Those of you familiar with Thomas's Least Likely Partnership series will likely go into this one with certain expectations, or at least I did. This didn't meet that expectation. It's not nearly as intense or in depth, and really is more of a contemporary romance than anything else, which is why it kind of threw me out of the book in the last half as Thomas moved the story into a more similar themed direction as the LLP series and it doesn't really fit.
I really liked the first half with the hiking and how the MCs got to know each other. I liked that they became friends first and that they moved into "something more" more gradually than you tend to see in contemporaries. There was no insta-lust or insta-love here, and it felt more real and genuine to me when they finally realized what they meant to each other. Especially considering all they have to get over first. Anders is coming out of an emotionally abusive relationship, and Kevin is grappling with a terminal diagnosis and is convinced he can't allow himself to get close to anyone. The hiking culture was well done, though I would've like more descriptions of the trail and the places they saw and passed through. It didn't need to be Tolkien levels of description, but I wanted more than the sketches we were given to really put me in the various locations.
The second half got a little melodrama llama. We find out that things weren't all as they seemed as far as Anders and his family -(show spoiler)
- and things escalate with Joel. While such things do happen in real life, this felt manufactured for the sake of drama and ended up feeling over the top. The tiny little mystery Thomas just has to include wasn't all that mysterious and again felt manufactured just for the sake of it. She also never makes it very clear(show spoiler)
The second half could've used some tighter editing and storytelling, for sure, but I still liked seeing Anders's parents and seeing Anders finally make some decisions and figure some things out.