5 Stars for Gnarly from Kat at Love Bytes Reviews

Wednesday June 21, 2017



I am a fan of Mickie B. Ashling ever since I read her “Bay Area Professional” series. Then she hooked me completely with her “Open” series. When I discovered she was submitting an entry to the “World of Love” collection I just knew I had to grab this one. As I thought, I wasn’t disappointed.


Dr. Ed Hollingsworth has had a really tough last five years. His college sweetheart/wife had died from brain cancer. He was left with twin sons to raise and get ready for college. And dating just wasn’t working out. On a whim, something the very regimented anesthesiologist didn’t do, he travels back to San Sebastián, Spain to see if he can connect with a better time in his life. The time when he let life fly like the wind and had his only sexual experience with a male. That male was world famous pro surfer Javi Elizalde. But when he does meet up with Javi things are not what he expected after 30 years. Javi survived a brutal and life altering great white shark attack while competing in a surfing meet in Australia. The Basque is now just a shell of himself, hiding in seclusion in San Sebastián. After Javi sends him away abruptly, Ed encounters a young man that is the image of the younger Javi. Iker Lizaso is now a lifeguard in San Sebastián after his professional jai alai contract was not renewed in Miami. Ed and Iker hit it off but realize that Ed’s heart is with Javi. How do these three men, coming off difficult and traumatic changes to their lives proceed?


As most of you know, I am a HUGE ménage fan. Two hot men are great but when the story is woven well a great ménage is a true treat. In her great style of writing, the author tempts us with just enough drama to reel us in and become invested in this unique relationship.


The hardest part to read was how devastated Javi was from his shark attack. One moment you are poised to win a big international surfing invitational and the next moment you are bleeding out from life threatening injuries that change your life forever. This would cause anyone severe emotional damage. What I loved was Ed wanting to help his friend. Not for any pay back of any kind but because he is genuinely a nice guy and just wants to help his friend.


Ed’s confusion over his bi-sexuality is understandable. He had always been heterosexual without any thoughts or feeling for another man before or after Javi. When he discovers that he not only has feelings and desires for Javi, but Iker too, he is truly having a hard time grasping what was going on. I understand Javi and Iker’s concerns but he did seem almost to be gay-for-you for these men only. Ed was a stand-up kind of guy who is loyal and trustworthy. I don’t see him as the kind of guy to hurt someone on purpose.


I do think that one of my most favorite parts of the book was Ed’s talk with his twin sons about his bi-sexuality. I could so see a series/spin-off coming forward from this story. I think those boys have stories to be told also. And I would like to see how Ed’s relationship with Javi and Iker proceeds.


All in all, another great addition to the “World of Love” collection. If you are looking for a wonderful second chance love story with a bit of spicy essence then this is a great choice. I highly recommend this fun, fast read based on the beautiful coastline of Spain.

RATING: LoveBytes_5Hearts