Since 9/11, Brooklyn firefighter Griff Muir has wrestled with impossible feelings for his best friend and partner at Ladder 181, Dante Anastagio. Unfortunately, Dante is strictly a ladies’ man, and the FDNY isn’t exactly gay-friendly. For ten years, Griff has hidden his heart in a half-life of public heroics and private anguish. Griff’s caution and Dante’s cockiness make them an unbeatable team. To protect his buddy, there’s nothing Griff wouldn’t do… until a nearly bankrupt Dante proposes the worst possible solution: HotHead.com, a gay porn website where uniformed hunks get down and dirty. And Dante wants them to appear there—together. Griff may have to guard his heart and live out his darkest fantasies on camera. Can he rescue the man he loves without wrecking their careers, their families, or their friendship?
Comment: I bought this book after some people recommended it to me. They said it was a good GFY (= gay for you) story and although it was the author's debut, it was great.
This is the story of Griff and Dante, they are firemen in New York and work together. Griff and his dad don't get along that well, so he's friends with Dante's family since ever and spends a lot of time in their house. At first it was only friendship that moved him, but since 9-11 Griff has slowly getting to see Dante with different eyes, to the point he suspects he's in love with him. Then, because Dante has a house but not enough money to fix it, he proposes Griff a deal, something to do with a gay website and from that point on, things change completely.
Well, I liked the story and apart from some personal preferences, I can't say the story is bad or badly done. It has all the ingredients to work, two close friends, hidden desires around, dramatic things making the change happen, admissions of love...
I liked Griff's personality, he thought a lot about feelings and desires and what was right or wrong, how his eventual decision would affect the others around him, whether he confessed his feelings or not. His character is strong and we easily want to see him overcome the obstacles to be happy.
Dante, on the other hand...well, here's the thing I prefer when both main characters have a voice from the start. We only see Dante's POV when the guys finally admit things and this obviously only happens almost in the end, so..a lot of time imagining what Dante is thinking. A lot of his actions and behavior seems strange especially when compared to Griffin's more depressed thoughts about losing a friend, etc, in case he admits things. So I was a bit anxious to see Dante "speak", because there were some times where I think it would suit the story if we did see his mind...with only Griffin"speaking" we felt for him and get to the feel of the story faster but in my personal opinion, it's best to just know things than to imagine them, even more when we know they're ending up together, this isn't a drama or a tragic story.
Speaking about drama, there are some subjects in the story, some related to what others think about gays, some about the American vision of what was 9-11 and what it meant to them, it was interesting and it fit the plot in a fascinating way. But to combine everything..yes, it's possible, but a bit too much, I think there was too much imposed drama for the type of story.
In the end the guys are together and go out and they seem so happy, I was glad for them. Dante's family proves they are special and Dante is even a jealous boyfriend. They also help others accepting themselves and all in all, a great story to read.
Like I said, what I felt wasn't so good it's simply my personal vision of things, because the whole story is great and the author has done a good job.