--Another Cardeno C winner for me! Short and contemporary from this author seems to work for me.
I love a lot of tropes, but enemies to lovers is near and dear. In Rough Edges
, the enemies are within a group of friends.
Can we say awkward especially when they all hangout?
Thirty-something year old Kyle is determined. He's come a long way from that trailer park in Alabama. He fought and studied hard to be a professional at a prestigious firm in LA. He's got the right clothes, the perfect job, and soon to be the perfect condo. And others think he's a pretentious snob, so what? He's earned it. What he can't stand are people who are "lazy" and live off their trust funds without working and making something of themselves.
Unfortunately, the guy he started to crush on when he first moved to LA, Brent, falls under that category. And Kyle's been prejudiced ever since. Two years has passed from that initial magic meeting. The vitriol that Kyle spews is still iron strong. He digs at the happy go lucky Brent any chance he gets.
One day Kyle loses it all. (Cardeno is good at that, giving a character maximum crap day dealings by the boatload) And you know who helps the pissy guy out? You guessed it, Brent. They become roommates.
In this book the enmity read more one sided but Brent had the mouth and backbone to give as good as he got. But damn is Kyle a prick to Brent. I get Kyle's mindset: when you come from nothing and have to fight for any semblance normal you can get, you could resent others who have it easier aka born with a silver spoon in their mouths.
But Brent's not that guy. He's so likeable. He gets under Kyle's skin. And best part is he gets why Kyle is the way he is toward him.
Kyle is angry and pretentious and that stick in his ass is rooted deep. (The thing is I expected Kyle to be appreciative and humble. But he's not that guy.)
Thankfully, the chemistry is there. And we got dual POV because if it was one sided, I might not have bought it.
I both read and listened to new to me narrator, Kevin Chandler. I think he did a pretty good job. And I would listen to him again. Chandler didn't make all the voices distinct. But I loved what he does for Kyle's voice. I knew exactly where he was from (the South). And when Kyle gets upset, the Southern intensifies. That was the best part of the audiobook, his take on Kyle.
The roommates learn about each other. That years long lust that was shelved for Kyle's ridiculousness? It comes off the shelf...
"When you want more, I'll give you my dick and then we can see which of us is begging to finish first."
The sex is hot, nothing extreme. But the author sets up the characters to share just enough of themselves for the moment to feel intimate. Having Chandler narrate those bits didn't hurt.
Someone's monogamous and definitely a relationship guy. (Cardeno C staple!) Once bedroom action happens, he wants his man. The relationship is not one sided. And the guys seemed to be a great fit, in and out of the bedroom.
Kyle's the type of character who needs to learn as a person to grow. I think he's still a work in progress. He shares his inner demons with Brent. And Brent brings out the best in him.
Overall, a pretty great story with good narration. I'd recommend either version: ebook or audio. A copy provided for an honest review.