Lily Morton has become a favorite author since last year, particularly for her snarky sarcastic British humor and I have gotten used to waiting for every new release of hers. Milo and Niall were introduced in Oz and I’ve wanted to know more of their story since then. But this book turned to be something I wasn’t expecting.
Milo’s backstory was very painful to read. He’s a fighter, who struggled hard to overcome his stutter and gain confidence before losing it all again because of an abusive relationship. I enjoyed reading about his growth, how he slowly realized what and who he wanted in life and he needed a lot of nudging to get there. Niall is very confident, kind of like a force of nature, whom Milo has always crushed on but isn’t sure if he can actually be with such a person. It takes a lot of time for Milo to see Niall in a different light than his ex and for Niall to see Milo as a prospective partner rather than his closest friend and former lover’s brother. Even though there were some feelings on both sides, the relationship was quite a slow burn and took time to develop and I enjoyed it.
The side characters have always played very significant roles in Morton’s earlier books and that’s where this book faltered for me. It was a joy to see so much more of Silas and Oz along with their adorable daughter Cora and each of them were instrumental in helping the MCs realize their true feelings. However, the whole arc with Milo’s brother Gideon, his and Niall’s sometime lover Jacinta and various other friends of theirs felt like a filler, not adding anything important to the story while also being a turn off sometimes. While the story of a main character going from being one brother’s lover to another wouldn’t necessarily be a deal breaker for me, I don’t think it wasn’t handled well here. The signature humor of Morton, while present in the first half of the book, was few and far between as the story progressed.
Finally, I can probably say that I had a lot of expectations from this book and it didn’t live up to them. While I liked both the MCs individually and am glad that they got together, I wasn’t completely invested in the story and kept getting distracted while reading. I can sense that the upcoming book will probably be about Gideon, and while I didn’t like his character, I don’t think I will be giving it a miss. I recommend this if you are a Lily Morton fan like me, but go into it with lowered expectations.