“The death rate for people who play it safe and for those who live boldly is the same.” ― Patti Digh
Title: Dangerously Happy
Author: Varian Krylov
Pages/Word Count: 244 Pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: Aidan has always played it safe. Instead of pursuing his dream of creating innovative music that makes his soul sing, he settled for a degree in software, a job in a cubicle, and a spot in a generic band with his buddies.
And he’s always been straight. But when he’s seduced by magnetic local literary luminary Dario, Aidan must decide whether to keep playing it safe, or succumb to a ravenous passion and a nourishing love unlike anything he’s experienced before. Will he find the courage to go after real happiness if it means admitting he’s in love with a man?
Their journey together isn’t easy. Sometimes it isn’t safe. Even if Aidan has the courage to admit he’s in love with Dario, can he endure the repercussions of the traumatic event in Dario’s past?
Review: This is my first time reading this author. Going in, I really didn’t know what to expect. The cover is what got my attention first. Have you ever seen such a lovely cover as this one? After reading the blurb, I was even more excited and couldn’t wait to start reading. Oh, what ride this author has taken me on. I never wanted it to stop.
How do I even begin to describe the emotions I felt while reading this book? At first I wasn’t too sure where the author was going with this story. Aidan is straight, he’s only dated women in the past. I’m okay with GFY stories, so I’m thinking this is what the story is going to be about. I was way off the mark. What I got was so much more. A relationship between two men that was so sensual and loving, it absolutely took my breath away.
When Dario and Aidan get together it’s not an instant HEA. There are some pretty heavy issues they need to deal with, first with Aidan. I was very happy to have his POV through the entire story. He had a lot of inner turmoil going on inside his head about why he’s having these feelings for Dario. I was glad we got a firsthand look at his revelations and concerns. I believe the author handled his reactions and doubts realistically, with a real time feel. With Dario, it was a little more challenging to get a grip on his thought process. We aren’t privy to his inner dialogue like we are with Aidan. We know there’s a dark secret from his past, and he needs to relieve the pain and fear he feels with unconventional sex.
Before I go on to the heavy stuff, I want to say I saw and felt the love these two characters had for each other. They loved each other hard, and no one can convince me otherwise (check out other reviews for comparison). I loved that the author didn’t go for the miscommunication factor we see so often in M/M romance. These two forced each other to be open and honest. They felt comfortable letting each other know exactly what was on their mind at any given time throughout the story. Did they make mistakes along the way? Of course they did. They also recognized their mistake and rectified it almost as soon as it happened. They were dealing with more important issues and just to have the added angst would have been overkill. Kudos to the author for not going in that direction.
Now, while I’m not an expert on BDSM, I’ve read a lot of books dealing with it, so I’m not entirely clueless about the subject. All I know is how I’m feeling while I’m reading a scene. If the character in question feels this is what he needs, everyone is on board and it’s a consensual act, then I’m right there with them. I’m not going to go into detail with what happens because I could inadvertently let some spoilers out. Just be aware there are some tough BDSM scenes with multiple partners that some readers may find a little too much to handle. I thought the author did a great job executing these scenes and felt they fit well with the story being told. That being said, please bear in mind there are some girly bits in the book. There are M/M/M and M/M/F scenes too. You’ve been warned, so don’t act surprised and pretend you didn’t know.
Ultimately, this was a love story, one I enjoyed from start to finish. It’s not going to be for everyone and that’s okay. I absolutely loved it and look forward to reading more from the author.
You can buy Dangerously Happy here: