Monday, October 10, 2016

Unraveling Josh by Edie Danford

When the crown prince of bad boys hooks up with his former high school crush, he’s after just one kind of happy ending.

Nick McQueen just scored the perfect hookup—Ellery College ski champion, Joshua Pahlke. What better way for Nick to prove his transformation from high school loser to sexy sinner? He’ll gift golden-boy Josh with the hottest, dirtiest sex of his life and then leave him begging for more.

But his definition of happiness is about to change…

Josh needs to blow off steam. He’s spent years pushing himself in academics and sports, but nagging injuries and career doubts have him craving a new challenge. Nick might be the key—he sure as hell turns Josh’s crank. Josh eagerly rises to the task of winning over moody-broody Nick. But when new love and old secrets change the rules of their game, “winning” takes on a whole new meaning.

Add to Goodreads

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

5 made me emotional stars

I'm a huge fan of the Ellery College series, so I was a bit shocked to find this book months after its release, when I'd been checking every once and a while to see when it was to be released. It was a happy surprise. But I was busy, so I held off reading it for a few weeks...

Word of warning before you start, set aside a few hours of uninterrupted reading time, as you won't want to put the book down once you begin.

Even though the title is Unraveling Josh, Danford paints a beautifully tragic picture of Nick. Josh has depth – he's intelligent, giving, caring, understanding, patient, and awkward in a sexy way. But it was Nick who stole the story for me. I connected with him – heart beating out of control for his pain, his triumphs, and his love for Josh.

I won't go into great detail on the story itself, not wishing to ruin the organic flow of information. Nick had a major crush on an older Josh when he was growing up in their small town. Josh was out and proud and Nick was dealing with bullying and banishment by his peers – Nick latched onto the 'idea' of Josh, and it got him through high school and into college.

On a random night, Nick spots Josh at a party, knowing Josh would never recognize the confident swagger and player good looks since he last knew Nick as an awkward 14-year-old. Sparks fly, admissions of who Nick is isn't given, thinking it would be a one-night-stand before they moved on to new horizons.

As the story unravels, the author isn't unraveling Josh at all, but parts of Nick's past that impacted his future. Each passage from the past merely whetted the reader's appetite for more, keeping the pages flying one right after the other.

The only negative I can think of at the moment is the fact that I read book one and two so long ago. In fact, I read book two first after finding it, then book one. So I couldn't remember who was who and how they connected to Nick and Josh. I suggest reading them all back-to-back for the impact of side characters mentioned. However, Unraveling Josh can be read as a standalone, as the other books don't directly impact their story.

Edie Danford made me laugh with the awkwardness of the characters, cry for Nick, blush during hot between-the-sheets action, and smile from the warm glow of real love.

Highly recommend this author, title, and series to fans of MM Romance, especially those who enjoy a lot of depth in their stories, mixed with tons of tension and heat, and a slightly darker bent.

*I want to live in a castle turret!
*I want to live in a Yurt (from the previous book)
*Edie always has inventive living situations.

This is new adult college writing at its best. Edie Danford knows college life. In the third Ellery College book, she captures perfectly the claustrophobic sense of entitled privilege, the warring self-confidence and self-doubt, and the overblown sense of self-importance that will be uncomfortably familiar to any college graduate.

I genuinely liked Nick. His mistakes made me cringe with recognition and his attempts to make amends are both amusing and endearing. As a character, he is original and familiar at the same time. I knew him at University (I may even have dated him) but the arrogant f***up is an unlikely choice for a romantic hero. When he started college, Nick carefully rebuilt his image. No longer a bullied, geeky teen, he is a proud, flamboyant player. As a player, his ultimate conquest is Josh, his childhood crush and one of the group of boys who tormented his younger self. But beneath his new, glossy exterior, Nick is still a mess and he ends up hurting Josh badly. Nick grows up in this story and I really enjoyed watching him learn truth and honesty.

Josh is the more adult of the two characters. His honesty, his seriousness, and his straight laced ambitions conceal someone vulnerable and open, wary and trusting. Together these two really shouldn’t work (and they don’t for much of the story) but when they connect, they are really beautiful together. And the sex is seriously hot between these two.

Beyond Josh and Nick’s relationship is a story that captures college life, that slightly magical yet awkward and painful interlude between childhood and adult responsibilities. Real enough to remind me why I enjoy being an adult, it was still familiar enough to make me nostalgic for a simpler time and place. This is a really beautiful story.

Also Available in the Ellery College Series

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Samhain Publishing

For reviews & more info, check out our Unmasking Zach post.

Edie lives in Vermont with her husband, two sons, and random creatures that might or might not be pets. She loves libraries (where she's found play, work, and love since she was a kid), long walks (unless ice is involved), lewd language (in the right context), luscious romance (of any variety), and alliteration.

Connect with Edie

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Blog  ~  Goodreads

Brought to you by

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Unraveling Josh (Ellery College #3) by Edie Danford to read and review. Review copy purchased by the blog.

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