It was a devastating dirty trick—Joey Silvia just found out her boyfriend of two years is married. What. A. Dick. Joey knows her best chance to get over one guy is to get under another. Of course, heading home to her family’s remote cabin in Oregon poses some challenges in the “available men” department…until she discovers this cabin comes with its own hot handyman!
Holy crap, Chris Steffensen. When did her brother’s best friend turn into a hard-bodied pile of blond-bearded hotness? He’s the perfect Halloween treat—and a surprisingly dirty rebound guy. For a couple of weeks, anyway. Except that Chris has other ideas…like proving to Joey that this blast from the past is a whole lot more than a naughty Halloween hookup.
Reisz is one of my go-to authors and she delivers again with this category romance. Categories are shorter romances that are part of a line, a niche that is dominated by Harlequin. They tend to be shorter, rarely topping 250 pages, and the lack of real estate means the story is concentrated on the couple and their developing love story. Wendy the Super Librarian does a great job explaining the appeal over at Heroes and Heartbreakers. Personally I like that they’re conveniently packaged, perfect for when my brain has scattered to the winds. (2016 – good riddance.)
Shorter books are a natural fit for Reisz, who has a habit of breaking up anything over 300 pages into smaller chunks. The plot is tight, the characters are fully realized, and the sex is oh-so-hot. I love that there are LGBT characters whose past struggles and current joys ring true. Sometimes categories give me emotional whiplash when a character’s development is cut short but Reisz has all the beats covered. Joey acts more rashly than I would at times, but given her circumstances it’s completely understandable.
I also like that Joey’s best friend is real-world wise, not parent-y or moral authority-y wise. Here’s Kira when Joey laments that the last two years of her life have gone “down the toilet”.
“Look, I know breakups are hard. And they’re ten times harder when somebody lies or cheats. I know. I’ve been there. But Ben was not your whole life. You have a job you love that you kick ass at… You have friends – me, for example – and what more do you need than me? And you live in fucking Honolulu, Hawaii, so close to the beach you can see actual whales from your apartment window. Can you really tell me that’s all down the toilet? Really? Go look. Go look in the toilet and tell me if you see any whales in it.”
“Go. Look. For. Whales. In. Your. Toilet. Right. Now.”
All in all a hot, satisfying, quick hit of romance from the incomparable Reisz.