Sam and Will grew up on neighboring farms in a small Midwest town and have been inseparable since the day they were born.
They've shared everything in each other's lives--they’ve worked the farms and gone to school together, had countless weekend sleepovers at each other’s homes, and spent their summers swimming in the local quarry, driving the back lanes in Will’s pickup truck, and watching late night movies.
But everything Sam knew is turned on its head one day when Will shows up at school grown from a boy to a man. Sam can’t help but notice the differences in his best friend’s maturing body and realizes that he has more than platonic feelings for his childhood pal.
He’s gone and fallen in love with his best friend.
Afraid of giving himself away and facing the humiliation of rejection, Sam goes to college and puts as much distance as he can between the two of them.
Now they’re both home for Thanksgiving break, and Will refuses to accept Sam’s continued brush-offs and excuses. Demanding answers for Sam’s silence, Will pushes against every one of Sam’s defenses until the situation comes to a heated head...
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 5
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 18-25
Tropes: Coming of Age, Coming Home, Coming Out / Closeted, First Time, Friends to Lovers, True Love, Wide-Eyed Innocence
Setting: Midwest United States
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
Sam and Will grew up together. Their family farms were close, so they became the best of friends. They never did anything or went anywhere without each other. During their last summer together, Sam began to distance himself from Will because he wasn’t always thinking about Will in a best friend sort of way. He was starting to see him as a man. Thinking Will was straight and would hate him if he came out with his feelings, Sam just pushed him away, refusing to answer texts or phone calls while he was at college.
Summer break comes along, and Sam finds there is no way to avoid Will. It’s awkward at first, but once they meet at the quarry where they spent so much time together in the past, both men discover that not only does Sam have feelings for Will, but they’re reciprocated. After they spend a wonderful summer together, Sam and Will must return to reality. They manage to make it through until Thanksgiving break when they are able to reunite. They’re thrilled to see each other, but they’re falling deeper and deeper for each other, and they have to decide how they’re going to make their budding relationship work while they’re away from each other…and whether to make it public.
I’m not sure if I can come up with the proper way to describe Just Like That to you. Is it simply a romance? Is it erotica? I lean toward erotica because there is a lot of sex going on. It’s tender, beautifully written, filthy sex, and even though the scenes are plentiful, they never feel gratuitous or out of place. Sam and Will were virgins and they had a lot of discovering to do. It was actually wonderful to be along with them on this journey.
Both Sam and Will are wonderful boys. The only singular character flaw I was able to see was Sam’s unwillingness to actually have a conversation with Will about his feelings, rather than just avoiding them. That is completely forgiven when they confess their love for each other at the quarry. The scene was wonderful, and everything that was pent up was released in such a sweet, hot, and sexy way.
As you can tell by now, Sam and Will had amazing chemistry, and I fell in love with both of them. Their hearts were so pure, and the way they clung to each other every time they were together melted my heart. It’s been a long time since I’ve read MCs this genuine, and I’m still thinking about them two days after finishing the book.
There aren’t too many background characters to be concerned with. Mrs. Hillson was the housekeeper/farm manager/general caretaker of Will and his brother Michael (who has already left home and gotten married). She stepped in and took over when Sam and Michael’s parents were killed. Then, there is Will’s family…his Mom, Dad, and sister Nat. We meet them at Thanksgiving, and they’re happy and loving. However, I have to say I was so annoyed by Will’s Mom. She isn’t aware Will is gay. In fact, she’s clueless, so she spends the entire book, until the very end, trying to fix him up with Sarah Miller, the cute redhead. At first, it was kind of cute, but by the time it was all said and done, I was becoming uncomfortably angry.
I was completely caught up in this story. So much, I wasn’t paying attention to how far into it I was. The ending came quickly enough, I felt surprised and shouted, “That’s IT??” Saying that, I can’t tell you I was disappointed. Just Like That was great, and as soon as I found out there is a sequel already released, I was able to relax. I’m so pleased with this novella, I’m going to recommend it to everyone. It’s a sweet, romantic, achingly hot, low angst, HFN read. I can’t wait to read the follow up.
PS…Loved how the author was able to squeeze the words just like that into several parts of the story.