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Publisher's Summary

His life was never easy. Hers wasn't supposed to be this hard. They come from different worlds, but fate lures them together in a way neither expected in Cecy Robson's raw, steamy series debut - perfect for fans of Monica Murphy and J. Lynn.

Evelyn Preston's future once looked perfect - until her wealthy father was caught in an embezzlement scandal and took his own life. Alone and struggling to pay her college tuition and bills, Evelyn finds a job as a waitress at the ultra-hip nightclub Excess, where she used to have more in common with the privileged private-school clientele than her fellow staff members. But something attracts her to the sexy six-foot-four bouncer and ex-army MMA fighter Mateo Tres Santos. Although they've led different lives, their troubled pasts bonds them in both survival and love.

Mateo wound up in prison for assaulting the man who harmed his sister. Now he's feeling the same protective impulse for this petite blond waitress. When Evelyn experiences a panic attack at the club, Mateo comes to her rescue. And when Mateo is wounded shielding her from a brawl, Evelyn returns the favor and comes to his aid. As their attraction intensifies, Mateo is determined to find out what nightmares are lurking in Evelyn's past - even if that means tackling his own to save her.

©2014 Cecy Robson, LLC (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Mercedes Moreno's blend of serious and seductive tones brings out the complexities of the characters' lives in this spicy adult novel. Evelyn Preston is no longer one of those spoiled rich kids who party at the nightclub Excess. Nowadays, she's hanging onto whatever pride she has by working hard to pay her tuition bills and get through nursing school. Moreno portrays Evelyn in tones of tension and fear, which are caused by her ex-boyfriend and memories of her father, who committed suicide. In contrast to this angst, Moreno uses soft seductive tones whenever Evelyn is thinking of, or in the arms of, Matteo Tres Santos - the nightclub's handsome and commanding bouncer. In her portrayal of Matteo, Moreno provides another balance of tender and tough. His protectiveness of his sisters and Evelyn is contrasted effectively with the tough nature of his job and the demons of his past. Moreno fully succeeds at capturing the provocative moods of this racy novel." (AudioFile Magazine)

What listeners say about Once Perfect

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

False Narrative: Latino Families

I was okay with the story and was actually very proud as a Latina, but then all that crap with letting your parent violate and abuse you without defending themselves. As a Puerto Rican, I can tell you that my uncles would not have tolerated that show. Not all Latino families are barbaric.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A bigger story than it seems

Evelyn (Evie) Preston is a waitress at a hip nightclub while at the same time attending nursing school and struggling to pay bills. It’s a bit of a comedown from her earlier life as the privileged daughter of a wealthy businessman just three years ago. His suicide following an embezzlement scandal changed everything, let alone personal traumas even she hasn’t fully acknowledged. Mateo Tres Santos is a bouncer at the nightclub, an imposing figure at 6’4” compared to the petite Evie. Circumstances bring these two together despite the chasm of differences but one thing they share is a strong sense of self and personal fortitude.

This book was a slow but growing burn for me. Initially I feared I wouldn’t be able to connect with either character or their relationship not just because of their ages (early twenties) but also because of Mateo’s underground MMA fighting. That’s just not my cuppa and I’ve avoided those stories. However (and it’s a big one), that’s just background and the real story is of two people grappling with real life issues, trying to make the best of their lives and figuring out how to move forward. To say their experiences are reflective of most people’s reality is understating the value of this story. I loved how both just dealt with their circumstances, struggled to create a relationship when most of those around them aren’t betting on them and kept moving forward. Mateo’s family values and cultural norms are a strong part of his identity and I was pleased to see that honestly portrayed. Evie’s issues were tragic and what made her more authentic was how there wasn’t a neat end or solution provided.

It’s a tough story but I eventually came to admire and truly like Evie and Mateo. They’re not stereotypes in any sense of the word and their lives and relationship are not easy. I didn’t think I’d want to continue the series but now I’m too invested to stop here. The narrator did a really good job of giving voice to both characters as well as to the secondary ones. This one is a keeper.

My thanks to Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer for providing me a complimentary copy.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Inspiring ending

I was not sure I would like this book. I have had it in my wish list for a while. I am so glad I finally listened to it. It was a great story of loving and staying together and true friendship.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Had potential to be good but…

First, I feel like this book blatantly misrepresents the Latino community. I understand the importance of tradition, being Latino myself, but to use that as justification for violence is ridiculous and insulting.
Second, I like the narrator’s voice but her constant miss pronunciation of several characters names was really annoying and could have been an easy fix.
Overall I feel like the story had the potential to be better. I do not recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Poor pronunciation

This should have been read in dialects. It was very fake. Pronunciation of names like Lety were just wrong. With a name like Moreno, I would expect the narrator to know better. Story would have been so much better.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Boring

This book really was predictable and not really all that worth reading. The voice wasn’t all that when it came to inflection. Kind of boring

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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My truth

Over all it was good. She did good separating each character. But she reads the main character like she’s reading the book for the first time. Not much life to the main characters emotions. But I stuck it out and will continue to listen because the story is so good!!!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Overall a good book

Overall, I enjoyed this book. The narration wasn’t my favorite, but wasn’t terrible. I think I would have enjoyed the book more if we got to hear both POVs. I was disappointed by large gaps in the time line, as some chapters started out with “it had been a few weeks” or “it’s now February” when the last chapter left off in January.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Entertaining

This was a great read. I laughed at parts and the innocents of Evenlyn and Mateo was handed some crappy cards. He defends his sister and he lands in prison. I laughed so hard at the cookie part. Loved it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Just ok

This book was ok. The narrator was ok. The story was ehh. I was waiting for it really to go somewhere and then it ended 😂😂.

If it’s free go for it but definitely don’t waste a credit.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Tigger
  • Tigger
  • 08-07-19

amazing book loved every bit of it

amazing read felt all the emotions even got angry on a few bits lol but best story so far can't wait for next book