Van

 

Review by Cupcake

4 stars

After picking this solely on the “A-hole” reference in blurb coupled with hockey divided by liking the dude’s face on the cover, my expectations weren’t super high cuz my picker has been on the fritz lately.

Boy, am I ever glad I was wrong! Right? Whatever. What I’m saying is this was gooooooooooooodddddddd. I was getting pretty happy with the banter and the thrill of the chase then I got to the first sex scene and was all…

WHO THE HELL IS THIS AUTHOR???????

Then I went to look and saw she was a NYT bestselling author! I’m always the last to know. I tell you what those New Yorkers know WTF is up, you get me?

In addition to the sex being rough, slightly kinky (more of that could’ve made it on page) and scorching, the two MCs are well-developed and *gasp* likable.

Van is kind of a lone wolf onaccounta his baggage. He’s taciturn and stoic because the baggage is significant and it’s created his persona in many ways. He’s SUPER bad at social niceties which I found pretty charming actually, but the bottom line is he really doesn’t know how to be any other way.

Simone is his opposite. She’s sassy, extroverted and in need of a place to crash since she’s dropped out of Dartmouth so she ends up on her brother Lucas’ doorstep. She’s smart, funny, sex positive and a little bratty but insightful AF. I maybe identified with her being lost as to what to do with her life. Been there. Done that. Got a closet full of t-shirts. I also liked that there weren’t easy answers for her on that front.

What is an easy decision for her is Van. She takes one eyefucking look at him and decides she wants him then proceeds to relentlessly pursue him. He pushes her away multiple times and is kinda mean about it occasionally, but she is having none of it.

I loved it and I loved her.

The story of how Van and Simone become a “they” is not a new one nor is it unique, but how honest they both are with themselves as well as each other was refreshing. There is of course one exception, but it needed to happen that way. Their transition from sex to love was a gradual one and that rang authentic. I love it when couples are good for each other and maybe Simone is winning in that department but I believe the scales will even out the longer they’re together. Once Simone uncovers his secret how much I respected her response to him cannot be put into words; the whole thing gave me #feelings. Their alternating POVs tell this slice of life romance and go a long way towards character development. There’s little drama or angst but there is a healthy heaping of tongue slap your brains out sex! I would throw down a quote right about now but all of ’em are long so I’ll leave you with this gif that approximates my reactions.

They have chemistry galore and when Van takes the lid off his restraint they are explosive. It’s no holds barred and nothing is off limits. It was a thing of beauty, I tell ya. Blew my doors clean off, it did.

I wish there had been more hockey but what was there for team dynamics were good. Their story seems to overlap with Lucas’ but this can be read as a standalone.

This was my first Sawyer Bennett but will not be my last.

Recommend to romance fans who like their romance without dramatics.

An ARC was provided by NetGalley.

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