Today’s giveaway is Amy Jo Cousins’ Christmas sequel story, Real World, which I loooooved!
First: the blurb…
When talking fails, it’s time to break out the big guns.
Five years ago, Tom Worthington busted his ass to overcome the fear and paranoia that led him to withdraw from the world and nearly lose his boyfriend. He never thought he’d find himself right back there, shutting Reese out, keeping secrets again.
Reese Anders is ready to try anything to get Tom to talk: if he can’t seduce his boyfriend with food, he’ll get Tom to open up in bed. But even Tom’s confession that his dad is getting out of prison soon doesn’t clear the air between them. And as the holidays approach, intensive mentoring from a new British boss creates more distractions, until Reese is keeping secrets of his own.
At a company Christmas party, it only takes Tom one look at Reese’s new boss to figure out how much danger their relationship is in. But he’s not about to let the connection that started all those years ago at Carlisle come to an end. It’s time to deal with their problems like adults. Face to face. Or back to front. Starting in the bedroom.
Real World is a sequel to Off Campus which I really loved (in fact, Off Campus was kind of my gateway NA romance).
It’s funny how, with particular romance partnerships, you often get readers rooting more for one or other of the MCs. In this partnership, I’m ALL about Tom. I adore Reese too but… oh, Tom. I love Tom an unreasonable amount. (I know why too – I relate very much to his difficulty with asking for help…).
Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. In Off Campus, Tom and Rhys meet, lots of stuff happens – including an incredibly delicious and hot journey into voyeurism and sexual discovery for Tom – and they fall in love. Real World is set five years later, in the run up to Christmas – and it’s so good!
Firstly, we get the deliciousness of them together (yum). Then we get wonderful (and believable) conflict arising when several real world problems combine to cause stress, anxiety and some out-of-order behaviour. Tom and Reese struggle to understand themselves and each other – but they do try. And while they don’t always succeed at this, ultimately, they muddle through, as people actually tend to do.
At the end of this book, I felt I had the best kind of HEA – and that comes from belief. I believe in these MCs and that gives me a kind of confidence in their continued happiness. And you know what I’ve realised? That end-of-book confidence is a vital part of a romance. Not just having but sustaining your readerly belief in the characters’ happiness way past the last page.
So yes, this book is awesome. And not only that, it also has a kick-ass rigatoni recipe that I am so going to try at home this weekend – though I’m not sure what it says about me that the amount of cream and cheese that goes into this dish – which the characters describe as outrageous – struck me as fairly normal…
Hmmm, that’s maybe something to think about in January… 🙂
To enter the giveaway, leave a comment about your favourite party food (or drink) below. The winner will be decided on Friday 4th December at 8pm GMT.