Caleb is an unemployed, sexually inexperienced, basic, boring rich boy.
Or so he thinks. At 36, hero of First and First Caleb Stone is fresh out of a relationship that he’s pretty sure fell apart because of his own shortcomings, and he’s not exactly optimistic about the new year. To make things worse, he just walked in on his ex making out with his new love—and that’s really the worst part. His ex David is in love, and Caleb is all alone.
Then he kisses a mysterious stranger at midnight at a New Year’s party and goes home with him for an apparently wild and crazy night (not that he remembers it all). No wait, it was Oli, a friend of his ex. Confused and scared, Caleb freaks out, only to learn that he did a lot of things he doesn’t normally do and a very enjoyable evening was had all around.
Fast forward and Oli is doing his best to build up Caleb’s confidence and open him up to the LGBT world, specifically through his own sexuality. Caleb is insecure and generally sex shy, save with Oli. Of course, nothing is simple and Oli makes it clear right off the bat that he’s not Caleb’s sexy white night. He’s just a fun guy who enjoys sex and maybe wants to be Caleb’s friend.
What could possibly go wrong?
To make matters more complicated, Caleb and Oli, along with Caleb’s bastard half brother Aiden (and he’s literally a bastard. On the whole, he seemed like a super cool guy), begin to build their own queer tech startup to make something for themselves, rather than relying on their fathers’ money. Now in addition to balancing a nameless relationship with the dating wary Oli, Caleb has to build a company while coming to terms with his own control freak tendencies.
First and First is book three of the Five Boroughs series, though it can be read alone. A quick peak at the previous two books reveals that they’re about some of the interesting side relationships addressed in First and First, so I’d suggest going back and reading those as well. I know I plan to! (And here’s the part where I whisper toward Santino Hassell that I really want a book about Aiden and Jace. Maybe the next one? Maybe the one after? Please?)
First and First was quick, fun, definitely a little steamy, sometimes really depressing in the worst sort of relatable way, uplifting in the end, and all around enjoyable. It’s a far departure from the constant pain that is the In The Company of Shadows series, but Santino Hassell’s style roped me in and made for another engaging read.
I give First and First an A! If you liked it, definitely look into the rest of the series!