Dean has a problem. His father, a wealthy businessman, has called him to say he’s broke and can no longer pay for Dean’s final semester in college. Desperate, Dean has come up with a plan that’s not exactly on the up and up. Loaded up with research books and one romance novel, he heads to a cafe to work on his scheme.
Edric is the owner of the cafe, much to the dismay of his parents and sister who are all scientists. He’s also a popular rock musician playing gigs locally. When Ed sets eyes on the cute redhead with the tower of books, he’s smitten right away. Turning on the charm, he heads to Dean’s table with coffee and a muffin (on the house, of course). Ed’s disappointed with the cold shoulder Dean gives him. However, when he notices Dean leaves behind a well-known romance novel, he might have a chance to see his new crush again.
Sure enough, Ed gets that chance by meeting up with Dean in the library. Dean’s left behind some important notes and he wants them back, and he figures Ed still has the book. As it turns out, he doesn’t, but the two embark on a quest to get them back. This leads to the men quickly falling for each other. However, it looks like Dean may have gotten himself into something he shouldn’t have, and now he has to figure out a way to stop it. Will Ed stick with him through this? Or will he be disappointed and walk out of Dean’s life, putting a stop to their budding romance before it really has a chance to grow?
I really enjoyed this little novel. It pushed all the buttons I needed during these less than easy times. Meet cute? Check! Sweet MCs? Check! A fun bit of mystery? Check! Rock musician? Check and double check! All these and more made It’s a Steal a short, pleasant read that left me warm and smiling.
Let me start with Dean and Ed. They had a nice little opposites attract vibe from the moment they met. Dean is a book/computer nerd, and Ed is a tattooed musician with a cafe. They do have some family issues going on. Dean’s mother passed away and he describes his father as being “Scroogish.” Ed comes from a family of scientists and they’re disappointed in him because he chose a completely different career and lifestyle. The men are actually adorable together. There is a bit of insta-love action here. As I read, I got the impression their love story came together in a little over a week. Still, that works in It’s a Steal. Somehow you just know, and Dean and Ed just knew.
I liked the author’s writing style. It felt relaxed and natural. In the beginning, I thought there may have been a little too much internal dialogue going on with Dean. Other than that, the dialogue between the characters flowed nicely…especially in scenes with Ed and his family.
There are several background characters that fill their roles well. Ed’s parents and sister are indifferent about his life. Dean’s father is standoffish, but comes around in the end. There is also the mysterious Dandelion. I’m not going to tell you anything about him, though. It’s a secret!
The ending was as expected, but it was still sweet. Everything tied up neatly, and that was exactly how I needed it to be. I genuinely loved Dean and Ed, and they got exactly what they deserved. I would have loved to have had more of them. Arden O’Keefe seems to be a first time author, and I wouldn’t hesitate to read more when they become available in the future…just like I don’t hesitate to recommend It’s a Steal.