I love the boys of SSU. They all hold a special place in my heart, but Liam and Blake, have just taken the lead. I sat down to read Undeclared, by Maris Black, Book 3 in the SSU series and couldn’t put it down. For me, this is the best one yet. Maris can take her characters and give them life. She brings out in her books a realism that has you connecting right away to the characters. They could be any of our friends in real life. They face real struggles and complications that a lot of us go through at one time or another. Not every author has the ability to grasp your full attention nor pull every emotion from you as you read. Maris can and does do that with each story she tells.
In Undeclared, we meet Liam who is friends with Dan. Remember Dan from Smitten, Book 2, when he fell head over heels for Julian? Oh yeah, I can still remember their first time. Liam, poor fella, is straight or so he tells himself. He’s a big country boy with a big heart, manners, a wicked smile, and some pretty big muscles that get a lot of attention. Men or women, they all like to look. Working as a bouncer in the club, Trybe that Jeremy and Beck have worked so hard to build puts him in front of a lot of eyes. But only one set has his attention. Being a male behind those gorgeous eyes doesn’t even factor in for Liam.
Being a dancer at the club is something Blake is really good at. He should be since he is majoring in Dance and hopes to become a dance instructor when he graduates college. He’s been on his own since he was 17 making his way. Having rules and goals he set for himself has helped him to stay on target. Once Liam comes into his sight some of the rules are about to be broken. To the outside world, Blake tries to appear confident and he succeeds most of the time. He’s known for his smart-ass attitude and mouth. Secretly, he wants a guy who will cherish him. A guy who is dominant and not afraid to take what he wants. And Liam…wow, does he fit all of those qualities.
The guys start off on the wrong foot with each other. Hate is a little strong but close to how they feel.
“I’m straight,” he blurted in that same cold tone, scooting even farther away from me on the bed if that was possible, and building an invisible wall between us.
Oh, hell no, he did not just say that. “Straight? Is that right?” I surged up out of bed and clicked on the light, spearing him with a hard glare, my body quaking with anger. “Pardon me, I must have you confused with someone else. I thought you were the same guy who was just eye-fucking me on stage a couple hours ago. Because that guy? He ain’t straight. But whatever.
I can see, clearly, Blake jumping up and saying that to Liam. He’s a little on the sassy/feisty side but he’s also smitten with Liam. He never lets his guard down and he finds himself doing that with Liam. It hurts when those same feelings aren’t reciprocated. Once they get past their confusion, brought on by their own insecurities, sparks fly between them. Literally, it is like the 4th of July with these two. They don’t hold back on what they want and even though Liam has never been with a guy, he has no trouble taking, from Blake, what he wants. Blake is only too happy to let him and the sex is explosive.
Things move at a fast pace both wanting the same thing but so afraid to admit it. You will fall in love with both of these guys. I was either smiling, laughing out loud, or crying. You can’t help but cheer for them because they need each other. They definitely complement each other and make a perfect couple. Their banter back and forth is so funny, they are quick-witted, they keep you in hysterics, and you don’t even realize how much time has passed because you are completely enamored in their world. Liam is the perfect gentleman. He has those wonderful southern manners and one of many things I loved about him…he never held back on treating Blake like he was the love of his life.
Maris Black has written an award-winning book in my opinion. This entire series, to date, has become one of my top favorites, ever. She has that special ability to create characters that have compassion and understanding. Sometimes they may be a little snarky and difficult. That’s why the characters are easy to connect with. She doesn’t shy away from the romance and it is very erotic at times. She can certainly heat up a page quickly. What I love about how she does that, however, is she only does it when it is appropriate. When we are on the edge of our seat in anticipation for those moments to happen.
The storyline has depth, the content intriguing. The execution of the plot is spot on, the story line is relatable and current, and every facet of their journey will keep you fully invested. This author is one of my favorites and hopefully will become yours also. I can’t wait to see who has a story to tell next.