Stone’s next door neighbor, Dare, has hated him since he moved in and Stone has no idea why. He was nothing but nice to Dare… that is until it was clear Dare had an irrational hatred for him and now Stone delights in doing whatever he can to piss Dare off. He loves to see Dare give him murderous glares when Stone is being particularly annoying, figuring the guy deserves it for hating Stone for no reason. The only thing the guys agree on is the adorableness of Dare’s dog, Rudy, who has adopted Stone and shows up at his doorstep (or sneaks inside his house) on the regular.
One day, when Stone has particularly annoyed Dare, his neighbor shows up full of steam. That anger ignites something between them and the guys engage in some full on, angry hate sex. Both men are blown away by their connection — but that doesn’t mean they like one another. Yet slowly (after a few more bouts of hate sex), the guys begin to find some common ground. They get to know one another and realize that they get along quite well. Even prickly Dare, who doesn’t socialize much or have good luck with relationships of any sort, seems to find himself enjoying Stone’s company. As the two spend more time together, it is clear that there could be a real connection beneath all that fighting. Now Dare and Stone have to figure out if they can turn from feuding neighbors into long-term lovers.
Nailed is the second book in K.M. Neuhold’s Four Bears Construction series and the story is a lot of fun. Enemies to lovers is one of my favorite tropes and this one definitely ups the intensity as these guys start off the book in a full on feud and things are pretty hostile between them. Stone has a bit of playfulness as he is enjoying pushing Dare’s buttons, but Dare is quite angry about Stone’s various antics. These books have a fun, light tone, however, so even as the guys are hating on each other, there is still some humor and playfulness to the story. It never feels overly serious or hostile, which makes things work nicely when they ultimately realize that they are into each other.
This story has a pretty smooth arc from enemies to lovers. The conflict really lies in the set up that the guys are fighting and things improve as they get to know one another and start falling for each other. So this one doesn’t have a traditional romance arc with a late stage conflict, more a slightly bumpy but fairly straight road forward. There is a nod to the fact that Dare worries that his prickly nature and lack of success at relationships will make things fall apart with Stone, but it isn’t explored in a lot of detail and doesn’t end up being a big hurdle. I did wish this was delved into just a bit more, as it is really the only thing that stands in a way of smooth sailing for most of the book. But I think the tone of the story still makes it all work well.
Like I said, there is a fun tone here that I really like. One of the most entertaining aspects of the story is Dare’s dog, Rudy, who is an escape artist and constantly ends up in Stone’s house. It not only adds some levity, but also a lot of sweetness as it warms Dare’s heart to see how much Stone loves Rudy. In fact, there is a lot of sweetness here overall, particularly considering that these guys are often mad at each other. And a lot of sexiness. Stone and Dare are both hard and intense together, as well as sweet and loving, and it was fun to see the warmth grow between them over the course of the book.
So this was another fun installment in a series I really like. The banter and interaction among the group of friends is really fun and it has been great getting to know the other “bears.” I am definitely looking forward to their stories!