Friday, April 28, 2017

REVIEW: Mister Romance by Leisa Rayven


Shel: Mister Romance features a male escort in NYC and an investigative writer for a click bait news site and for some readers that may be all you need to know. You might think male escort + NYC, been there, done that ...or you might think male escort + NYC, those are my favorites! Or, you may be like me and realize you've a) never read a book about a male escort and b) the idea of a writer investigating who this guy is could be very interesting. Court: I have rarely read about this time of hero, so I was so in to figure out how Leisa Rayven was going to play this one. She is such an incredible writer, and I was floored by how things twisted and turned and threw predictability out the window. I was more nervous about the investigation and eventual fall out, but even still the ride was off the charts sexy and well...romantic!

Shel: What I realized early on is that my concept of what the man behind Mister Romance would be was way off--probably because I had similar preconceptions as our writer, Eden. I think I scoffed at the idea of this guy being as altruistic as he was made out to be, as did Eden. Turns out Mister Romance (Max) is pretty much as good, if not better, than either Eden (or I) expected and I don't think revealing that spoils anything because the more you read, the more you'll see that the conflict really resides more in Eden than anyone or anywhere else. Other than taking on roles for his dates, Max is ...Max. And god, what a swoon worthy book boyfriend he is--he says and does all the right things and yet has this undercurrent of mystery and angst that makes him interesting and intriguing.  Court: I *reallllly* enjoyed how she searched for him, investigated him...and how she eventually found him! Agghh. Such great storytelling. And the other players in this book...her Grandmother, Moby the Duck, Asha (Eden's sister) really made this so much more than a romantic comedy. The entire time I was I wish this was a movie. 

Shel: It's not just the pressure Eden receives from her boss that creates pressure and conflict for her to figure out who Max really is, it's her innate skepticism about relationships that creates her angst --and the major conflict of this novel. Despite the people who love her most constantly trying to show her the beauty of relationships and love, she resists and resists and resists--she's really quite stubborn. It's her resistance and her desire to believe the narrative she's lived by (that she doesn't want or need love and that love is a force of destruction) that drives her inability to trust or really even understand the unique situation Max has created for himself and his clients. It's also her resistance and Max's ability to see past it that creates the friction and spark--and boy do they spark when they're together. Their on page chemistry is strong and constant and when things finally begin to shift and change between Eden and Max, that spark becomes an explosion. Court: And boy was it a wild ride. Unexpectedly by the trope, but not unexpectedly from the writer I fell in love with these characters and really didn't move much from my spot after that until it was a finished book. If you need any other reason to read it, I don't think you'll be hard pressed to find a book for your weekend than this one that you will enjoy! 

Shel: Mister Romance wasn't anything like I thought it would be and I suspect readers who've read more about male escorts than I have, it'll feel fresh. Not only does Leisa Rayven write something that is romantic, I've neglected to point out that she does so with a lot of humor and tenderness and if I'm looking at the title right, it looks like we can expect another character in this series to get the Leisa Rayven treatment too. Court: I'm very excited about continuing in this world! That will be ah-mazing. I also think that readers will enjoy this one just because it is a slow burn through most of it. If you're worried about something distasteful in the world of sex don't be. It's not like that at all. It is really a fun book, with fun characters and since we're stuck in Eden's head the whole time - she is funny yet misguided in her quest to never let someone love her. She is so sure of herself in this way, and it was really fun seeing if her heart would give in before her brain. 


Max Riley is the man of your dreams. Or at least he will be, for a price. 

 As his alter-ego Mister Romance, Max is a drop-dead gorgeous escort who makes romantic fantasies come to life. No sex, just swoon-worthy dates to die for, and the cream of New York's socialites can't get enough.  Whether they want a dominating billionaire, bad boy with a heart of gold, hot geek, sexy biker, or best friend who loves them from afar, Max can make it all happen, but he's careful to keep his real identity a secret. 

Enter investigative journalist Eden Tate. Having caught wind of the urban legend of Mister Romance from a lovestruck client, Eden is determined to publish a scathing expose on Max and his ability to swindle lonely society women out of their fortunes. 

Desperate to protect his anonymity and his clients, Max challenges Eden to give him three dates. If she doesn't fall in love with him, she can run her story with his blessing. If she succumbs to his charms, the story dies. 

Cynical Eden has no doubt she can resist his fake romance personas, but when the real Max admits he’s falling for her, she has to decide if the professional liar is telling the truth, or if the passionate man with the mysterious past is just one more character designed to con her out of her career-making story. 

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