"You’re beautiful, you know that?"
"You make me feel like that could be true," Oliver said quietly.
Jaime curled his hand around Oliver’s nape and brushed their lips together. "It is true."
And here I was, believing for years that Pretty Woman was highly unrealistic. And yet that movie couldn't EVER compare to this story of sweet, overweight and introvert Oliver, who just started a new job in a new town, and out of all people in the city managed to hook up with his new boss Jaime in a bar one night (which none of them is aware of at the time of course).
But wait, there's more! Because of course Jaime turned out to have a chubby kink and of course he played along when Oliver mistook him for the escort he had booked for the night. Needless to say that Jaime is also filthy rich, because - let's say it together:
Look guys, I get why this story appeals to so many people. It's always nice and refreshing to have a plus-sized character in a genre where 99% of the MCs have the body of an underwear model. But Oliver's "How can you possibly like me? Look at you and then look at me." shtick every other page got on my nerves - VERY much and VERY fast.
But what was even worse and almost ruined the book completely for me was HOW LONG Jaime kept lying to Oliver and how Oliver immediately forgave him during the blink of an eye when he found out. I can't help but feel that Oliver was only willing to overlook the lying and the deceit because he thought he should just be glad and thankful to have such a muscular sex god like Jaime being interested in him and his body type at all. This was doormat behavior 101 and I'm sorry, but I don't find lying and emotional manipulation romantic or sweet at all, no matter the circumstances.
This was only my second book from this author after Perfect Imperfections, and I haven't liked that one either. So maybe I think it's best if I give Cardeno C. a wide berth for a little while while wishing her nothing but the best for her writing career.
"God bless naked Twister."
Hooyah! I am bursting with joy right now. What better way to end the year than with a 5-star read?
It's impossible to write a proper review without giving away any spoilers. I went into this book with only the information from the blurb and without having read any reviews and I highly recommend that you do the same!
This is one of those cases where it definitely pays out to go into a book blindly, because there was a HUGE twist/revelation quite early in the story (chapter 2, at 9% on my Kindle) which dominated the rest of the book. I can only imagine that the author didn't want to give this information away in the blurb so that the reader can take this journey together with the MC Josiah from the beginning. AND IT WORKED! I was totally taken aback when I got to that point.
What I can tell you though is that I loved the way the two MCs Josiah and Ryan have been written and how their relationship progressed oh so ever slowly and full of banter, sexual innuendos and emails. I just LOVED how Josiah didn't hold back his attraction towards Ryan from the very first moment they've met and how he slowly but surely tore down Ryan's walls and made him see that it's OK to not just give, but also accept comfort from other people. This truly was hurt/comfort at its best.
The - in romance novels unavoidable - relationship conflict towards the end was surprisingly and refreshingly realistic and absolutely convincing. It was the natural climax the story was building up to from the start, and it was resolved just perfectly. I was SO relieved that it wasn't just one of those big misunderstanding arguments (ugh!) or - even worse! - another "I'm not good enough for you, so I'm breaking up with you." (UGH!) BS moment.
Connection Error can definitely be read as a standalone; you don't need to read the first two books from that series to understand what's going on. But I recommend that you do, because I liked those stories just as well. But this one turned out to be my favorite of the series so far.
One last shout-out to Sean Crisden for giving another outstanding audiobook performance. If you get the chance, you should listen to the audiobook because it took an already great book and made it even more perfect.
Highly, highly recommended! And thanks to Marte for the BR!
"Adrian kissed like he was in charge. Like he expected to be the one in charge. And something inside Noah opened up and said yes. Yes, in a way he'd never been able to before. Yes, with a thousand small exhales. Yes, with his lips parting, welcoming Adrian's tongue, welcoming Adrian taking over his mouth, taking over his person."
This book made me so, so happy!
And not just happy as in "this was such a sweet and well-written story and I had a great time reading it" happy, but as in "this book made me fall so hard for its MCs and their crazy ass chemistry and gave me all the fuzzy feels that I had a constant grin on my face" happy.
Noah and Adrian - though being so very different from their upbringing and their own personal dealings with being gay - just felt right together from the start. They both gave each other so much and they were both just so genuinely nice and good-hearted people that I couldn't help but root for them to fall in love and get their HEA.
This story ticked so many of my boxes:
And cuddling. Sweet Baby Jesus, so much cuddling.
Usually, when I read "35-year-old virgin", this is my initial reaction:
So kudos to Annabeth Albert's mad writing skills to make this part of Noah's background absolutely believable and comprehensible to me.
The building trust between Adrian and Noah was a delight to witness and each step of their relationship was a joy to get lost in. I loved how Noah finally came out of his shell and how Adrian was so sweet and patient with him.
Oh, and you should totally get the audiobook. Sean Crisden already is a favorite narrator of mine, but once again he brought an already great book to a higher level with his performance.
I can't wait to reread this again. Perfect romance is perfect.
Highly, highly recommended!
Thanks to Julie & Marte for the BR!