My rating: 5 of 5 stars
For me, Annabeth is at her absolute best when she’s writing military based romances, I’ve yet to not absolutely adore every one she’s created.
This was no exception as she gives the reader a fabulous twist on the fake boyfriend/only one bed/best friend’s brother tropes and mixes them all up into an utterly delightful romance between two very different guys.
From the moment Derrick’s best friend Calder arranges for his younger brother Arthur to come and greet him when their submarine docks after a long deployment – during which Derrick’s ex cheated on him with a fellow officer who’s now won the First Kiss raffle – the two men are on a collision course into falling in love.
Arthur is everything Derrick isn’t – he’s younger, musically gifted, outgoing and disorganised – while Derrick’s focus has been on his Navy career, he’s disciplined, reserved, logical and secretly nursing a whole world of vulnerabilities.
From their supposedly staged First Kiss which goes viral thanks to Arthur’s social media influencer BBF Selina, to all the ones they subsequently share, these two men are on fire.
Arthur is a virgin and Derrick, while reluctant at first to take all his first moments, slowly comes to realise he not only wants to be the first, but he wants to be the only one Arthur is with.
They’re both holding back feelings, there’s a tad of martyrdom on both their parts but thankfully it never becomes too much and they do talk a fair bit about the rules of their fake relationship and whether they should continue it after the initial holiday with Arthur’s family.
The gorgeous cover on this book absolutely matches the gorgeous romance inside it as both Derrick and Arthur come to realise that because they started off as fake, doesn’t mean they can’t actually have real feelings.
As the lovely Dani said in her review, the Epilogue is insanely swoony and ridiculously romantic and this is a Happy Ever After you will truly believe in.
Now roll on Calder’s book because from the blurb and the sneak peek, that’s going to be an absolute cracker!
#ARC kindly received from the publishers Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review