4+ Stars (but not enough to round up)
GIVING IT ALL the newest book in the Naked Men Series, by Christi Barth was just so many things that I can't put it into words. The friends-to-lovers trope, the reunion of the ACS boys for the first time in the series, and sexy vulnerability that was Logan March was just too much for me not squee with joy. Seriously, this one was just about perfect.
GIVING IT ALL is the third book in the Naked Men Series, and it could definitely be read as a standalone. But, I think to get all of the gloriousness that comprises the Naked Men, I think that it's better if you have read the previous two books prior to this one.
So, this is the first time we get to meet the elusive Logan Marsh, the man that the Naked Men credit with their rescue so many years ago when they were stuck on a mountain in the Alps. But what we didn't know was how Logan felt about that. And that's what we get in this story. Logan had a hand in helping them, but it was his guilt for why he wasn't with them when the accident occurred that has shaped his life as a disaster recovery specialist. When he's sidelined from coming home from his latest disaster cleanup due to a hurricane, he runs into the an old friend who he had a crush on for years.
Brooke Gallagher is nursing some wounds of her own. She's in the tropical location where she runs into Logan to help her escape from the pain and guilt that she's been carrying around for months. The fact that fate has landed her with her high school crush seems too good to be true. The two of them decide to have a one-night fling while they are grounded due to the hurricane. The night is magical and everything they both dreamed about as kids and more.
When Logan leaves to go back home the next day, they both believe that their interlude is over, but life has other plans.
Oh, I just adored this one. I've enjoyed all of the books in the series so far, but I have to say that this one has got to be my favorite. I loved the vulnerability of Logan's character. He was so clueless to how much his worth was not tied up in helping his friends or the other people of the disaster sites where he's deployed. I wanted to bang my head up against the wall sometimes when he was so short-sighted but I loved how he got it in the end. I don't think his growth is over by long shot, so I hope we get to see more of it in the next books in the series.
Brooke was a great compliment to Logan's character as well. We see what she's dealing with and how she's not able to move past it as well. So, it was interesting to me that both Logan and Brooke were able to help the other but not able to use their advice to move past their own issues. I love that she was strong enough to take a stand at the end and put her feelings out there. Logan didn't handle it the way that I wanted him to (at first), but he came around just like I knew that he would.
And lastly, I just loved the way the Naked Men was complete this time. It really did feel like something was missing when they kept talking about the MIA, fifth member. I was so glad that they were a full unit finally. These guys are the real draw of this series. Their banter, how they are able to talk to each other, the way they are bonded through so many different trials and stages of their lives. It's really just magic. This author is able to capture that it such an amazing way, it's what is going to keep me coming back for each new book in the series.
My only complaint about this one is that it felt so unfinished. And maybe that was purposeful on the author's part, but I felt like I was left a bit hanging with Brooke and Logan's story. I hope that we see more a resolution for them. They definitely deserve it.
No matter what though, I will be sticking with these guys. These Naked Men have truly captured me and I'll be there for the duration. I can't wait to see the next man fall.
*Advanced Reader's Copy provided by NetGalley and Publisher in exchange for an honest review*