Erryn and Bethany review ‘All or Nothing (The Together Series Book 3)’ by Felice Stevens. This book was released by the author on September 27, 2017 and is 367 pgs long. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Nick J. Russo and released on January 10, 2018. The audiobook is 8 hrs and 18 mins long.
Why I read this book:
[Erryn]. I love series and this one looked good.
[Bethany] After reading the blurb I knew I wanted to listen to it.
A past he couldn’t forget.
Adam Barton is living his dream of working as a firefighter in his small Texas town, but a tragedy from his youth continues to haunt him. He decides New York City is the perfect place to start a new life and joins the FDNY, living and loving his own way – no strings and nothing personal. Until he catches sight of Rico Estevez, the sexy chef with the mysterious smile who rocks his world. After one explosive night together, Adam craves another…and then another. The more he and Rico are together, the more Adam wants him.
A future he never imagined.
Rico Estevez is living a lie. For years he’s hidden his sexuality, afraid to hurt the career of his politically ambitious father. He’s the perfect American – the best schools, top of his class, and most importantly to his father, a successful businessman. Who needs a boyfriend when sex is so easy to find? Starting a torrid love affair with Adam Barton isn’t a problem; neither is looking toward forever. But Rico’s father is about to get the chance of a lifetime, and Rico feels forced to play by the rules.
Rules are made to be broken.
Adam proves more unforgettable than Rico ever imagines, but he gives in to family pressures above personal desires. When a fire reunites them, both men discover their passion for each other hasn’t died; rather, it’s stronger than ever. Want turns to need and something even more dangerous to their hearts – love. Adam and Rico know if they want to have it all, they can let no one and nothing stand in their way of a life together.
I listened to Book 1 in the series, “Learning to Love” and I enjoyed this one more. I was glad to see Gideon and Jonah have settled into their relationship and Gideon has matured. When it comes to his business partner Rico, though, Gideon has definite opinions. That often happens – people who have found their soulmate want everyone around them to be just as happy.
Rico, a Brooklyn transplant via Miami, runs a catering company with Gideon. And although he’s occasionally envious of his friend, Rico knows his destiny is hook-ups and one-night stands. He doesn’t ‘do’ relationships.
From the moment he met Adam Barton, an FDNY fireman, Rico’s been thinking about the flame-haired hunk. When Adam drops by the store to buy his lunch, Rico hid out in his office in the back. Then one day Adam corners the uncharacteristically tongue-tied Rico and manages to get Rico to agree to go out to dinner with him.
Dinner leads to a night at Adam’s apartment and the figurative sparks fly. That Rico is gone in the morning isn’t a surprise to Adam, but the man is not easily deterred. And, unlike in Book 1, the listeners get both the pursuer (Adam) and the pursued (Rico)’s point of view. This worked because both men have secrets from their pasts that they’ve never shared with anyone. Secrets that only have power while kept from the world
Both men have strong filial relationships with their fathers. But while Adam is closely bonded with his father, Rico is always trying to please his, a man who is high up in the Conservative Party in Florida. Needless to say, this is the perfect setup for conflict.
The desire to make one’s parents proud can be very strong. The belief you’ll never be good enough can be painful to live with. With Adam by his side, though, Rico might just find the strength – if the two of them can stay together. When there’s a crisis, both men prove dependable and incredibly supportive. When things are ‘normal’, though, they both spend too much time in their heads. An honest discussion would clear up most of their problems, but this is a Felice book, so there is no easy resolution. Adam and Rico have to fight for their happily ever after.
My only complaint is that every time one or the other feels ‘slighted’, he runs off to the closest bar looking for meaningless sex. It’s irritating. Small complaint, though.
When everything is on the line, each man proves his worth and his love for the other. The ending was a little too easy, but that’s okay too. Feel-good books are awesome.
Nick J. Russo is a favourite of mine and even though he didn’t narrate Book 1, his performance was consistent, so it wasn’t disruptive
I recommend the book. New York, families, good friends, nice bartenders, hot men… What else could someone ask for?
Oh, a cow named Bella.
10/10 Points of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
Man I am a sucker for men in uniforms, cops, military, firefighters, I love ‘um all. And men that can cook, well all I can say is, yes please.
I have read a few books before by Felice and I always finish them with a big grin on my face. This one was no different. Yes I was a little frustrated with Adam and Rico for fighting their want for each other. Oh they gave in to the physical side of it, but they fought so hard to keep the emotional side of it at bay. I wanted to scream at them both to just open up, let yourself love and be loved.
I can see the need, or the want to keep things from getting too serious. Something so very tragic in Adam’s past keeps him from wanting to love, and when it was revealed what that tragedy was I could understand his reluctance. Rico’s desire to keep things as friends with benefits stems from his want to make his father proud of him. And I can understand this seeing as I am a married mother of three and I still want to make my parents proud. But as a mother I hope that my kids know I will always be proud of them, and this is all that Rico wants.
I loved watching these two men fight so hard to not become more than friends. Frustrating? Yes. But when they finally give in to the demand to be more to each other, oh my heart did a happy dance. This is where Felice takes her characters, and makes you love them so hard, needing to keep them safe. And I do.
As with the previous books by Felice I have read or listened to they do get their HEA. Sometimes it is a hard earned one, but they get it. I thoroughly enjoyed following Rico and Adam’s journey, and I plan on going back and getting books 1 & 2. I did listen to book 3 first and it definitely reads as a standalone. But I can tell that some of the secondary characters are probably in book 1 & 2.
I highly recommend this one if you want a bit of angst, a hot firefighter and an equally hot chef.
I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, My characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love.
I live in New York City with my husband and two children and hopefully soon a cat of my own. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there are bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.