Review: Just Between Us by J.J. Scotts

Some secrets are meant to stay hidden.

Ryan wants to be more than Sam’s childhood friend; he’s wanted more for a long time. Afraid of pushing Sam away, Ryan kept his fantasies hidden. As a charming clean-cut high school English teacher, Ryan has been able to date attractive women from time to time to keep up the charade.

Sam, a popular prize-winning romance author, is everything Ryan could want. His devilishly handsome face and well-built tall figure has his many fans drooling over him and not just his books. Despite the attention, Sam prefers to stay under the radar.

One night, Sam asks Ryan’s opinion on writing a gay romance novel instead of his usual heterosexual romances. Why is he asking Ryan?

Is Sam trying to get Ryan to fess up? Will Ryan’s secret end their relationship for good or change it into something new?
Well hello Ryan and Sam.

This was a short and steamy friends- to-lovers story from a new author that I really liked. This is a story about friends from way back who have maintained their friendship into adulthood. Ryan is a teacher and Sam is a successful author. Ryan has been in love with Sam since their younger days, but has never confessed his feelings. He thinks Sam is straight and would never do anything to jeopardize their friendship even if it does leave him lonely and a little frustrated. This is mostly told from Ryan’s POV so I could feel his trepidation in the back of the limo when the guys are heading home after dinner together and Sam tells Ryan about the characters in his new romance novel. Sam is breaking his pattern and the love interests in his next book are both male, Ryan is surprised, but not for the reason Sam thinks.

What starts as an experimental kiss leads to panting confessions and some seriously steamy scenes. From the back of the limo to Sam’s bedroom, the two connect and make up for over a decade of unrequited lust. I’m a little leery about calling it love just yet. I could definitely feel Ryan’s love for Sam given the story is told from his perspective, I just didn’t get enough of Sam to feel confident in his love for Ryan. There were a couple of glimpses of his feelings, just not quite enough to take it to Ryan’s level and I wanted that for Ryan.

This was a really pretty well flushed out short story from a previously unpublished author and I would definitely read more of her work. There were a few editing issues, but I’ve seen a lot more from authors with dozens of books to their name, so it wasn’t anything that really took me out of the story. There were a few descriptions during the sex scenes that were a little gratuitous and I wanted to just reword a sentence or two to make them a little less cliché and more personal for Ryan and Sam.

Overall I would recommend this steamy short after a heavy angst filled read when you just need a break and need to clear the cobwebs. It’ll take you to a sexy happy place with likable characters I wanted to know more about.

A copy of this story was provided by the author for an honest review.

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