Author: Amy Lane
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy from publisher
Published: May 2012 by Dreamspinner Press
Quent Jackson has followed Jason Spade's every move in business and in poker since their first day as college freshmen. Eight years later, when Jace finally decides Quent is the one man he can't live without, he sees no reason for that to change.
But as much as Jace believes that poker is life, no one gave Quent the same playbook. After their first passionate night, the real game of love and trust begins, and Jace has been playing alone too long to make teaching the rules easy. Jace only speaks two languages: one of them is sex, and the other one is poker. Between the two, he needs to find a way to convince himself to take a chance on love—and Quent to take a chance on him. It's a lucky thing they’re good at reading the odds, because they’re playing for keeps, and this is one high-stakes relationship that's definitely worth the gamble.
Reviewed By: J9
In a Nutshell: Amazing MM romance which focuses solely on the men’s relationship developments. This book is on my re-read list now.
The Set Up: Jace and Quentin have been best friends since college. Jace has always loved Quent but is scared to risk their friendship by acting on his attraction. One night in the gym’s locker room Jace makes the most important gamble of his life and Quent calls him. Now how does the wary Jace and the no-holds-barred Quent make a relationship work?
Why I Read this Book: This is one of the rare MM books which has only four and five star reviews on Goodreads so I knew I had to try it.
What I Liked: Oh wow, this an amazing book! It’s a rare book that can have the relationship development be the entire focus but this book does it exceedingly well. Jace and Quent are both stellar characters but the process of them defining their relationship is what makes this book outstanding. Readers have a front seat view of the men’s thoughts, feelings and decisions as they become an committed couple. From first having sex, to moving in together, to coming out to their friends, to holiday traditions, they make these steps in believable and heartwarming steps readers are privy to and I simply adored this. The novel covers a year of the men’s life as they become a committed couple and this allows their stellar romance time to develop. Jace has separation anxiety and attachment issues and how he shares these with Quent and how Quent in turn deals with them are exactly why I read the romance genre. The emotional intensity is only matched by the sexual intimacy in the men’s highly erotic romance. Jace and Quent don’t have sex, they make love and even in mid-winter I needed to sit under a fan to read this book!
What I Also Liked: Jace’s uncle who raised him taught him poker and how it can be a metaphor for life. Jace has taken this to heart and given his relationship with Quent the same metaphor. This means poker becomes almost a third character in the men’s relationship and it’s simultaneously humorous as Jace and Quent make side bets and emotional as Quent forces Jace to break poker rules to keep their relationship safe. I loved this metaphor and think other readers will as well.
I have to also mention the wonderful secondary characters. Jace and Quent attend monthly poker games with five of their best friends and these five men play big roles in their romance. They’re included in Jace and Quent’s emotional ending as well and I loved them all. Jace and Quent also own a business together and their office staff makes a family for the men and they enriched the story greatly as well.
What I Didn’t Like: Absolutely nothing could make this stellar book better than it is.
IMO: This is on my re-read list and is one of my new favorite MM romances. What are you still doing here? Shoo—go buy this book already!