This Will Hurt was such a delightful, addictive and entertaining first installment in this new friends-to-lovers, bisexual awakening, slow burn MM romance duet by Cara Dee, and I’m counting the days to the release of the second installment! I need Roe’s story NOW!
This duet follows the two friends and business partners Jake and Roe from their first meeting as young and broke film students and onwards over the years as they become best friends, roommates and partners in a very successful travel show and production company. This first installment is told from Jake’s POV, but in the second one we’ll get to see it all from Roe as well.
Jake is a former Marine, who’s been a war photographer and who has a lot of baggage with him from the war and from his upbringing in a conservative religious and homophobic home. He suffers from internal homophobia after a childhood trauma, and problems with expressing his emotions as well as with closeness and commitment. The only one who seems to truly get him is Roe. But when Roe reveals that he’s bisexual, it stirs a lot of thoughts and complicated emotions for Jake.
There were so many things I loved about this book! Like the wonderful relationship between Jake and Roe, and how it was both a classic bisexual awakening story at the same time as it had a new take with Jake’s internal homophobia and denial of his own emotions. There was so much angst and pining!
I loved how the focus was on Jake’s and Roe’s friendship, and how there was no immediate lust or desire when they met, which made it feel much more authentic and made me root even more for the slow burn romance. The book spanned so many years, which gave the characters room to grow and learn, and to build their feelings for each other in the most believable way.
I’m personally not a fan of the internal homophobia trope, but Cara Dee did a wonderful job with it here. I really appreciated how she showed that there are many nuances to finding out and accepting who you are, especially if you’re pre-wired a certain way due to your upbringing.
Another of my least favorite tropes is the accidental pregnancy one, but I could live with it here considering how wonderful Jake was as a dad, and how sweet baby Colin adds to the home-building part of Jake’s and Roe’s relationship.
Some of the other things that made this book so special was the funny bantering and authentic dialogues, Jake’s badass grandmother, their group of friends and the fun and spicy scenes with Jake and Roe bartending at a gay club and doing the ‘Tequila Licker’...
All in all, this was an emotional rollercoaster, which opened up for important discussions about internal homophobia at the same time as it was fast-paced, fun and addictive with authentic characters to root for. I desperately need to continue this duet, even though I already know how it will live up to its title and hurt me emotionally!
Thank you so much Eliza Rae Services for the ARC! All opinions are my own and I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.
4.5 stars rounding up to 5
Get your own copy:
Add to Goodreads
All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abby Kaitz Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Adib Khorram Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed Aislinn Brophy AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alex Beltran Alexene Farol Follmuth Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Alice Winn Ali Hazelwood Alison Cochrun Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton Amanda Ferreira Amanda Woody A. Meredith Walters Amy Aislin Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster Amy Spalding André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Ashlyn Kane Audrey Coulthurst Ban Gilmartin Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg B.L. Maxwell Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cait Nary Cale Dietrich Cara Dee Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare Cat Sebastian C.F. White C.G. Drews Charlie Adhara Charli Meadows Chasten Buttigieg Chris Bedell Christina Lauren Christina Lee Ciara Smyth Claerie Kavanaugh Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colette Davison Colleen Hoover Courtney Kae Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Dallas Smith Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Debbie Schrack Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton D.N. Bryn Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elisa A. Bonnin Elizabeth Acevedo Elizabeth Arroyo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E.L. Massey E. Lockhart Emery Lee Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Evan J. Corbin Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens F.T. Lukens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hannah Grace Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett H.E. Edgmon Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving H.S. Valley Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacob Gelman Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson James L. Sutter Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jax Calder Jay Hogan Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jen Bailey 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 Jesse H. Reign Joelle Lynne John Green Jonny Garza Villa Julianne Donaldson Julian Winters Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé Kathy Anderson K.A. Tucker 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 Lauren Shippen Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Lex Croucher Leylah Attar Lisa Henry Lisa Williamson Lisa Wingate Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Lola Noire Lynn Michaels Mackenzi Lee Madeline Miller Magdalena Di Sotru Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr M.A. Wardell Melanie Munton Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally Moa Backe Astot Morgan James M. Tasia Nancy Garden Natalie Haynes Nathaniel Shea Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Starr Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Nyla K. Owen Lach Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Brownell Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rachel Reid Racquel Marie Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve Renée Dahlia Rhiannon Wilde Riley Hart River Braun Roan Parrish Robin Gow Roseanne A. Brown Rowan MacKemsley Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sally Rooney Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Sasha Laurens Saundra Mitchell Saxon James Serena Bell Shannon O’Connor Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophia Soames Sophie Gonzales S.R. Lane Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Steven Salvatore Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Tal Bauer Tamara Girardi Taylor Jenkins Reid Teagan Hunter Terry J. Benton-Walker Tiffany D. Jackson Timothy Janovsky T.J. Klune T.L. Bradford Tobly McSmith Tomasz Jedrowski Tomi Adeyemi Tracy Deonn Tucker Shaw Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Wesley Chu Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard V.L. Stuart Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez