I’m a sucker for the fake relationship trope, so I was excited that one of my favorite romance writers came out with a new book featuring just that thing. Though this novel is less kinky than some of Hawthorne’s other works, it still features the excellent writing, characterization, and storytelling I’ve come to expect from her stories.
Callahan and Jace aren’t necessarily in an opposites-attract sort of situation, even though their lives could not be more different. This is because Callahan realizes that he’s not exactly sure who he is at all throughout the story. This is the hinge point for pretty much all the drama between him and Jace because while the physical chemistry is there, Callahan has played the chameleon for so long that only facets of his personality actually attract Jace. To be honest, I wasn’t sure whether I particularly liked either character very much, so it is again a credit to Hawthorne’s writing that I was still invested in learning more and came to love them myself.
It doesn’t help that Jace also has significant baggage that prevents him from falling easily into a healthy emotional relationship. I had a bit of whiplash reading this book, filled with “will he or won’t he” moments from both men, that the story absolutely engrossed me. As a bonus, both characters come with besties who also have their own interesting personalities. I already look forward to the next book in this duology to check in with Callahan and Jace and find out more about Sebastian and Remington.