Like I Wanted (Heather Bay Book 5) by Charlie Novak

Why does everyone think Laurie and Theo are boyfriends - they're not! But now both of them are thinking that the closeness they share could easily be more and maybe that's what they have wanted all along. A beautiful femme boy and a shibari loving goth boy fit together better than anything they could have dreamed in Like I Wanted, the finale to the Heather Bay series.

From the blurb:

Roommates. Best friends. Boyfriends?

Theo and Laurie have been best friends for six years but despite doing everything together, they’ve never been anything more than best friends and roommates.

Then someone calls them boyfriends and upends their neat little world.

As the pair struggle to put a lid on their feelings, a random email from Theo’s brother throws him even further off balance and all Laurie can do is offer a niche form of stress relief. But Laurie’s support doesn’t stop at rope garters. Once the two of them fall into bed, it’s clear things will never be the same between them.

Now, Theo and Laurie must finally address the feelings they’ve tried to hide from and figure out if they really are just friends, or if there’s always been something more between them. Can they give each other everything they ever wanted?

Like I Wanted is a steamy best friends to lovers contemporary MM romance featuring a femme boy who loves zombie horror and weird taxidermy, a goth with a secret love of shibari, interfering adult entertainers, a vicar who takes no shit, and a quest for guinea pigs.

It is the fifth and final novel in the Heather Bay series and is best enjoyed as part of the series.

Please note that one of the MCs is involved in adult entertainment and chooses to remain working in the industry, with the full consent of his partner, once they’re in a relationship. For more information, please see the internal Author’s Note.

SNik's Review:

Fifth in series (Heather Bay), can be read as a standalone but might be more fun if read in order. Best friends/roommates to lovers. Light BDSM. Dual POV. 

Laurie and Theo have been best friends for years, living together, working together at Laurie’s funeral home, and caring for each other with a closeness their friends think borders on intimate. So it’s no surprise everyone already thinks they are boyfriends, but it takes a couple of pushes and Laurie and Theo come to a realization that they are really meant to be together. 

I was so relieved there was no angst or drama surrounding Laurie and Theo’s jobs (video streaming and an online sex channel) and both their past family issues. 

The discussions about Theo’s past were vague enough not to cause anxiety, and Laurie’s protectiveness was grounded and did not have to come to the forefront with any outside drama. 

This was an easy slide into love and commitment. Laurie and Theo already having all the important things in a relationship - honest communication, acceptance, attraction and a really deep love for each other. 

Every interaction between them was so sweet and swoony, and the daily shibari mementos were chef’s kiss.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Heather's Review:

I am so sad!  Not just because this is the last Heather Bay story and my namesake village is so amazing, but because it's the last hurrah for this amazing friend group... but I'm so happy that Laurie and Theo are finally figuring things out!  

I love the oblivious best friends trope that's been running through the entire series and culminating in Like I Wanted... the pining, the second-guessing and of course the pulling away from each other as they examine their past actions through a new lens... 

I love that they were ready to move their relationship into something new, and that they communicated about it!  I also love how protective and pragmatic Laurie is and just how sweet and innocent Theo is despite their backgrounds and past traumas... I also love the way that they created something just for them with the daily shibari!

I can't wait for the next spin-off and finding out more about West!

Rating: 5 Stars

Like I Wanted is available to buy as an ebook or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.