by Amy Jo Cousins
Series: Full Hearts #1
Also in this series: HeartOn
Publisher: Amy Jo Cousins
Publication Date: April 21, 2017
I received an advance review copy of this book from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My rating:
Some mistakes are worth making.
Benji never meant to catfish a hot, college football player in Minnesota when he met a fellow anime fan online. But when @joshfortytwo announces he’s coming to Miami for a spontaneous visit, Benji is pretty sure the left tackle (whatever that is) expects to meet a cute girl in a bikini, not an aging twink hoping to finally get his life together when he finishes massage therapy school.
Josh doesn't let himself wonder about questions like:
• why don't you want to ask @princessglitter if she's a girl?• why don't you tell your friends that you can't hang on Sunday nights because you've got a date to watch anime with your new BFF?• why do you call it a date?
He just knows he needs to escape from the stress of having been injured just before the bowl game, and @princessglitter has somehow become his best friend.
But when Josh's secrets and Benji's sex appeal smash together for forty-eight scorching hours, they're going to feel the heat from Miami to Minnesota.
Oh my gosh, this was just lovely! It’s so sweet and low-angst, and laugh-out-loud funny.
Josh is a 25-year-old college football player who had a real shot at going pro – until an ACL injury sidelined him. The only thing that takes his mind off his future is talking with his online best friend, @princessglitter. They met in the comments section of an anime video, and now live tweet an episode together every Sunday. While they’ve joked about Josh visiting @princessglitter in Miami, they’ve never talked on anything except twitter. After a particularly bad night right before Christmas, Josh makes a 3am decision to buy a last-minute ticket from Minnesota to Miami. It’s not until he walks into a McDonald’s in Miami and comes face to face with Benji – aka @princessglitter – that he’s hit with a landslide of embarrassment and… excitement?
“’Holy shit.’ Benji stared blindly at the chipping paint on his studio apartment door. ‘I accidentally catfished a football player.’”
Josh is your average college football player – 6′ 6″ and 285 pounds, driven to do well at both his college courses and football. Benji is a much scrawnier man in his thirties, who likes Hello Kitty T-shirts and sparkly sandals, and who, after struggling for direction in his twenties, is within reach of completing his massage therapy training. Besides their love for Ruby Rose, the online anime they watch, they’re complete opposites, and I had some serious reservations about how their relationship would work out before they met in person. But, after – they’re both smart, sweet, and romantic, and they complement each other perfectly.
“’I’m awake,’ Josh muttered. ‘And I’m definitely still gay. And still here because I like you.’”
While this could’ve strayed to “gay for you” or insta-love tropes, it’s much deeper than that. Josh has known that he’s gay for quite a while, but it’s not until he meets Benji – and gets caught staring at his butt within the first five minutes – that he finally admits it to himself. Their online friendship – and flirting – makes the whirlwind romance believable. I also liked that we got to see how each guy fits into the other’s life. After Josh meets all of Benji’s Miami gay club scene friends, Benji eventually visits Minnesota and meets Josh’s football friends (and plays paintball with them, one of my favorite scenes).
“Because as much as he’d flung himself head first off the Cliffs of Crushing Out on Your Online Bestie into the Sea of Long Distance Love, and as much as he believed Josh had taken the plunge with him, Benji was a grown up. A thirty-two-year-old veteran of relationships that hadn’t survived different tastes in music and favorite brunch spots, much less an eighteen hundred mile cross-country gap.”
Do I wish there was more? Yes, of course. I would’ve liked to see more scenes building their relationship while they were long distance, but I understand this is a novella. As for other cons, I’m not up on all the anime lingo, so some of the OTP and shipping and everything was confusing for me, though I think Ms. Cousins did a good job trying to explain it without going overboard. Also, I think the resolution of their relationship, while sweet, was unsatisfying because I couldn’t quite believe they’d make it for sure as a couple after only spending a few weeks together in the same place. I also wish Josh’s casual outing of himself would have been explored more, though I’m glad we got to see it from Benji’s point of view.
Overall, this is a sweet and enjoyable read. If you’re looking for a Netflix-and-chill kind of relationship, then you’ll love this!