Saturday, January 23, 2021

Review: Single Player by Elia Winters

Single Player by Elia Winters
Series: Slices of Pi, Book 3
Publisher: Pocket Star
Genre: Male/Male Erotic Contemporary Romance 
Single Player cover
ISBN: 9781501140983
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo
Elia Winters Reading Order

Matthew Abrams finally has the life he’s always wanted—a promising career as a programmer at PI Games, a decent apartment in a nice neighborhood, and a thriving social life. And he’s perfectly content until he has a one-night stand with Silas Benson, a biomedical engineer with a charitable side to boot. Suddenly Matthew is doubting his life choices and worrying he might not be living up to his full potential.

Silas Benson doesn’t have time for much else outside of work, and that’s how he’s always liked it. As a biomedical engineer, he’s at the cutting edge of advances in the field, and he’s not going to waste his life partying when he could be doing actual good in the world. After a one-night stand at his friend’s twenty-fifth birthday party, though, Silas feels his focus shifting toward a certain tall, dark, and handsome almost-stranger.

When an emotional breakdown requires Silas to take a leave of absence from work, Matthew rushes to his aid and teaches him the merits of frivolity. Silas is an unwilling student at first, but Matthew soon has him in the groove, which makes for one steamy, wild ride. But is this a forever sort of affair, or will Silas abandon Matthew’s wanton ways in favor of a life of serious-minded solitude?

Opposites attract in the sexy and oh-so-fun Single Player. Every time I read this book I’m drawn to Matthew and Silas. They’re complicated, imperfect men who make a perfectly wonderful, seriously hot couple.

Matthew has been coasting along as PI Games, only doing what’s required and making sure he keeps his weekends free for bartending and gaming. He doesn’t feel the need to take on more responsibility even though he’s more than capable of it. He’s charming, open, flirtatious, and his personality draws you in because he’s so genuine. Silas is a genuine workaholic. His parents drilled into him from a young age that he has to use his mind and talents to work hard and do nothing else. The work he does as a biomedical engineer is important, but he’s breaking apart and can’t even see it. Silas also has mild Asperger’s and misses a lot of social cues, but when he’s at his best friend’s twenty-fifth birthday party he can’t miss the signals the smoking hot bartender is throwing his way. He and Matthew have serious chemistry and I loved their first heated encounter. But what grows from that is so much better.

I adored Matthew and Silas together. Matthew helps Silas learn to relax, which is heartbreakingly difficult for him. And Silas makes Matthew question the path he’s on. It’s not easy for Matthew and he definitely doesn’t like having to ask himself uncomfortable questions. There’s a hidden vulnerability to Matthew that’s less obvious than Silas’s and I wanted to hug both of them. As individuals, they are well-crafted, compelling characters. Together they are smoking hot and suit each other far better than you’d expect given how different they are on the surface. Their different outlooks and personalities do lead to some rocky moments, but I trusted Elia Winters to take them to a happily ever after that was satisfying and earned – and she definitely did.

Single Player is the third book in the Slices of Pi series and it can be easily read as a standalone. Fans of Even Odds and Tied Score will enjoy catching up with their favorite characters – I definitely did. It would also be remiss of me not to mention new supporting characters. Silas’s best friend, Dee, was the kind of character you wish were real so she could be your best friend too. Then there’s Zuul. Matthew’s rescue kitten threatened to steal the show with sheer adorableness but she also added to the story. I adored every book in the Slices of Pi series and Single Player is no exception. The characters are unique, the romances red hot, and the writing totally addictive.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.