clothes off in front of me.
I could have sworn that I mentioned just how much I loved Dirty Forty and one particular side character in that book that totally stole my heart during his failed date with Zach. And I mean, if you didn't originally think his HEA was with his energy-cleansing-tarot-card-reading-friend Isaac (aka Cashmere), then I would be seriously shocked but Sydney's story was just what I wanted for him. It was goofy, endearing, and showed just how two childhood best friends could reconnect and find so much more than just friendship at the core of their relationship.
I love friend love stories. Even when BFFs have spent a few years apart due to distance and space, when they reconnect and find themselves in the same place and realize that that crush they felt growing up is still there... Beautiful! It's just beautiful! Friends make the best partners and that is what Chasing Fate is at its core, a story about friendship blossoming into something more. And my sweet Sydney (you knew how much I loved Sydney, didn't you?) deserved to find the love he was hoping so desperately for.
Chasing Fate by the wonderful Mia Monroe means that the world of Dirty Forty became the Friendship and Desire series and it is the second book. I have no complaints whatsoever - I needed to know what Sydney's HEA looked like, and let me tell you, I am in LOVE with his man Diego. They were friends during their childhood and lost touch for a while but Diego reaches out when an accident causes him to re-evaluate his life and the road he's travelling. He remembers his friend, remembers that Sydney was the first man he truly had a crush on and when they reconnect he sees that those feelings never really went away. They're still there, and he's even more enamoured with the man that Sydney has grown up to be. The only problem is Sydney and his unflappable belief that his forever love is with a bearded prince.
“I’m not a bear, right?”
“No. You’re not a twink either. You’re kind of a pretty boy.”
“Pretty boy, huh? Is that bad?”
“Everyone has a type. You’ll be somebody’s.”
But not his. Got it.
It kills me poor Diego, because Sydney throws him so many mixed signals. He tries so hard to guard his heart because his past romantic traumas, but Sydney's heart can't hide from Diego and the wooing (seriously like that word for what he did) that he's showered with. Poor Diego felt this pang a few times, and I wanted to slap Sydney but he eventually comes around.
Through all of that the love, support, mutual respect and kindness that they both have for each other are the highlight of the story. This really is a story of love being friendship set on fire and I LOVE IT!
I could wax poetic about Diego and Sydney for hours, but instead because I want you to actually READ the story, I'm going to leave you with some of my...
Favourite Lines -
It’s always the same. I want to find love. Toe-curling, soul-stealing love. Ideally, with a hunky bearded prince who has a good job, his absolute shit together, and is one hundred percent ready to settle down.
At sixteen, I would sometimes even get hard when we wrestled or when his leg brushed against mine at sleepovers. I kind of wanted to tell him, but I was scared that would weird him out. He never looked at me like that.
He would show me his favorite celebrities, and his eyes would light up. I felt jealous, like I wanted his eyes to light up for me.
“Any chance of a love connection?”
I laugh. I never thought my parents would be so encouraging when I told them about my expanded sexuality. “We’re just friends, Mom.”
“Friends make great relationships. Your dad and I were friends first.”
“I’ll tell you a secret,” he whispers loudly.
“I figured out my type.”
“Oh, right. What is it?”
“You.” He laughs. “Night, Sydney.”
It takes me a hundred years to react. By the time I do, Diego is snoring softly. Okay, he’s drunk. He’ll forget all of this in the morning. I close my eyes. I’ll forget it too.
Up to this point, I felt like I was still trying it on a bit, this bisexual title, but now I’m wondering if I was so hung up on which label to assign myself that I wasn’t focusing on the big picture. I date guys. I like guys. I want to fuck guys. A smile pulls at my lips. Yeah. That feels right.
Part of me wishes I was brave enough to walk away from a steady, good-paying job, but then what? Become one of a million influencers on the internet? Build a lifestyle brand from scratch? Does anyone want to follow tips from a super short, very gay, not highly motivated guy whose only achievement to date is successfully not finding the love of his life?
I have no idea what we’re doing tonight, but it doesn’t really matter as long as I’m with Sydney.
Oof. That thought hits me right in the gut. I’m already just as attached to him as I always was.
"If I needed something major, Zach and Dom would be there, I know that, but I wouldn’t call them to tell them I’m lonely and afraid I’ll spend the rest of my life that way. I wouldn’t call Isaac either.”
“I would call you. I know you’d listen.”
“I’d come over with wine.”
“I would do that for you too.”
“I know, Syd.”
And just like when we were kids, I know I would rearrange the planets for him just to see him happy.
“You make it sound easy.”
“I never got the memo that said life was going to be easy.”
“How did your cards tell you what the guy looks like?”
“Well, they didn’t exactly, but I know how to ask the right questions to narrow it down. I’m positive he has a beard.”
“Because you have a beard fetish, or…”
Sydney twists his lips. “I mean, doesn’t that make sense? That the thing you’re most attracted to is a quality your mate would have?”
“He’s not my type.”
“Oh? How has your type been working out for you?”
But last night, that kiss. That was a life-changing kiss, like it actually rearranged my DNA. I felt it in every part of me. It just felt so…right. I remember his words. Then Isaac telling me he’ll be an important part of my life. Is it possible that Isaac is right, and all this time, I’ve been misinterpreting the cards?
If I was a gambling man, I’d bet maybe he was going to tell me he loves me and, holy patron saint of baby bis, I think I want him to. I’m so fucked.
"Are you sure?”
“Are the summers hot in Phoenix?”
I nod as a tear falls. “Yep.”
“I’m as sure as that."
Folks, I want you to run - RUN
- don't walk you have to run and one-click this baby today. You're going to love everything about Sydney and Diego - I promise you, you won't to regret it.
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