Review: Just a Casual Thing
Just a Casual Thing by Scarlet Blackwell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Finding the one person who gets you feels so good. Nate and Roman are friends with benefits for the past few years. Ronan is Nate's Monday night sex date that has lasted through every other man Nate's dated. With someone like this as a steady loving companion, what more could Nate want? Apparently Ronan is nothing but a hole to plug for Nate. Nate is always looking for that "one" to complete him. He thinks he finds it in another man, Shane.
This story is a messed up and painful one to read. The saddest passage would have to be: When he spoke, Ronan's voice trembled. "Tell me this, Nate. In two years, people have come and gone. You always seem to be searching for the right one and how come, not once, have you ever looked closer to home and thought it might be me?" This part just killed me. I could feel the hurt radiating off the pages of the book from Ronan. Ms. Blackwell does an exceptional job at ripping out the reader's heart and stomping all over it. Her characters are designed realistic with good parts yet flawed. The mental stability of some of the characters is questionable, but the way the characters worm into a reader's heart is not.
Ms. Blackwell paints a vivid picture with slashes of red bursting across the canvas. The only other colours in this train wreck relationship entanglement are the lovely black, blue and purple resulting from unintentional bruising. There is not a single character main or secondary that isn't complicating their relationship and causing another person to slowly be crushed to death from neglect or rejection. The picture of this group of men isn't flattering. Their selfish needs seem to overshadow any little redeeming qualities in Nate and Shane.
The only innocent collateral damage is Ronan. The journey of growth Nate takes doesn't make up for the destruction he's caused. Because of how he wrecked havoc across multiple relationships, this book was difficult for me to read and enjoy. I was so angry and disgusted at Nate the entire time. For the story to resolve in the manner it did was too kind to him, even if it did make sense.
This emotional story of heartbreak is recommended to m/m readers who enjoy suffering a thousand cuts to the heart whilst still pretending everything is okay.
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