Blurred Lines (Darby U Hockey Boys Book 2) by Andi Jaxon

The Darby U Hockey Boys are back and this time, in Blurred Lines, we get to see how Paul and Brandon go from friends to more. Both come from broken pasts that forced them to need this dynamic to function and be happy.

From the blurb:

I’ve been in love with my best friend for years.
The problem?
He thinks I’m straight.
And now that I share a dorm with him, his insistent need to cuddle -and lack of clothes- are blurring the careful lines I’ve drawn.
I'm struggling to keep my defenses up.
I love him but I’m afraid.
Afraid I’m not enough to make him stay.
Afraid he’ll rip my heart out.
Afraid he won’t love me back.
But I see a side of him no one else does.
In the security of our room, he lets his mask fall.
Lets me hold him.
Something lurks in the dark recesses of his mind that keeps him from going all in.
He’s just as hesitant about this as I am, but I don’t understand why.

Can I convince him to let me love him the way he deserves…
or will he take my heart and run away with it?

Molly Otto's Review:

Brandon & Paul have that sort of co-dependent relationship that to some may be too much, but for them, it is perfectly balanced. I hate to say it, but you can tell that Andi had some issues with the flow of this story where one moment they felt in perfect harmony and the next they felt off. A lot of it was due to past traumas not being addressed and snowballing out of control when faced, which makes this story more real life than others in this particular genre. With Paul's unyielding support for Brandon, they both were able to grow to be better than they were brought up to be.

Some of the issues that were not fully solved were addressed in the authors' note, giving me hope that they will be solved in the future.

Rating: 4 Stars

Jacqueleen the Reading Queen's Review:

"ɴᴏᴛʜɪɴɢ ʜᴀꜱ ᴇᴠᴇʀ ꜰᴇʟᴛ ᴀꜱ ʀɪɢʜᴛ ᴀꜱ ᴛʜɪꜱ ᴍᴏᴍᴇɴᴛ, ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴛʜɪꜱ ᴍᴀɴ, ɪɴ ᴛʜɪꜱ ʀᴏᴏᴍ. ʜᴇ'ꜱ ᴍʏ ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴛʜɪɴɢ.
ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴛᴇʀʀɪꜰɪᴇꜱ ᴍᴇ.
ɪ'ᴍ ꜱᴏ ɢᴏɴᴇ ꜰᴏʀ ᴛʜɪꜱ ʙᴏʏ."

Holy fuck. Talk about a gut punch right out of the gate. I knew there were TW for Blurred Lines, but man, I was not prepared to be tearing up by the end of the prologue. I think that was the hardest part of the book for me to read. If you're on the fence about it, I recommend skipping the prologue and starting at Chapter 1. You'll still find out what happened later in the book, but you won't have to actually read it live.

I really loved Paul and Brendon. They are both men who have been hurt and shaped by their pasts. Paul suffers an unimaginable loss, while Brendon goes through his own horrific trauma. It's made their self esteem take a huge hit, and that is a driving factor for much of the angst in their story. Paul is terrified of not being enough and losing his best friend. Brendon was scared that one day Paul is going to realize he's too much of a hassle to be worth his time. It was heartbreaking because it was obvious to everyone but themselves how much these two meant to one another.

"ʜᴇ ᴋᴇᴇᴘꜱ ᴍᴇ ɢʀᴏᴜɴᴅᴇᴅ ʙᴜᴛ ʟᴇᴛꜱ ᴍᴇ ꜰʟʏ."

Brendon was definitely kind of a hot mess and I loved how Paul didn't care one bit. He enjoyed being the one to take care of Brendon. He liked being needed and how much Brendon leaned on him. He even liked how crazy Brendon's mind could be sometimes, jumping from one idea to the next. All his life Brendon's been told he's too much, so it was difficult for him to understand when Paul would tell him he loved him just as he was. Difficult, but exactly what the man needed.

Paul just simply wanted to feel needed. He wanted to feel like someone couldn't live without him, that he was enough to make someone want to stay. Their relationship was definitely super codependent, but it worked for them. Their dynamic gave the other exactly what they craved, even if an outsider might consider it far from healthy. That's not even mentioning what they got up to in the bedroom... or out of it. These two were insatiable for one another. I think it helped them feel connected and desired, which in turn fed into their need to be wanted. Paul and Brendon just fit and I have no doubts these two were in it for the long haul by the end.

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurred Lines is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, audiobook, hardcover, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.