Maybe my expectations were just too high this time around. 'Paper Planes' was so well done for me. Everything just worked and I was crazy about the MC's. I felt like the first story focused as much or more on the emotional part of the relationship development as it did the physical. Not this time...this time it was the physical that was front and centre and in some ways I understood that, it was a different type of relationship so it developed in a different way. The dynamics were very different from book one.
This time we have two men each of them famous in their own right, one an actor, one a singer. Their relationship dynamics are defined to meet their needs especially those of Keith Black, the singer. Keith fights a lot of demons...personal, professional and psychological. Adam, the actor loves Keith and does his best to be everything Keith needs and if that includes a third person in bed with them or Keith having a one night stand when they can't be together than he's ok with that and that road runs both ways. They're up front and honest with each other about this, so I'm ok with this aspect of the story. it's their relationship not mine and I don't expect the world real or otherwise to define their relationships by my moral standards, as long as everyone is a consenting adult and happy it's not for me to judge.
My problem with this story came in with the third in this relationship, Sebastian. I just didn't get it. I didn't get the connect, he was 'pretty' that was it. He just didn't seem to be this amazingly wonderful person that these two men who basically had the world at their feet would be falling all over themselves to have. Not that he was awful or a bad person by any means. I just needed the special and it wasn't there and I couldn't see it no matter how hard I tried. I understood the initial attraction because let's face it most relationships start or don't based on that first visual response to a person. Something about them appeals to us not even that they're the most attractive person we've ever seen there's just something that makes us want to know them better, find out more, look for that deeper connection.
For the first 60% or so I was really left with the impression that the biggest connection between Sebastian and these men was the sex. Oh yeah, then there was the sex copious amounts of sex and kink for all. Part way through I found myself just nodding and muttering "yeah, yeah, they're at it again." as I skimmed and moved on. The last 40% of the book was more of an emotional challenge for these men as they were forced to deal with the impact of their relationship on their careers and each other's lives.
So overall while it was by no means the worst book I've ever read. For me it did not display the same depth as Paper Planes. I do think that there is room for a stronger relationship to be shown between these men and we were left with an ending that has the potential to give us more.
Oh yeah, did I mention that Dustin was flying the plane. Yeah, I know it's silly but it always makes me happy when characters from previous books show up. I admit it I'm a dork that way ;-)