Twins Blake and Bianca Dunlap have always been there for each other, ready to lend support and make sacrifices. Blake can't imagine a bigger sacrifice than getting along with Bianca's fiancé, Matt. Matt turns out to be more than the meathead Blake had dismissed him as, but Matt's best friend, Ryan Everett, is a different story. Ryan seems intent on being an insufferable jerk as often as possible. The fact that Blake is undeniably attracted to Ryan only makes the whole situation more annoying.
Since they'll all be stuck together for the long haul, Blake is determined to make nice. Unfortunately he overshoots, and he and Ryan end up on much friendlier terms than Blake intended. While he and Ryan agree there's no harm in having a strings-free fling, that changes when Matt and Bianca find out about it. As more complications arise, Blake and Ryan become more determined to do what it takes to avoid letting them down. But the only way to ensure getting through a joyous wedding and avoiding the questions neither of them wants to answer is to convince everyone it's something more.
©2014 Elizah J. Davis (P)2015 Dreamspinner Press
A sweet little romance intermixed with self-inflicted bits of drama! Blake and Ryan's journey toward happiness was an interesting one. The writer was able to draw the reader in and begin to root for the mix-matched couple. I felt Blake's dismay at the disconnect happening with his twin Bianca and the determination that Ryan felt towards his best friend Matt! The narration added to the story and allowed this listener to get lost in the world crated by Davis. A sweet story, which I highly recommend.
I actually choose this book due to the length since i generally find the longer stories have more time to Build the characters and the authors of these books for the most part have a good idea and not just writting something just like the rest. And it is that kind of story - a story that seems to be very Realistic and is just a story of Two normal men finding themselves in the same place due to the marriage of a sister to a friend. And i Think that is what i like most about this story - there is no unreal drama or love at first sight in this story. It is a relationship born from sexual attraction growing into love in time. Sweet and familiar. Narrator is also good.
Blake and Ryan meet because Ryan is Blake’s twin sister’s fiancé. They immediately rub sparks off one another and sorta, kinda hate each other and at the same time want to f*ck.
So… they enter into a hate-sex sort of scenario, with neither of them really admitting that beyond the chemistry there might be a bit of something more substantial.
The premise is that at first they really DON’T like each other. Really. Blake is a pretentious prig and Ryan is a cavalier goof. Opposites attract and all that, so they are attracted to each other sexually but not emotionally.
Once they discover/admit this attraction, they want to hide it from their friend/sister because they fear/know that when it ends it will be messy if sides have to be chosen.
But… the family finds out so they admit to a “real” but fake relationship so that they family is comforted … but in fact they are still just messing around… Sound confusing … it sorta is.
And along the way, between the hating and the sexing and the pretending… they end up really caring about each other up to and including loving each other.
But… they still can’t communicate this to one another for various reasons and that keeps them apart for a bit… and then there is a BIG MISUNDERSTANDING which leads to a blow out fight which leads to… you get the idea.
So, don’t get me wrong, I actually loved much about this book… the writing is excellent and the wit exceptional (I laughed out loud in places) and the development of the characters is great. But there are a few things that would need to happen to make this a GREAT book.
First: Some major editing. It’s a LONG book that doesn’t need to be. Some have called this a “slow burn” but it isn’t , not really. They get together early on and then waffle about with the “I hate myself for wanting him but I can’t help myself”, guilt ridden booty calls for way too long. Then, once they are “fake-together”, they waffle about their “I love him but I can’t tell him or he’ll freak out” way too long. And the end… well, that’s another story.
Second: I loved the MCs and many of the secondary characters. They were funny and added to the story and added a lot of realism. I loved the exes and how they contributed to the story and the friend and the family, all shaped our MCs really nicely for us. Showing, not telling. But the MC’s lives were confusing to me. At one point Ryan is worried that Blake will judge him for not having a college degree when Blake himself is a nanny. And where does all the money come from? I kept expecting someone to have a trust fund because no one seems to work. And Blake has an interest in teaching Cello lessons but never plays or even listens to that sort of music. Given how long the story is, these kinds of details became more obvious.
