By the Book by Scarlett Parrish
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Three words: Daniel Fucking Cross
But....more about him later.
And before I get into the review of THIS book, let me mention the previous book I read by Scarlett Parrish - Long Time Coming (LOVED IT). The only thing I wasn’t happy with was the lack of an epilogue. Well - you get the epilogue in this book!! Ok, so it’s not a real epilogue, it’s just a few sentences. BUT, at least I know where Piper and Leo are headed! Swoon.....
But, back to By The Book....
It starts out with (seemingly) mild mannered librarian Reece at work and in walks author Daniel Cross (yea, THAT one). He's there to do some work on his latest book, but there seems to be a spark between him and Reece. A spark of what, Reece isn't exactly sure. You know, since he is hetero and has a girlfriend and all. So then we have "mild mannered" Reece celebrating his birthday with his girlfriend, Georgia. Her gift to him? A threeway with her BFF, Sarah. Oh yea. So obviously Mr. Reece McVanillasex isn't so vanilla after all. This is when you know things are probably gonna get freaky-deaky with Daniel Fucking Cross at some point. (At least, in my filthy mind, I was hoping they would.) Ah, Daniel Cross - he wears guyliner, writes books, and is pretty sure he is God’s gift to anyone with a pulse.
So, of course, eventually, Reece and Daniel strike up a friendship and they dance around the unspoken attraction, and eventually Reece confesses that his bedroom activities are, shall we say, open minded. And also mentions that he and his girlfriend wouldn't be opposed to bringing in Daniel for some happy fun sexy times. (YES!) And it’s a threeway that is totally hot. The sexual tension that sparks between Reece and Daniel is delicious, even with Georgia in the room and Reece pretending there isn’t any sexual tension there. Wowza.
After their threeway, Georgia decides she wants another go at Daniel. And, of course, Reece agrees. So one night, he heads to Daniel’s apartment to discuss this with him. This meeting ends in a hot kiss between the two men. Reece’s first kiss from a man, actually. And I love this quote from Daniel: “Well, for your fist time, that wasn’t bad, and let’s face it, if the first man you kiss is Daniel Cross, you struck gold there.” Gah. I love a cocky man. (Tee hee - cocky) And what follows shortly after this is, perhaps, one of my favorite scenes in the book. And one of the hottest. Reece, alone in the shower, while thinking about Daniel. Either I’ve never read a masturbation scene in another book or this one was so real and so hot that it wiped the others from my mind. But yea. Reece, jacking off to thoughts of Daniel Fucking Cross was H.O.T.
Things start to get messy with Reece tells Georgia that Daniel kissed him while they were at Daniel’s apartment. Georgia gets pissed and Reece feels a little blindsided. I mean, he’s seen her fuck other dudes. He’s seen her with other chicks. She’s seen him with other chicks......but him kissing a dude that they’ve both been naked with is suddenly off limits? I mean, I understand her reasoning - she wasn’t there - but still. Double standard, much? Geo and Reece essentially breakup and Reece ends up at Daniel’s. And finally (FINALLY) Reece and Daniel get it on. Daniel finally gets what he’s been wanting all along - buttsecks from Reece. And while it takes a little longer for Reece to agree to getting buttsecks from Daniel (he thought he was hetero, remember) - they finally do go there. And it is just as hot as you can imagine it to be. How could it NOT be? It’s Daniel Fucking Cross.
The thing that I was most torn with in this book was Georgia. One part of me wanted to feel sorry for her because she is the jilted lover. Technically, her boyfriend cheated on her and eventually left her for another man. (Even though he tried to avoid that by offering that they all live happily ever after as a trio, but Georgia wasn’t down for that.) Then on the other hand, Georgia and Reece (as a couple) often brought a third party into the bedroom. It’s foolish to think that (eventually) someone is going to have feelings that venture out of the “it’s just hot monkey sex” zone. And, unfortunately for Geo, it happened with Daniel and Reece. For the longest time, I really hoped that Georgia would agree to being part of a threesome. I guess it was me feeling sorry for her, and not wanting to see her heart broken. But in reality, I could only see Reece ending up with one person - Daniel Fucking Cross. And I can’t even hate on Reece like I want to. I want to think he’s an absolutely bastard for what he did to Georgia. I want to hate him. But I can’t. He fought his attraction to Daniel. Didn’t want to want him. But in the end, the heart wants what it wants and it doesn’t always agree with our head. So how can you be mad at someone for what they couldn’t help? If Georgia can understand that, then so can I.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the best thing about Scarlett Parrish’s writing....her ability to write internal dialogue and spoken dialogue and have them flow together so effortlessly. I love that the most about her books, well, that and the smoking hot sex scenes! I can’t wait for more from her!
Plus - Daniel Fucking Cross. (Just had to throw that in one more time.)