Top Secret is a contemporary m/m romance novel by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. I was looking forward to reading this book because I enjoyed reading their previous collaboration, the m/m hockey duology Him and Us. I was even more excited when I found out that this book was a new release; it hadn’t been on my radar, so finding it as a new release was an awesome surprise!
Keaton is a junior at a prestigious college. He comes from a wealthy family, and he has his whole life mapped out for him. Well, his father has his whole life mapped out for him, but Keaton has other ambitions he’d rather follow. Keaton has been dating the same girl for years, and she’s asked him to plan a threesome with another guy for her birthday. So, Keaton logs onto a hookup app.
Luke is a student at the same university. He’s also in the same fraternity as Keaton, but that’s where their similarities end. Luke is a “townie” going to school on scholarship, and he works at a strip club to pay for the expenses that his scholarship doesn’t cover. When he sees the couple’s profile on the app looking for a third person, he’s more than happy to oblige.
Keaton and Luke connect via the app, but they don’t realize they’re talking to each other because of the usernames. There’s an instant connection online, but they loathe each other in real life. There’s no way this could possibly work, is there?
I’m usually reluctant about spoilers, but I know that cheating is one of the biggest dealbreakers when it comes to romance novels, and so it’s worth noting that there’s no cheating in this book. The girlfriend is out of the picture by the time Keaton and Luke hook up. I suppose there’s a grey area when it comes to their online chats, but it’s ostensibly in the context of the threesome Keaton is supposed to be planning.
Keaton and Luke are both young- ~21- and they’re still figuring out what they want out of life. Luke is more comfortable with his bisexuality, but Keaton needs to come to terms with his newfound attraction to men, which is interesting to see in the hypermasculine culture of the fraternity.
Keaton and Luke have great chemistry, but more importantly, they have a nice rapport from the beginning. Their bantering over texts in the app was hilarious, and this book had me smiling throughout. This book is generally low-angst; both guys have personal problems that they need to deal with over the course of the book, but they are resolved fairly quickly.
I would absolutely recommend Top Secret to fans of new adult m/m romance. This book was fun and cute- I love the Bowen/Kennedy collaborations, and I need to add their individual contributions to my never-ending TBR queue.