Let me list the reasons why dating a sexy, charming, pro hockey star is a bad idea:
1. He’s one of my closest friends
2. All our friends are friends
3. The wounds I’ve got from past relationships go deep. And so do his.
We’re both devoutly single -- it’s just safer for the heart that way. But there’s no reason not to bid on the gorgeous, clever athlete at the charity auction this weekend. If I win, it’ll be a friendsdate. And I do win. I win him big.
And all night long.
The trouble is...what happens in the morning?
Friends to lovers romances are amongst my favorites and this latest release by Ms. Blakely is another delightful addition to the list. From a wonderfully engaging couple to crackling dialogue to a group of friends (and other secondary characters) who feel more like family, this book had me smiling from start to finish. From one unforgettable night to an up and down rollercoaster ride of should they/shouldn't they, this story had me cheering them on every step of the way in a warm embrace of happiness.
Ransom North and Teagan King are the lone holdouts when it comes to HEA amongst their group of friends. Two previous books showed the journey those couples took to reach their HEAs and they're now looking at Ransom and Teagan to find their own...and hopefully to find it together. Ransom and Teagan are a bit leery of making their friendship more though, despite their friends wanting to see them together, but one night after a bachelor auction changes their feelings irrevocably and has them dancing around each other in interactions full of sexual tension. From the first moment readers see them together they see a wonderful pairing, as both are outgoing, caring, fun, and flirtatious in their banter. Watching them verbally spar is its own type of foreplay and it made their scenes even more crackling. To the world Ransom's a cocky and self-assured hockey player, one without a care in the world, but amongst his friends and family he's a caring man full of deep emotions and beliefs but with vulnerabilities due to past matters of the heart. Once he has a taste of Teagan he's focused on keeping her as his, happy to take a chance on the future, and I found myself charmed by all his words and deeds in getting her to see the same. Teagan's the female version of Ransom with a personality and behaviors that were similar, but when it comes to making their friendship into something more she definitely holds back. She just wants to have fun with Ransom, she's not looking for a forever romance with him. After all, she's alone in the world and doesn't want to lose their friends if a relationship with him goes bad. Fate has other plans though and the more they try to keep things casual the more potent and heartfelt their connection becomes and the harder it is to remain just friends.
From start to finish I found this an utterly delightful romance! From its sizzling banter to its endless sexual tension this story captivated me and brought me hours of joy during this time of chaos and pessimism. It's a story that brought a bit of brightness to my day and I appreciate Ms. Blakely crafting such an entertaining read full of heart and soul. The main couple were pure perfection and I thoroughly enjoyed their journey to HEA as it felt real and was easy to relate to. Add in a supportive and devoted group of friends and you have a story that pulled me in completely, making me feel like one of the group. Though this story can be read on its own, it will make for a richer experience if the two previous installments are read first. Readers will see the connection between these two grow through each book, see these friends be there through thick and thin, and find themselves rooting for Ransom and Teagan right alongside the other couples. The conclusion of this book was also perfect as we got updates on each of the other couples in a seamless inclusion as well as epilogues from both the main characters which gives even greater insight into their feelings. By the turn of the final page I felt as if I'd been wrapped up in a loving embrace, told a fun and flirty bedtime story that will provide me with many nights of sweet dreams and it's a story I highly recommend.
My rating for this is an A.
*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.