Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

 

Raine Edwards’ life is kind of a mess. But after exaggerating a bit on his resume, he lands a job with the prestigious Horsham Group, which means relocating to London. It’s the new beginning Raine needs, but it doesn’t get off to a great start when he’s late for the meet and greet in Vegas. Defeated, but optimistic, Raine heads out for a night on the town, ends up at the wrong bar, and meets a handsome British man who sweeps him off his feet for the night.

Graham Horsham has worked hard to become something, and his success is solely due to the blood, sweat, and tears he’s put in. His first, and only, focus is his company and he has no time for relationships. Quick hook ups are the only thing Graham indulges in. So why can’t he stop thinking about the eager and honest man he hooked up with before heading back to London?

Raine is a bit of a fish out of water, and when he finally starts his job, he finds out that what he’s expected to do far exceeds his capabilities. And when he meets his new boss, Raine has no choice but to leave Horsham Group and look for something else. Because the man he slept with on his last night in the States is none other than his new boss. Graham is likewise shocked to find Raine is supposed to be his new assistant. But he doesn’t want to let Raine go, recognizing that there’s something about the younger man that calls to him.

The attraction between them won’t be denied, and they soon find a new way to connect. With Raine working as a research consultant for the huge merger that is days away from being finalized, Graham and Raine indulge in what they repeatedly say is a no strings, but also no holds barred, relationship. But the more time they spend together, the closer they get. When things fall apart, Raine is broken hearted, but determined to live his adventure. Graham needs to reevaluate his priorities, and quickly, or he’s going to lose Raine forever.

One of the things that I really loved about this book, and Lane Hayes’ narrative style in general, is the lovely characterization. Raine and Graham are opposites in a lot of ways, and there’s definitely a grumpy/sunshine dynamic that really shines. But Hayes effortlessly shows just how well these two men fit together, and what they bring to the table in a relationship. There’s a really nice balance between the two. In particular, Raine gets Graham to relax some and to be himself, when for so long, Graham has just been a polished, stoic version of who he really is. For Raine, Graham indulges him and supports him, giving him the freedom to embrace his adventure and really find himself.

This is definitely a character-driven story. There’s a secondary plot of the big merger and all the snags it hits, but really this is a story about two very different men and how they fit together. While both characters go on a journey, and have growth, Graham is the one who really changes. But instead of becoming a new person, he becomes a more authentic version of himself.

Overall, I really liked the story. Raine was endearing in his clumsiness, but his authenticity really shines through. Graham is a bit stuffy and grumpy, yes, but when he lets himself be, it’s wonderful to see. I was rooting for these two from the start. The plot isn’t too angsty, but there are some heavier moments that give the story weight. It’s a steamy, sweet, lovely little story I have no trouble recommending.