Third: The BIG MISUNDERSTANDING leading to reconciliation. What should have happened is this: the big misunderstanding, the laughing and crying and forgiving, the making up and the “I love yous”. Instead we had to insert yet another bout of waffling and indecision that was patently not needed. When they do finally get things together it is rushed and unsatisfying after the pages and pages of waffling. I really wanted to finally see Ryan and Blake expose themselves and show their FEELINGS to one another and make me believe in their happy ending. Though I thought the epilogue was terribly witty and somewhat fitting for the characters, it did not satisfy my romantic heart, or make me believe in the final outcome. At some point the jokes and the insecurities should be laid to rest and the real emotions get their page time.
Overall, I believe this is the first full length novel for this author. As such, I think it is a wonderful start. I would definitely look for her again. However, I would recommend some serious editing in the future, as I think that simply shortening this would have remedied a lot of my “issues”.
Michael Ferrualo did an excellent job with this. He was believable and did a wonderful job with all the emotion. I really enjoyed listening to this and thought it added to the overall enjoyment of the book immensely.
Blake and Bianca Dunlap are fraternal twins and have been pretty much inseparable but Bianca has met and fallen for Matt and they are now engaged. Blake has been given orders to "Make Nice" with Matt and get to know him. Blake attends a poker night with Matt and a few of his buddies. Matt and Blake get along well enough, but Matt's best friend (and soon to be best man) Ryan is another matter. Blake and Ryan share a prickly dislike leavened by attraction for each other that confuses them both and bodes poorly for their getting along until the wedding.
Ryan is a bit unevolved. Honest but sometimes oblivious, Ryan is a bit of a player who doesn't think in terms of relationships.
Beautiful Blake is used to being courted, but is at his core full of self doubt, and still very injured from an earlier relationship.
The two secretly agree to yield to the sexual attraction and to at least get along for the sake of the others but neither expects to become as fond of the other as they do.
Can the two overcome their pasts and their initial reactions to form a more lasting bond? Read the book and find out.
Since Pride & Prejudice I've been a sucker for tales where initial dislike turns to love. This works. when it does, because the characters learn more about each other and begin to find endearing the very qualities that initially irritated. In this tale we learn as well and it works to some degree, though I would have liked to learn more about Ryan's backstory.
This type of tale can be difficult to pull off but the author here is mostly successful and the tale is an enjoyable one, if a bit slow in spots.
Michael Ferraiuolo ably narrates the audio-book and has the perfect voice for Blake. His Ryan is OK as well and the womens' voices are ably done.
This type of tale may not be everyone's cuppa tea but the author does a nice job and really develops a great family dynamic with Blake and Bianca's family. We meet their mother and father and all their siblings and even a few of their nieces and nephews. And all of the adults are developed a bit more than is usual. I just wish that we knew a bit more of Ryan's family so that the contrast would have been greater still.
*** Note: I received a copy of this audio-book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest and impartial review ***
This book was all about making a relationship work when it starts out as just mutual lusting. These two guys hadn't a clue on how to be a boyfriend and their families and friends didn't help. I am surprised that it had a HEA ending because the story was getting off track at some points. The narrator was a little happy when he should of been sad. He needs more acting lessons but it was a good listen. Definitely worth the credit.
Enjoyable if predictable
He did good voices for both Ryan and Blake, so you began to get a feeling for the characters
I think the fight towards the end between Blake and Ryan was a very human moment.
There's only so much hand ringing I can stand. This book has a chapter too much. Not bad, but it could be just a little shorter.
I can see how the plot could be really good, but the execution of the story is poor.
Although the amorous scenes are very well done, the rest of the book doesn't have a great standard. I often found myself getting very confused with the characters, not fully understanding their relationships.
There were also a number of grammatical errors that kept jumping out at me, although that is me being very picky, it meant that I couldn't get fully immersed into the story.
"Great narration, good story"
Despite little differentiation between the character voices, the skill with which the book was read more than made up for it. Funny in places, sweet, and in one spot it made me tear up, but sometimes the story felt too drawn out, and I wanted to slap Blake on more than one occasion. Still, well worth the credit, and a book I would recommend for the narration alone.
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