Thursday, January 24, 2019

✱✱Book Review✱✱ First by Declan Rhodes

The Mathesons Book 1
by Declan Rhodes 

Straight, Mason, he’s straight.

For Mason Matheson, being first-born into a large, prosperous family meant the responsibility to compete to be first in many ways. When Kyle Greene, a childhood friend of Mason and his family, decides its time to broaden his horizons and experiment with men, Mason is determined to be Kyle’s “first.” 

Mason began the week shoehorned into a minivan with his four adult brothers and one sister on the way to Kyle’s mountain ski lodge for a vacation week. Matheson and Greene, the company founded by the elder generation of two close families, enjoyed a windfall of business, and Mason’s father, John, decided that it was time to gather around, bring the two families together for the first time in years, and celebrate. For a whole week. Away from work. Away from the city. With brothers and sisters. Mason dreaded the upcoming seven days. Then he saw Kyle again for the first time since high school.

Former Olympic slalom skier Kyle is hurting from the three-pronged lousy luck of a blown-out knee ending his competitive skiing career, the death of his mother, and the disintegration of his marriage. All that he had left was his family, disapproving father Bentley and loving sister Lily, and his recently purchased ski resort, The Hideaway. He saw the arrival of the Matheson clan as an opportunity to get back on his feet and surround himself with a crowd of people who cared.

Mason represented one more opportunity. Kyle’s curiosity about men lingered in the back of his mind since high school, and he knew that it played a role in his divorce. As part of a promise to his mother before she died, he was determined to explore his dreams, even the long-hidden ones. Hard-driving, hard-working gay Mason could help with that.

It doesn’t take long for the week to turn complicated. There is a hidden pregnancy, a new ski injury, and bitterness from Kyle’s father to contend with. At the center of it all, two men are falling in love. For Mason, that would be a first.

First is a 57,000-word gay romance with friends-to-lovers, first-time themes and steamy scenes. It is the first book in the series The Mathesons and can be read as a standalone story. There are no cliffhangers, and it includes a guaranteed happy ending.

Momma Says: 5 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

If ever a book was titled perfectly, it would be this friends to lovers romance. This story is packed full of firsts for both Mason and Kyle. With one guarding his heart and the other still getting his bearings in his new life, it felt a little like a coming of age story even though Mason and Kyle are past that age. They aren't immature by any means, but there is something almost innocent about Mason learning to let go and Kyle learning, well, everything about a relationship with a man. The romance is sweet and definitely hot, but my favorite thing about this tale is the family dynamic with so many terrific characters. It's impossible not to fall in love with this great big family. They have their quirks, and there's always banter, and of course, there are plenty of disagreements, but the love they have for each other stands out. The book is wonderfully written and had me hooked from the beginning. With First, Declan Rhodes has set the bar high for whatever is to come in this series, and I can't wait for more of this family. 

❃❃ARC provided by the author

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