Review: Nothing Ventured by Jay Northcote
Publish Date: November 12, 2014
Reviewed by: Heller
How I got this book: E-Arc from Publisher
“When Aiden agrees to run the Mad Mucker—a twelve-mile muddy slog over an obstacle course—he’s expecting it to be a bit of a laugh. The training will be tough, but Aiden could use the motivation to regain some fitness. Matt is the sexy cousin of one of Aiden’s coworkers and a last-minute addition to the team. When he agrees to train with Aiden, Aiden suddenly finds the prospect of regular workouts a lot more appealing.
Soon attraction flares, and they embark on an intense physical relationship. Matt doesn’t want to fall in love with a man, and Aiden doesn’t want to fall in love at all, but despite their insistence on no strings, they grow closer. As the day of the race approaches, time is running out for them to work out how they feel about each other.”
This had an interesting set-up. The men, Aiden and Matt, are pushed into being training partners for an upcoming obstacle race. Aiden was persuaded through a friend at work to sign up on the office team and Matt, who works at a gym, is that same friend’s cousin. This got off to a rough start for me. I found Matt cold and Aiden a bit douchey. It takes a while for the guys to warm up to each other and as they did I found myself enjoying the story more but with reservations. There was a tenseness to their interactions which fell firmly on the workout buddies with benefits. Aiden also has a similar relationship going with a old boyfriend from school, Pete, for part of the read as well.
It’s all very casual, casual until it isn’t anymore. Things start to move into a more intense zone and that scares off Matt which upsets Aiden. It’s all very Alpha male bristling to the point where I wanted to knock their heads together. Any hint of vulnerability had them both shying at the gate.
After all the intense backing off the men engaged in I found that things wrapped up a bit too easily during the race, still it was nice to see it all work out so handily. The epilogue was both fun and pushed the relationship forward to a point where I could see it working out well into the future. All in all this was a decent read with an interesting premise. I found the characters and their relationship a bit too stiff and awkward at first but I grew to enjoy their slightly tense interactions which were balanced out with a few light-hearted and sweet moments.
I’m giving “Nothing Ventured” a C+