Title: Friends With Partial Benefits
Author: Luke Young
Series: Friends With…Benefits #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Source: copy provided by author
Jillian Grayson is a disillusioned divorcée and best-selling romance novelist who can’t write a chapter without her hunky male heartthrob suffering ED, an STD, or even worse. Brian Nash is a tennis-obsessed, college senior who’s unlucky in love and the roommate and best friend of Jillian’s son, Rob. When Rob brings Brian home for spring break and he meets the surprisingly young and also tennis passionate Jillian, their shared interest quickly develops into an intense mutual attraction. After nearly giving in to their feelings, they hatch a plan, while under the influence (of something more than just the perfect Miami night), to be Friends With Partial Benefits complete with rules to define the boundaries. Will the lonely pair continue with this distinctive relationship, actually explore their desires or will they discover all of it is a really bad idea?
Ok, I think this might be a first for me. The author, Luke Young…well, he’s a guy. And he’s a guy writing a sexy, snarky contemporary romance. I’m stretching my brain right now but I don’t think I’ve read a contemporary romance, with full on sexy scenes, written by a guy. I mean, I’ve read books written by guys before and some were even romantical but nothing like this. Not gonna lie, I was a little skeptical when I got his review request. But I read the synopsis and said, what the fuck, let’s read this bitch. My biggest complaint is that it took me so long to get to this one in my never ending mountain of To Be Reads. Damn Mr. Young, you’re funny, really funny, laugh out loud funny and you write the sexy times with skills. Well done mister.
In the interest of full disclosure, you should know, my first job out of college was in sports marketing. I worked for a company that managed the careers of eleven former grand slam tennis champions. Since I started playing tennis at the tender age of five (hitting balls against the side of my garage) this was the most awesome job a 22 year old woman could possibly have. I got to interact with my childhood heroes on a regular basis. I got to travel with them, dine with them, play tennis with them!!! It was awesome. Man, some of them were dirty old guys and I fucking loved it! Ahhhh, the stories I could tell…but I won’t because, well, they’re pretty kick ass guys and I love them. Plus, they arranged the most awesome honeymoon ever for me and My Guy – we could’ve never afforded that treat on our fresh from college budget. Anyway, I’m telling you this because Friends with Partial Benefits has a lot of tennis in it and it made me a little nostalgic. (PS – Mr. Young, you are spot on with your love of the old game, the new young, insanely strong whippersnappers might hit hard but they play like pussies a lot of the time – Laver, Nasty, Emmerson, Rosewall these young guys are not!) And the female grunting, don’t even get me started on that shit. Ok, tennis geek moment over…moving on.
What a great story. I love the characters. Jillian is awesome, smart, funny and so strong. Dealing with her bestie, Victoria is taxing in and of itself but Jillian is unflappable and I love it. I’m a little torn over her son Rob. He might be a good guy, he might be a dick…or maybe it’s just that he’s 21. I tend to think most 21 year old guys are dicks, mainly because that’s all they think with so maybe he’s just a 21 year old dick…guess I’ll have to read the rest of this series to figure him out. And then we have Brian. How much do I love Brian…let me count the ways…he’s sexy, funny, not afraid to be silly, he knows when to keep his mouth shut, he loves tennis and he’s sweet – I mean really sweet. Oh, and he cooks – holy shit, I may have a new hot guy trifecta to noodle out…sweet, great cook, tennis player – that kinda’ hits on all of my deeply embedded triggers…geez Mr. Young, what are you doing to me?!!?
Victoria deserves her own paragraph. Holy shit what a hot mess that woman is! But you know what? I fucking love her. She isn’t afraid to put it out there. I’m greatly intimidated by her sexual escapades but god damn, who wouldn’t be…two blowjobs at once – seriously? Is that even possible? How big is her mouth? Are we talking bigger than Steven Tyler in the mouth department? Were the guys really small ‘cause one is usually a mouthful, no? I do like her ice cube oral sex trick…very nice, very, very nice. But seriously, people don’t always know how to take a woman who isn’t afraid of her sexuality. Victoria’s intentions may have somewhat sad beginnings but hey, at least she’s living life to the fullest…and I mean fullest in every sense and orifice you can imagine. Oh, and she’s spot on with her assessment of marriages today. She feels if people had more mind blowing sex there would be less divorce.
“Look, all I know is that it’s really hard for a couple to ask for a divorce from each other when their genitals are buried in each other’s faces.”
Preach it sister.
So, Brian…I have a feeling Brian may be loosely based on Mr. Young. Here’s where I felt a slight difference with a male vs. female romance author…not at all bad, just different. Usually when I read, I tend to identify with the heroine , hello, I have a vagina. In this one, I felt really close to the hero…not that he has a vagina, just the opposite in fact, Brian has a glorious dick! Yes, glorious and it’s beauty is noted by several women in the book. I just found that little tidbit funny…sorry, I probably shouldn’t use “little tidbit” and “glorious dick” in the same sentence. I don’t think there is anything little about Brian at all. Another thing I love about this book is it feels honest. It seems like ass play is a huge factor in a lot of books nowadays. People love the back door. I have some In Real Life friends who swear by it. I’m not judging, to each his own but HONESTY ALERT…my ass is exit only. Sorry to be blunt but I just can’t, in a million years, imagine finding that particular move fun. I’m a big girl (actually, I’m kinda’ petite but you know what I mean), judge me if you must, I can handle it, go ahead and write, “don’t knock it ‘til you try it” in the comments section. I get it, some people enjoy that, it’s just not for me. In the book, back door is very popular, especially amongst the college aged girls, apparently back door is less intimate than vaginal sex…kinda’ like high school girls today seem to think oral is less than actual penetration. Call me old school but I will never understand those concepts. I had enough casual sex back in the day to know, I didn’t have to love a guy to fuck him but oral and even discussing back door are exceptionally intimate. But maybe that’s just me. And maybe I’m just really fucking old. Anyway, back to the honesty, Jillian and Brian attempt the back door maneuver,
“…and it didn’t go well at all. Inexperience, nervousness, incorrect angling and quite possibly improper preparation all led to a mini-disaster. Following the failed endeavor, they bathed together, then returned to the bedroom and activities that were a little more in their comfort zone…(s)ometimes you just gotta stick with what works.”
Amen to that.
So, give Friends with Partial Benefits a try. I’ve heard Mr. Young writes under another pen name, Ian Dalton. Apparently the books are very similar to this series but with a more erotic edge. One question, why are you holding out on me Luke? Since I just told you about my ass play hard limit, I can call you Luke, right? I look forward to reading the rest of this series and I promise to never ever judge a book by the sex of its author. That’s rude. I’m a judgey, snarky bitch but I’m not rude…now, climb out of my ass and go read.
Series Reading Order
Friends With Partial Benefits
Friends With Full Benefits
Friends With More Benefits
Friends With Extra Benefits
Connect with Luke Young