by Eva Leigh

Rating:
4/5

This is my first Eva Leigh novel. Can I just say I love her covers? I don’t like the font on this one, but I feel like the couple fits the characters so well.

This book is the first book in her new series Union of the Rakes. Apparently this is loosely based on the movie The Breakfast Club, which I have never seen and if I have I can’t remember. A group of friends is formed in the prologue, and I’m assuming they will each have their own story in the series.

Grace is our heroine. She’s a scientist, a herpetologist, to be exact. She adores the lives of reptiles and amphibians. She spends much of her time at the library researching, or in the field exploring. She’s set her sights on fellow scientist Mason Fredericks as a husband. She ropes her good friend Sebastian Holloway, fellow scientist and researcher of anthropology to assist her in appearing desirable and catching his attention.

Sebastian is our hero. And he’s not your usual hero. He’s bespectacled and shy, he clams up in social situations and suffers from anxiety. It’s almost your usual heroine ugly duckling story, yet the hero is the duckling. Sebastian’s friend, the Duke of Rotherby, helps transform him in a fake rake, so that his attention to Grace with show her in a marriageable light.

Sebastian is definitely not an alpha hero. I’m not sure if that makes him beta or gamma, or whatever, but he seems content to let Grace take the lead. And she does, putting him through the ringer with becoming her fake rake.

I think you would enjoy this book if
-You want a change of hero, or aren’t into alpha males
-You love the friends to lovers trope
-You prefer a slow burn story
-You want a lighter story with a few laughs and fun

I can’t say I loved this story. I always struggle when there is another ‘love interest’ in the book and this book just drug on and on with her thinking about Fredericks, yet noticing Sebastian, but the fact that Fredericks still gave her butterflies when he wasn’t even the hero, made me want to slap her. I guess it was showing how her feelings shifted from seeing Sebastian as nothing but a friend to more, but the fact that it took her over half the book to realize it annoyed me.

Sebastian isn’t the typical kind of hero I like. And while he didn’t drive me crazy, I guess I was left wanting more from him in some parts. I was disappointed in the way he acted and his lack of drive in pursuing Grace. He really does amazing in some scenes. I’ll admit the first sex scene blew me out of the water, because I was expecting not much after how I felt the first 70% of the book. And I loved him at the end when he finally came to his senses and realized he needed to tell Grace how he felt.

This book isn’t particularly steamy. There’s 1 kiss and 2 sex scenes (I think). The first sex scene was AMAZING. I loved it. The 2nd was at the very end of the book and for some reason I don’t love them there, just a personal preference. But it was still great. I think she has a lot of feels in those scenes and they gripped me even though I was less than in love with a lot of the rest of the book.

There is a lot to love about this book. I can tell Eva is a fabulous writer. The flow was great, she’s funny, witty, the sex was hot. She does use the f word infrequently if you’re sensitive to that. It doesn’t cross into vulgar or anything. I would 100% try her again and plan to. I think this was just a character disconnect for me and I’m still not sure friends to lovers is my favorite trope. But I do recommend this book, I think it will be enjoyed by many. The Duke of Rotherby will have the next story in the series and I will definitely be trying that book. I think he was my favorite character in here.

I give 3.5 rounded to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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