Book Reviews

Down on One Knee (Open Secrets 1) by Sage Kingsley

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Humor/Comedy
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 06-May-2021

Book Blurb

Sebastian Hale has a problem. He needs his inheritance to pay for his brother’s cancer treatment, but thanks to a clause in his parents’ will, he won’t be able to access it unless he gets married before he turns 30.

And his birthday is less than a month away.

His solution? Ask his tall, tattooed, and sexy-as-hell best friend, Rook, to marry him. Sebastian doesn’t do relationships, as a rule: he’s certain he has nothing to offer a romantic partner, and if there’s any simmering tension between him and Rook, he’s been doing just fine ignoring it so far. After a year of marriage, Sebastian will inherit, they’ll get divorced, and no one—including Sebastian’s meddling relatives—will be the wiser.

Cameron Rook has a problem. He’s been in love with his slender, snarky, sharp-tongued best friend, Sebastian, for as long as he can remember. But the one time Rook tried to confess, Sebastian shot him down. Hard.

At least that’s how Rook remembers it.

So when Sebastian asks Rook to marry him just for show—and offers a generous amount of money as compensation—it’s the last thing Rook expected. But he would do anything for Sebastian. Even when living in close quarters only fans the flames of the irresistible pull between them, and Rook is in serious danger of falling into Sebastian’s bed...

After all, there’s no way this can go wrong. Right?


Book Review

“At times, it's so confusing the questions of the heart. You followed me through changes and patiently you'd wait 'til I came to my senses through some miracle of fate...The search is over love was right before my eyes.” ~ Survivor (The Search is Over)


Being a real friend means caring about someone when things are good or when they are bad. Rook has always tried to be that kind of friend to Sebastian although it hasn’t always been easy. Now Sebastian has asked him to marry him! Considering how much Rook loves Sebastian and always has, how can he refuse?


Sebastian considers marrying Rook a practical solution to his problem, but he doesn’t take Rook’s feelings into account. Sebastian finds Rook attractive but has always been able to remain friends but when they are together for 24/7 it is a different matter altogether. The feelings Sebastian has always suppressed come to the surface causing him great consternation. In an effort to make their marriage appear more believable, Sebastian put a clause into the prenuptial agreement that prohibits outside sexual activity. At the time, it seemed like a good idea, but Sebastian did not realize how much of a problem it was going to cause. Forced proximity causes Sebastian to see how desirable Rook is and the idea occurs to him that if he doesn’t need to have sex outside of marriage, he can have it with his husband!


Rook had an inkling of how hard it was going to be to resist his feelings for Sebastian, but when Sebastian starts flirting with him and suggests that they consummate their marriage he is floored. Rook knows it is not a good idea, but he has wanted Sebastian for so long he can’t resist. Rook can hardly believe how well things are going with Sebastian both in bed and out. He is surprised that his uptight friend is so uninhibited in bed. After one particularly intense night, Rook is certain that they have turned a corner in their relationship, that their fake marriage has an excellent chance of being real and meaningful, that is until Sebastian tells him that he has decided they have become too close, that he needs some space.


This story was a rollercoaster of emotions. I felt sorry for Rook for how Sebastian didn’t consider his feelings but in a way, I felt bad for Sebastian too. Rook tried so hard to remain Sebastian’s friend, regardless of how he felt. Sebastian was stuck in denial for so long that he didn’t recognize his feelings for Rook until it was almost too late. Fortunately, they both came to their senses and were able to squeeze out the happy ending they deserved. Thanks, Sage, for finding a way to bring Sebastian and Rook together.



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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 224 pages/62000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 17-February-2021
Price $4.99 ebook, $13.99 paperback
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