Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Release Day Review: A Casual Thing by Annabelle Jacobs (Includes Excerpt)

A Casual thingTitle ~ A Casual Thing

Author ~ Annabelle Jacobs

Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press 

Published ~ 1st July 2015

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance





Patrick Mason travels to Bristol to spend the summer with his brother, Ben. He’s cat sitting for the first two weeks while Ben goes on holiday. But Ben neglected to tell him he wouldn’t be doing it alone. Will Adams—Ben’s mate and Patrick’s long-time crush—is staying in Ben’s guest room while he waits to move into his new house after a breakup.

Against his better judgment, Patrick convinces Will that a little no-strings fun is just what they need. Patrick doesn’t want to get involved with a guy on the rebound, and Will isn’t interested in starting something serious with a student. But Patrick’s never been good at separating sex from feelings, and this time is no exception. As their weeks together draw to a close, they need to decide if they have something worth pursuing or if it’s really just a casual thing.

Debra’s Review

Patrick is looking forward to housesitting for his older brother Ben while he is away for two weeks and then spending the summer with him before returning to university for his final years of studies. It’s all perfect until Patrick arrives and Ben drops the bomb that his friend Will, who Patrick has a not so secret, “huge unrequited and frankly, embarrassing crush on”, has broken up with his boyfriend and will be sharing the house with Patrick for the next two weeks until he can move into his new home. The two get along great, despite Patrick’s crush, but now that Will is single, Patrick sees a chance of something happening between them. Knowing about the crush, Will figures he’ll just set some boundaries and things will be just fine. That idea is great until he gets an accidental eyeful of a naked Patrick. One thing leads to another and Patrick offers a deal of a little casual, no strings attached sex for the next two weeks. What could possibly go wrong with that?

Both Will and Patrick go into the situation knowing it’s a bad idea, but for different reasons. Patrick knows there’s no way his feelings won’t be involved since he’s crushed so long and tends to get attached to men quickly. Will doesn’t generally do casual, but has no interest in pursuing any relationship, no less a long distance one when Patrick leaves. The one issue they both have is Ben, but he’s fine as long as they don’t hurt each other, have sex in his bed or make things weird for him. It’s almost immediately clear to both that feelings are definitely involved and the line between casual and “something more” is quickly blurred. Patrick is holding out hope that he can change Will’s mind over the short time they have alone together, but when he approaches Will about it things go bad fast.

This was my first book by Annabelle Jacobs and I enjoyed the dialogue, and the pace of the writing. I really fell for Patrick and his ability to awkwardly go for what he wants. Told in dual point of view, the majority of the story takes place in the apartment over a ten day period with just the two men, but I feel like I got to know Patrick a lot better than Will, who really doesn’t open up until the end.

Since the story revolves around casual sex, there are enough sex scenes to keep it in the forefront, but I didn’t think they overtook the story. I adored their first kiss and the rest of the scenes went from quick and dirty to tender and sweet. There are not many secondary characters, but Ben was an entertaining and supportive presence throughout the story along with Patrick’s co-worker and admirer, Christian.

Mostly a light read, it did manage to grab me and tug at my heart enough for me to be really angry at Will for his inability to communicate honestly with Patrick or think before he acts. There is a realistic, happy and hopeful ending, though some may see it as more HFN than HEA. I’ll be looking forward to reading more of Annabelle Jacobs’ contemporary stories in the future.

Purchase Links





Patrick stopped, the words dying on his tongue as he noticed Ben wince.

“No.” He jumped off the bed, fisting his hands in his hair. “No fucking way. Ben, please tell me you’re not leaving me alone for two weeks with the guy I have a huge unrequited, and frankly, embarrassing, crush on?”

Ben shrugged. “He needed somewhere to stay. I’d sort of forgotten you had the hots for him.”

“How could you forget?” Patrick paced in front of the bed. “The last time I was here, I tried to climb into his lap and told him how hot he was. In front of his boyfriend.”

“Oh yeah.” Ben grinned, and Patrick stopped his pacing to punch him on the arm.

“It’s not funny.”

“It was hilarious.” Ben ducked out of the way when Patrick tried to punch him again. “Look, you were drunk. We all were. He doesn’t hold it against you.”

“But he won’t have forgotten.” The whole thing still made Patrick cringe every time he thought about it. He may have been drunk, but sadly not drunk enough to wipe the horrifying experience from his brain.

“Sit down. I think you might be overreacting just a tad.” Ben even used his finger and thumb to demonstrate how much he thought Patrick was overreacting before grabbing Patrick’s arm and yanking him back down onto the bed.

Patrick sighed. Fine. Maybe he was being overly dramatic, but come on. This was Will. Tall, dark, and handsome, and as easygoing as Ben. He oozed charm and made you want to curl up with him somewhere warm and never ever move. Well, that last part could just be Patrick.


He was going to make such an arse of himself. He flopped onto the bed and covered his face. “I hate you. You are the worst brother ever.”



Connect with Annabelle Jacobs

Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with her husband, three rowdy children, and two cats.
An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They're usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.


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