This was such an emotional, completely addictive and swooning enemies-to-lovers story with amazing character growth! And some truly amazing chemistry between the main characters... I read this book in one sitting due to how much I loved it.
On Board is actually the second book in the Painted Bay series, but I had no problem to get right into the story without having read the first book. The books in the series focuses on different persons, and even though the couple from the first book and other side characters played a major part in this story too, it was so well done that it was no problem to follow the story along. Some events from the previous books were also discussed, but everything was explained to keep you clued in to what had happened in the past. I actually really love it when an author creates an own literary universe by weaving stories together the way Jay Hogan has done with this series.
The two main characters of this story are Leroy Madden, who is the brother of Judah from the first book, and Fox Carmody, who is the son of Leroy’s mother’s lover. The very first time Leroy met Fox he felt an overwhelming attraction. Which made no sense at all, since Leroy is straight. Or isn’t he? Struggling with his new confusing feelings, Leroy hid his attraction in irritation and pointless bickering, to keep Fox at a safe distance. But when Fox needed a place to stay after his divorce and Leroy’s mother ignored Leroy’s complaints and invited him to the house, it became impossible for Leroy to keep his true feelings hidden.
I absolutely loved Jay Hogan’s writing style and the amazing love/hate-dynamic between Leroy and Fox. I loved their banter and the humor, and not to mention the burning chemistry… I wasn’t a fan of Leroy at first with his grumpiness and slight homophobia, but he really stole my heart soon enough! It was so adorable the way we got to see him be confused about his sexuality and not knowing how to act on his attraction to Fox, it all felt very real and realistic. The sexy parts were quite explicit, but still very sweet. They really showed how Leroy felt vulnerable from not having any experience from being with other men, but how he allowed himself to open up and trust Fox to explore new things in a safe and respectful way. I also really appreciated how Leroy never was ashamed of his feelings once he understood them, and he how he was proud of who he was with Fox.
My only minor complaints are about Fox’s ex and how he was portraited as purely evil and selfish and how the dog custody fighting was just a little too much drama for my taste. I also had some problems with Leroy’s brother Judah, but that might be because I hadn’t read “his” book and didn’t fully understand his reasons for being so self-centered in the way he reacted to Leroy’s and Fox’s relationship and some other things and persons in the story.
But those minor complaints set aside, this was a truly amazing bi-awakening, slow-burn enemies-to-lovers romance with all the feels and character growth. I read it in one sitting, it was so addictive and I rooted so much for all characters that I just couldn’t bear to put it down until the very end! Highly recommended and I can’t wait to continue this series and read more from Jay Hogan!
Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for the ARC and blog tour invitation for this wonderful book! All opinions are my own and I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.
4.5 flaming stars rounding up to 5
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All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Adib Khorram Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alexene Farol Follmuth Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Alison Cochrun Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton A. Meredith Walters Amy Aislin Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Audrey Coulthurst Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg B.L. Maxwell Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.G. Drews Chris Bedell Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elizabeth Acevedo Elizabeth Arroyo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E. Lockhart Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Evan J. Corbin Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jax Calder Jay Hogan Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jenna Evans Welch Jenn Burke Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray John Green Jonny Garza Villa Julianne Donaldson Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé KD Casey Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Pavlov Laura Silverman Lauren James Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Leylah Attar Lisa Henry Lisa Williamson Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Lola Noire Lynn Michaels Mackenzi Lee Madeline Miller Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally Moa Backe Astot M. Tasia Nancy Garden Natalie Haynes Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Starr Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Brownell Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve Rhiannon Wilde River Braun Roan Parrish Roseanne A. Brown Rowan MacKemsley Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Saundra Mitchell Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophie Gonzales Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Steven Salvatore Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Tamara Girardi Teagan Hunter Tiffany D. Jackson Timothy Janovsky T.J. Klune T.L. Bradford Tomasz Jedrowski Tomi Adeyemi Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Wesley Chu Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez