Friday, September 12, 2014

No Weddings by Kat Bastion, with Stone Bastion

The Basics:
No Weddings by Kat Bastion, with Stone Bastion
Book One in the No Weddings series
Published September 8th, 2014
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Why I picked up this book:

I liked the idea of a 'player' who breaks his own rules because he's intrigued by a woman. Also, the blurb seemed so much better than the cover, I had to check it out.


Award-winning author Kat Bastion teams with her husband, Stone Bastion, in this first book in the No Weddings Series about Cade Michaelson, a successful man with his sights set on a new venture in business, and Hannah Martin, the woman who makes it personal.

I think I have my act together as a successful bar owner, my master’s degree within reach, and a list of no-strings-attached women warming my bed. Turns out, I don’t.

Hannah believes she has safeguarded her wounded heart by shunning men and focusing on her new baking business. The thing is, she hasn’t.

When my three sisters and I start a new event-planning business with Hannah as our baker, I have no idea how my life is about to change. As Hannah and I work closely together, the attraction between us becomes irresistible. And complicated. I’ve promised my sisters I wouldn’t mix business with pleasure. But I’ve never been one to follow the rules.

My thoughts:

Now, even though this book is tagged as romance, I really was expecting erotica. Was I disappointed that it wasn't? Okay, maybe I wanted a couple of more explicit scenes, but ultimately, this book was much more satisfying as written than I anticipated.

No Weddings is written entirely from the perspective of Cade Michaelson. Cade's developed a reputation as a player in recent years - he's avoided any intimate attachments like the plague since, well, I'll let him tell you. When he's drawn to Hannah, it's pretty much against his better judgement.

I can probably count on one hand the number of romance novels I've read that are written entirely from the male perspective. I think partially this is because women tend to be the authors and I have to imagine it's easier to write what we know - the perspective of women in love rather than men. The other part, I suspect, is that with women as the primary readers of romance, I suspect that it's (perceived as?) easier for us to identify with a female voice.

Whatever the actual reasons, I have been missing out.

Watching Cade fall, being aware of his reasoning, his protectiveness, his possessiveness in the first person was a revelation. I loved it! Rather than ride along with Hannah while she tried to decide whether or not she could trust her heart to the player who suddenly was popping up all over in her life, we got to experience Cade figuring out how to navigate Hannah's issues.

I loved the details about the bakery, the party business that Cade opens with his sisters, and the creative elements therein. It was a lot of fun to read these sections, and they created a vivid backdrop for Cade and Hannah to dance through.

The relationship itself is rife with sexual tension and teasing. Cade's imagination provides some really sexy moments, and there's plenty of heat between these two. That said, there's not a lot of actual hands-on time with these two. The book doesn't need it - it's plenty hot without it, and there are reasons why it doesn't really go there. But... it was a *lot* of teasing.

The only real huh moment that I had (other than realizing that my expectation of erotica was incorrect) was about the ages of Cade and Hannah and the huge amounts of angst these two are carrying around. In general, they seemed older to me than their early twenties ages suggest, and while I agreed that their pasts did give them plenty of cause to be cautious with each other.... I don't know. As far as damaging pasts go, these two were pretty tame.

Bottom line:

No Weddings was a delight. It's a very well-written romance, with an explosive amount of chemistry. I don't think the cover is doing this one any favours - look past it, and pick this up!

4.5 stars
For fans of contemporary romance, sexy heroes, entrepreneurs

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