Erryn and Dana review ‘Desire & Denial (Southern Boys Book 3)’ by K.C. Wells. This book was released by the author on June 20, 2020, and is 314 pgs long. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by John Solo. It was released on December 11, 2020, and is 9 hrs and 56 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book (Erryn): I’m in love with this series.
Why I read this book (Dana): It’s a great series and I’m so glad to see these secondary characters get their own story.
Jon has yearned for a man’s touch for as long as he can remember. Now two younger men are about to bring his fantasies to life.
Jon Walters is a mess. He’s 38. His roommates are 18 and 20. It’s never gonna work. But Lord, he wants it to.
He’s spent years hiding his sexuality. Denying his desires. Guys don’t come out at my age – do they? Except he did come out once – and went right back in again. How does he explain all this to Del, his brother? That’s a conversation Jon is dreading. Del is the only family Jon has left, and he’s going to be hurt. Angry. Not to mention, there are secrets Jon does not want to share.
And then there’s Chaz and Kendis. Wasn’t falling for one guy enough of a challenge? I had to fall for both of them? And what the hell do they see in me? Because they’re not making it easy for him to say no.
Whichever way he looks at it, Jon’s life just went way beyond complicated….
This is the final book in the Southern Boys trilogy, and it deals with characters introduced in book book, Pride & Protection. Yes, you could listen to it as a stand-alone, but listening to the previous book is recommended.
See the review of Book 1 here.
See the review of Book 2 here.
I have loved this series since the first, and am sad to see it end, but what an ending it is. Book 2 was Del and Taylor’s story. Del’s younger brother Jon was there, of course, but he didn’t have a huge impact on me but wow, he really shines now that he has his own book. I really loved Del and Taylor so was interested to see where this series was headed. Have to say, I certainly didn’t see a triad in Jon’s future.
Jon and Del own a motorcycle shop in Tennessee called Rainbow Racers. Not exactly subtle and, to say the least, not everyone has been welcoming. But they’ve persevered and have turned their business into a profitable enterprise. Jon had always assumed Del would leave town once the shop was in the black, but he later realizes Del is staying for Taylor. One of the opening scenes in the book is Jon walking in during an inopportune moment and he realizes he has to find a life beyond his brother.
In the last book we met Chaz, and Jon has invited the eighteen-year-old to move in. Chaz’ parents discovered he was gay, and it did not go over well. Jon wants to soften the blow by being an ear for the younger man. Then there’s Kendis. The young man came to town to play basketball with his older brother. Now Marcus has moved away and Kendis has graduated high school. He hasn’t been able to secure a long-term job and his prospects are bleak. He decides to try to get a job at Rainbow Racers and winds up with so much more.
I don’t want to give too much away, but the three men bond. In unexpected ways. And although Jon has all kinds of reservations, Kendis and Chaz don’t. And although I was expecting a dark moment, there really wasn’t one. Was the discussion between Jon and Del a tough one emotionally? You bet. Did it make me love the brothers even more? Yep.
This series has brought me in from the start and I was glad Jake and Liam from the first book got a mention in this one. A completing of the circle. I also liked that there were two interracial couples in the series. Writing a book with those themes can be tough, but Ms. Wells did it beautifully. I highly recommend the series.
Finally I’ll mention John Solo. I really enjoy his work, and this trilogy was one of his better performances. I really can’t say enough good things about these books. I suggest they be read in order, but read all of them for sure.
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
It has been awhile since I read or listened to a good MMM romance. I am generally of the opinion, the more men the merrier, but it is important for it to be done right. That all three parties involved are on the same page. This book handled the situation well.
Chaz moved in with Jon after he was kicked out of his childhood home. His dad didn’t accept it when he came out but he was never a loving man before that. The age difference between the two men was almost a guarantee that nothing would happen between them, but also the fact that Chaz thought Jon was straight. Everyone thought Jon was straight. Though Jon’s older brother coming out as gay should have paved the road for Jon, a few bad experiences had him living his life in the closet.
Kendis had a small part in book 2 when his car was vandalized and Jon’s brother had helped him. He was brought to the town to play basketball, but he is one of the very few people of color in this homophobic and racist town. Finding a job is almost impossible, until he comes to the bike shop to ask Jon’s brother for help once more. There he meets Chaz, who Kendis feels attraction to. Though they are the first to date and become intimate, they both have a lingering attraction to Jon. And Jon is definitely attracted to both of them and wants to see both of them rise above their pasts. A combination of their age differences, Jon’s past, and the possible complications of a menage relationship seem to have them all hesitating, though.
Luckily, Chaz is kind of precocious and after forming a plan with Kendis, the two men decide to see if Jon’s apparent interest is not just in their imaginations. The way they tackle the situation together lets me know that they are on the right foot as far as avoiding jealousy or anything close to cheating in the pursuit of Jon. Their hard work pays off, but Jon will have to come out, at least to his own brother.
This series is really good, but the romances are somewhat complicated. The town these characters live in definitely needs to step into the modern era. The homophobia and racism runs strong. As much as these three know they need to keep open lines of communication and trust in order to make their unique relationship work, their relationship will be one that doesn’t really see the light of day. Even though I am happy for them, I feel sad for them for their having to hide their love from the public. I guess there are rays of light trying to poke through the clouds. Two other gay couples are living their lives out and proud, and the rumors of a woman living with two men might ease the way for the three men, eventually.
The author has said that while this book is over that the southern boys still have more to say. I hope we can get a glimpse of these three in the future so I can check in on their happiness. I definitely recommend the series and this book. John Solo narrates the audiobooks, and he does a great job voicing these three different characters, making for an enjoyable listening experience.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
K.C. Wells started writing in 2012, although the idea of writing a novel had been in her head since she was a child. But after reading that first gay romance in 2009, she was hooked.
She now writes full time, and the line of men in her head, clamouring to tell their story, is getting longer and longer. If the frequent visits by plot bunnies are anything to go by, that’s not about to change anytime soon.