Blitzed (Rules of Possession #3) by S.E. Harmon
Estimated Release Date: November 1st, 2022
I’ve waited for this story in what feels like forever.
The Blueprint and A Deeper Blue were among the first M/M stories I ever read, and they remain at the top of my all time favourite romance novel list.
Now, Blitzed isn’t about Kelly and Blue (even if they do make a few appearances) but about Andrew McAdams – Blue’s sort of but not quite arch nemesis.
And it’s awesome.
It doesn’t reach the same laugh-and-snort level as the first two instalments. Andrew’s more mature than Blue, and Jesse isn’t even near as snarky as Kelly, but Blitzed still has that same Harmon vibe that I adore. A glorious blend of immature humour, sarcasm and cynicism. Love it!
Technically it’s not absolutely necessary to read the first books in the series, it’s probably possible to enjoy it as a stand-alone. But why would you want to? If you haven’t read the first two you’ve missed out big time. So read those first.
Synopsis: The story starts with Andrew injured, struggling with his physical therapy to work his way back in shape and get back in the game. When a nap in his car ends up getting him community service, Andrew chooses to work at Rainbow Harbor, an LGBTQ+ youth centre managed by Jesse Fox, a guy Andrew’s been unsuccessfully trying to charm into going on a date. Jesse is determined to keep turning down Andrew, no matter how tempting he is. Jesse’s been burned before, and anyway, a public relationship with an NFL star is out of the question because of Jesse’s past.
The tone of this story is different than the first two books. It’s more serious somehow. Maybe because of the setting of an underfunded LGBTQ+ youth centre, or because of Jesse’s demons and how his troubled past dictates his present life. But it’s still light and sweet romance when it comes down to it, with a HEA of course.
Andrew surprised me.
Sure, I knew he was a good guy, that much was clear from Kelly’s viewpoint in the previous books. But I was expecting more of an immature man-child (Blue version 2 maybe?), but instead he turned out to be this super sweet and considerate guy who wasn’t afraid to be vulnerable. Fun-loving and goofy, yes, but not so much that it took over his entire personality. Jesse was a bit on the serious side. His job is his life, and his personal life suffers for it. His past experiences – both with his family and a previous partner – makes it hard for him to trust anyone.
It might sound like Andrew pursues Jesse in the “won’t-take-no-for-an-answer” creepy kind of way, but’s that not the case at all. Harmon managed to keep Andrew’s interest and flirting light and playful, without ever crossing the line. And I also thought Jesse’s conflicted feelings were nicely depicted. He’s obviously very attracted to Andrew but is afraid for so many reasons.
I thought Jesse’s background was super intriguing, and I would have loved for that to have been an even bigger part of the story. There’s him being thrown out on the street as a teen, his on-going tentative contact with his father, and the hard choices he had to make to survive on the street. Jesse’s experiences are stark contrasts to Andrew’s life, even if he too have some demons of his own.
All in all. This is a delightful read with just the right amount of steam, humour and angst. I can’t lie though, Kelly and Blue are still my favourites, but Andrew and Jesse exceeded my expectations.
Also, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Trace gets his own book. A redemption story is just what he (and I) needs.
Anyway. 5 stars. Highly recommend.
* A complimentary e-book was kindly provided by Gay Romance Reviews and this is my unbiased and voluntary review *