Marley crafts a fake boyfriend romance which is full of heat and emotion
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Marley Valentine knows how to stir the heart strings and she does a brilliant job with this entry in the excellent Vino & Veritas series.
From the off, it’s clear there is more than just a hook-up when the two meet. They’re early 20s, Reeve is 23, Oz two years older, and they’re both struggling with parental pressures, albeit in totally different ways.
For me, it just fell short of a 5* review because of one issue – Reeve’s determination to not be the guy he was with his old boyfriend – which wasn’t ever actually expanded on.
This meant that I wanted to shake Reeve quite hard for a lot of the book because he kept going on about how he couldn’t fall in love again with Oz because of what happened with Micah but we NEVER actually find out what happened with Micah?!
For me, it made Reeve an occasionally unsympathetic character because he never explained to Oz what he was so afraid of.
The narrative concentrates more on his absolute determination to go back home and work for his parents in spite of knowing he will hate it, but it keeps pushing this secondary thread too which doesn’t get any more details given to it.
It’s a minor point, and wasn’t one which derailed the book at all, I really loved both the characters and their journey into realising that the other was someone special that they should keep hold of.
But Oz was very definitely my favourite of the two guys. He was the one who fell, and fell hard, in spite of his previous life as a one-night stand only kinda guy.
Oz’s family are also awesome, even as his parents push him to be the best he can, although within the parameters they feel he should be fitting into.
It’s not because they don’t love him though, they absolutely do, and this contrast between how Oz’s family are, and Reeve’s parents’ absolute disinterest in either of their children, is brilliantly done.
It’s seriously steamy too, as they explore the physical attraction between them and get themselves embroiled in a fake boyfriend plot which is well constructed and starts to have complications almost straight away.
Neither of them can stay away from the other but it’s not just sexual, they connect on a friendship level too. Reeve encourages Oz to pursue his business plans for an Instagram business, Oz tries to get Reeve to see he should be living his life for himself.
The usual V&V crew are around, but not as heavily involved in this one, with the exception of Murphy, who is Reeve’s flatmate. His book is rounding out the series and I absolutely cannot wait to read my ARC of Undone.
#ARC kindly received from the publishers Heart Eyes Press in return for an honest and unbiased review