Riley delivers a super swoony romance

The Romantic EbookThe Romantic by Riley Hart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not surprisingly, this book is very swoony and super romantic.

Perhaps more of a surprise is that it’s Elliott doing most of the romancing and not our Parker, he of the Vers Podcast nickname The Romantic.

The opening chapters give us their first initial meet-cute when Elliott jumps in to act as Parker’s fake boyfriend when he gets stood up once again, only this time in front of an ex who’s trying to get back in his pants but doesn’t want more.

Elliott asks Parker out for ice cream at the end of their quick ‘fake date’ but he turns him down, mistaking his friend Vaughan for an earlier hook-up and Elliott leaves.

Regretting his decision, Parker’s return to the bar sees him spotting Elliott getting hot and heavy with someone else in the car park 30 minutes later and he’s then determined that Elliott is just interested in hook-ups and nothing more without actually talking to him again.

We know from book one that they’ve been bouncing around each other ever since, Elliott asking Parker out, him turning him down and occasionally being a bit of a judgy arse over it.

Of course, it all becomes clear as the narrative unfolds that there is a genuine connection beyond just physical attraction between them.

What I liked about this book was the dawning awareness that Elliott is aromantic, he’s never felt any desire to fall in love, or even explore further a deep relationship, before Parker.

As for Parker, he gets a few home truths and a hard, but fair, wake-up call about his self-sabotaging behaviour when it comes to dating and relationships.

There’re some truly sweet and very swoony moments in this book as Elliott realises he likes to make Parker happy and Parker discovers he’s got a bit of a praise kink.

And here is where my main niggle with the storytelling comes from. I found the sex dialogue, and some kink parts of the book, a bit too stilted, rather than smouldering, unfortunately.

Not always, but there were a few instances where it felt a bit obvious, turning it cheesy and clumsy, rather than passionate and part of the natural extension of their intimacy.

It’s a minor point though and obviously will be something where YMMV given your own personal kink preferences.

Overall it’s a lovely, relatively low-angst romance with the wonderful found family of secondary characters adding a few more to their ranks.

I’m looking forward to reading Marcus’ book next which I believe is going to be with the lovely twinky barman Kai.

#ARC kindly received from the author via Valentine PR in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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