Hey. Caitlin Ricci here talking about my new novel, About Last Night. This is the second book in my Thornwood series and the stories can be read in any order.
The big components to this series are men falling in love, one night stands, and cheating. I wanted to play with the idea of cheating in this series because it can mean so many things to different people. In this novel Rem has a girlfriend and he and Thomas are also together so the line is pretty well drawn there. Rem is cheating and Thomas knows about his girlfriend and they make the decision to have sex anyway. In their situation I wanted to play with their reactions to what they’ve decided to do. The book is from Thomas’s POV and he has a lot of guilt to work through. He adores Rem, he cares about him greatly, and he wants him for himself. But Rem can’t come out of the closet, despite how much he cares about Thomas too.
Cheating can mean a variety of things, and even in a monogamous relationship cheating isn’t completely cut and dry. The idea of what constitutes cheating can also vary as the relationship grows or if there’s an event that dramatically changes how things are in the relationship. You might think your partner going out with their friend is fine for years up until they come clean about having sex with that friend. Then the relationship would change, if it was to continue at all.
There is also the idea of what we see as cheating as people on the outside of a relationship. For some people an open relationship works well. For others the only relationship that is comfortable to them is one of complete monogamy. As someone who is polyamorous but married to a monogamous person I’ve had to shift my thinking some to see cheating from his perspective and not what I’m comfortable with in terms of the affection I give to my friends. To some people me holding hands with my friends or kissing them on their cheeks would be seen as a sign of me cheating with them. Thankfully my husband understands how I am with them and we’ve talked about what would actually be cheating and what wouldn’t be. I adore my close friends. I absolutely love them. But I know where the line has been drawn on what would actually end up hurting him if I was to do it.
I think in relationships communication is the biggest thing. If a hug with a friend is cheating to you, that’s something to say before it happens. Trust is a big part of any relationship as well.
Cheating can absolutely suck and it’s hard to deal with on many levels. There’s the lack of trust involved, the feeling that I did something wrong or somehow I wasn’t good enough. But when people cheat it’s something that’s on them and it has nothing to do with the person who was cheated on. If the lines in a relationship are clearly drawn and they are crossed then that’s a decision the other person made and it has nothing to do with the person who was cheated on. I’ve been cheated on and it ruined a perfectly good friendship turned relationship that could have easily gone back to a friendship if the other person had just said something first. It sucked and I wish they had talked to me about how they were feeling. That’s why I think communication is so important. If you’re unhappy, say something. If that doesn’t work, then leave.
Cheating is also a pretty controversial topic, especially in romance. I didn’t set up this series to be controversial but I can see where it’s going to be. The other books in the series are a bit gray at times when it comes to cheating. They might be in a defined relationship or they might not be. It’s really up to the reader to decide if they consider what the characters are doing at that point is cheating or not. In About Last Night that’s not the case at all. The cheating part is absolutely there. But it’s how the characters handle the aftermath of what they’ve done, and their feelings for each other, along with the moral issues around such obvious cheating, that I wanted to explore and work with.
I enjoyed going through the range of emotions that came with this central conflict and if you’re up for the ride I hope you’ll check out About Last Night to see how it all gets worked out in the end.
Thank you for spending some time with me today. Have you been cheated on? How did you handle it?
About Last Night
Before jumping into his first semester of college, Thomas Maloney decides to lose his virginity at a party to a stranger he’s sure he’ll never see again. Only the next day, he’s surprised to learn the same one-night stand will be sharing his dorm room. Thomas considers himself lucky, but his new roommate—not so much.
Closeted as they come, football jock Remington “Rem” Daniels is on track for a shot at the pros. Rem tries to play it cool and avoid falling for the confidently gay Thomas, which could hurt his chances. Dealing with their constant need to get in bed together wouldn’t be so hard if Rem didn’t have a girlfriend and Thomas didn’t have a conscience.
When she delivers news that will change Rem’s life forever, Thomas knows it’s time to move back home to Thornwood, Colorado. But neither the distance nor knowing Rem belongs to someone else helps Thomas get over him. Rem’s feelings haven’t changed either. When it comes down to love or football, Rem will have to make the hardest choice of his life and hope Thomas will still be waiting for him when he does.
Review by Roroblu’sMum
Not at all what I expected – I’m not sure what to make of it. 3.5*.
So, you’ve read the blurb and I did too, before deciding to read this book. I can’t fault the author’s writing, and I can’t bring myself to think badly of the male leads, though essentially what they did when they decided to have a relationship was cheating. I appreciated that they had feelings for each other and that those feelings were true and remained there until they got…whatever it is they ended up with.
This book is hard to review without giving away spoilers, but beware going in that it spans about four years from when the leads first met, not the short timespan that the blurb intimates, and that it involves an innocent being whose future wasn’t discussed and it involved one guy having his cake and eating it and the other putting his entire life on hold for a while. Am I glad I read it? Yes, because it threw me and I’m not often thrown by books these days. This is definitely not a book that jumps on the bandwagon and goes with the GFY trope. It’s not strictly a romance in my book, pun intended – it’s a bit of a saga, really, that covers the lives of many connected people.
Had the ending been more, had it been equal and honest for both parties and had I known what their plans truly were, where they’d end up and the kind of lives they’d end up having, I’d have rated this a 4* read. As it was, I continued to think that one lead had continued to have his cake and was still happily eating it, and the other was…still on hold in some ways.
Worth a read, but don’t have too many expectations going on – keep an open mind and perhaps you’ll appreciate the tale and the author’s writing talents, even if perhaps this ‘love story’ doesn’t qualify as a grand amour in your book. Or mine.
ARC courtesy of Dreamspinner Press and Divine Magazine, in return for an honest review.
Caitlin was fortunate growing up to be surrounded by family and teachers that encouraged her love of reading. She has always been a voracious reader and that love of the written word easily morphed into a passion for writing. She comes from a military family and the men and women of the armed forces are close to her heart. She also enjoys gardening and horseback riding in the Colorado Rockies where she calls home with her wonderful husband and their two dogs. Her belief that there is no one true path to happily ever after runs deeply through all of her stories.
Publisher and Distributor of Gay Romance Novels, Short Stories, and eBooks