Hard Candy (Bend or Break #7)

Author: Amy Jo Cousins

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Rating: 3.5 stars

Buy Links: Samhain and Amazon

Type: Novella in a Series

Received from Publisher


Blurb: How to get over someone? Get under someone else—as soon as possible.  

Bend or Break, Book 7

Vincent Lim always assumed his best friend (and occasional hookup) Austin would be waiting for him—that eventually they’d end up together. But now that Austin’s in love with another man, Vinnie is at a loss.

After the world’s most awkward one-night stand with a dance major, Vinnie knows the drill. Minimize the embarrassment by pretending they’ve never met. Yet Bryan’s vibrant spirit and calm center lure Vinnie like a shelter from an emotional storm. 

But Vinnie’s thrown off his game by the rest of Bryan’s total package. Vinnie’s a rowing jock with a single-minded focus on living up to his parents’ academic and social expectations. Bryan might as well be outfitted with glittery butterfly wings—with plenty of pride to match. Vinnie’s haphazard attention to a lover won’t cut it this time.

Physically, they can match each other stroke for booty pop. But for the lovers to meet on common ground, they’ll have to find a way to get moving in the same direction.

Product Warnings: Contains one uptight rower, a dancer who can rock a skirt like nobody’s business, yoga lessons, and the benefits of being very bendy.


Review:  This book kind of overlaps or picks right up after Love Me Like A Rock. Austin has moved on and now Vinnie is left wondering where that leaves him. He goes on a binge and wakes up with a beautiful stranger. That’s really not Vinnie’s thing so he’s left feeling awkward and hungover. Once Vinnie escapes and recuperates, he can’t get the guy off his mind. He seeks him out with the lame excuse of returning a tshirt. Vinnie is surprised when that same lust takes over him. Again not a reaction he’s used to. Bryan is flamboyant and unapologetic about it. Vinnie used to have to get drunk to make a move on Austin. Vinnie is uptight and works too hard. He’s very scheduled and focused. Bryan is more of a free spirit. They’re basically opposites but they find a nice balance being together.

I think the best part about this book is the character development. I didn’t ever really get the idea that Vinnie was brokenhearted after Austin fell for another guy. To me it seemed more like a convenient piece of his life was removed. And that’s something Vinnie hadn’t considered happening before. Vinnie never wanted Austin the way he wants Bryan. This helps him strive to be the type of guy that’s good for Bryan. A good friend and lover. Vinnie is the type to enjoy his solitude. Bryan is a loner type. He’s chosen to be himself no matter what others may think of him. This has brought on some problems in his past. He’s endured getting beat up and called names. So Bryan refuses to tone it down for anyone. There were times when he even pushes his behavior over the top just for reactions. He’s just so used to people thinking he’s this shiny creature they want to be around at first, only to want him to tamp it down later. So he has his own hang ups.

For me their relationship was a good give and take in the beginning. Once they officially became a thing, it felt a little like one of those one sided relationships. It seemed like Vinnie was going out of his way or comfort zone to be the perfect boyfriend. Which is and isn’t Vinnie. Vinnie has never been in a relationship. He has no idea what he’s doing but he’s good at guessing what what Bryan needs. There just seemed to be a point where Bryan was expecting quite a bit from Vinnie. Bryan is vibrant and passionate. Vinnie isn’t. I just felt he wasn’t always understanding of Vinnie’s feelings and hangups.

So I liked this book. Not quite as much as some of the others. I thought the book was sweet and sexy. I liked the characters most of the time. They each had their own issues to work out. I liked how Bryan was able to help Vinnie relax. Even if it was with LOTS of yoga. And sometimes sex. I’m glad Vinnie found his someone and Bryan is able to have a support system through Vinnie’s group of friends. A happy ending for all. I didn’t see any new set ups for possible new couples coming up so I have no idea where this series will take us next. The row boys may be done. Unless Boomer is secretly gay or bi?


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