Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Rating: 3 stars
Received from Publisher
Blurb: If “I love you” is a lie, why does it feel so much like the truth?
Stuck at a co-workers retirement party, Max prepares himself for a long, boring night—until a guy across the bar with an intense brown gaze and a dangerous smirk offers some mutual gratification in the bathroom. Max had been looking for a forever love, but Karson’s so hot, forever can wait.
Ever since his cheating ex broke his heart, Karson’s had rules. Only pleasure. Never more than once. Never stay the night. Yet long after their romp in the bar bathroom, Karson still wants Max—maybe enough to break his own rules.
As Max and Karson struggle to sort out their complicated non-relationship, Karson’s ex resurfaces in full win-him-back mode. One white lie later, Max attends Karson’s tenth annual high-school reunion as his “boyfriend” to keep his ex away. But pretending is hard, when all Max wants is for the lie to be the truth.
Review: Max is on a six month break from hooking up with guys. He’s decided he wants a relationship instead of one night stands. He’s at the bar avoiding his co-workers one night when he sees a handsome stranger staring at him from across the bar. The man named Karson is just too much to resist. So they head to the bathroom at the bar. Karson is honest from the beginning this is just a one time thing. Max knows it but he can’t get Karson out of his mind. The strange part is Karson can’t stop thinking about Max either. He doesn’t do repeats and he sure as hell does do relationships. Not after his one and only one ended in heartbreak.
This was my first book by this author. I thought the blurb sounded good. The beginning had some promise but it quickly turned into manufactured angst fest. The situation with the starting a relationship under the premise “it’s just sex” has been done many times before so I knew what the author was going for but it didn’t seem to have any depth. The MCs and their stories didn’t really ever resonate with me. Karson had his heartbroken so he’s totally closed off emotionally. He’s also big on his calm and collected “persona” which I didn’t really understand why that was needed 24/7. I felt like his character was kind of all over the place. Karson runs hot and cold with his I want you….go away vibes. Consistently hurting Max’s feelings with his indecisiveness even though Karson frequently points out a relationship of any form is not an option with him. Max goes back and forth from enjoying Karson while he has him to keeping his distance because he knows he’s going to get hurt.
Besides Karson and his issues I had some other problems with this book for sure. Max thinking Karson was married was kind of a leap for me. Followed up by a freak out of course. I found it weird that within an hour of meeting Karson Max has shortening his name to “Kar”. Okay that may just be me but I find that annoying. Even through his orgasm in the bar bathroom. Andrew the ex on the scene again made everything seem too obvious and forced. His ex jerk boyfriend shows up being an ass after all this time away. Karson’s reaction to him seemed more that of an abused boyfriend as opposed to a brokenhearted one. Just so many things in this story just didn’t come together IMO. Like lots of superficial pieces of information that had no real impact on me as the reader.
So basically this story has been done before, and I’d read it over and over IF I enjoyed the characters and their story was a good one. This one just didn’t work for me. I never really bought into Karson’s character, so I can’t say I really liked him or much care about his struggle. Max was likable most of the time. The sex scenes were pretty hot. I was just never drawn in or felt connected the characters. It was a miss for me.