*Thank you to the author for providing copies in exchange for an honest review.
Love Letters ‘A’
Admiring Ash was an entertaining start to the new series. It had all the trademarks of a fun romance. There were sweet relationships, a great base to develop new characters, and a sweetness between the two MC’s for me to enjoy.
I thought Anyta Sunday gave both River and Ash interesting and honorable histories. As I’m writing this I want to say I loved the story between River and his Grandad most, but then I think about how hard Ash worked to support his little sister and I feel just as tender inside. I think the two of them were very well matched, and I understand how their shared compassion made them such a great couple.
Unfortunately I didn’t really connect with this novella as deeply as I would have liked to. Part of me wondered if the issue was lack of page time, because everything felt like it happened too fast, without generating enough emotion in any scene to hook me.
Despite my lukewarm overall feelings, I did enjoy reading about River’s family and friends and it made me interested in moving onto Begging Ben.
Love Letters ‘B‘
Begging Ben was able to succeed where Admiring Ash fell flat. I loved Landon trying to woo Ben back into his life after their blowout. I think it really helped to have already been introduced to Ben and Landon and their friendship in the first novella, because we already had a base and I didn’t feel like everything was being thrown at me too quickly.
Instead, we knew how close Landon and Ben had been. We knew about Ben’s unrequited feelings for Landon, and Landon’s lame crush on Chance Roosevelt-Sutton. You understood what caused a riff between these two best friends, and knowing their history laid early groundwork for this story. It was all about Landon proving to Ben that he’d been the only one the whole time. I seriously ate it up. I didn’t want to stop reading.
Also, oh my lord the science! Landon is the most adorable Math Magician I’ve ever read! His t-shirts and puns were the highlight of Begging Ben! I loved everything about how Science and their YouTube channel played such a major role in their relationship. The whole time I was reading I was blown away by how easy it was for Anyta Sunday to throw in such an adorable story hook. She made it feel so natural! I’m both jealous, and I’m Admiring Anyta!
Since I’d loved Begging Ben so much, and it made me really loathe Chance Roosevelt-Sutton, it meant I was extra nervous for Challenging Chance. Chance is an asshole, and I wasn’t sure how I’d feel with him as the MC.
Love Letters ‘C’
Oh my Heavens, did Anyta Sunday make me eat my words by writing a beautiful redemption for Chance! Challenging Chance was the best of all three! I thought I hated him, but SURPRISE! I freaking love Chance so much! I don’t even know why I doubted it, because a well done redemption story is probably one of my most favorite tropes.
Chance was horrible to Landon. Horrible. I have no problem understanding why Ben and Landon hate him so much. He was a dick. What you don’t realize while reading Admiring Ash and Begging Ben is how broken, sad, and vulnerable Chance actually is behind that facade. He’s so lonely, in a huge mansion by himself with nobody he believes really cares about him. Nobody until he meets Brook, who changes Chances whole life.
I loved Brook and Chance’s romance. Chance is in the closet, and Brook is patient and understanding even though it’s hard. I’m not saying, at all, that someone should be in a closeted relationship if they don’t want to, but I do think patience and understanding (even through a break up) is also warranted. Coming out is something you do for yourself, and even in the best situation it takes courage. Chance wasn’t in the best situation. I can’t say Brook would have made it forever, but he never pushed Chance -except to remind him how he should life life for himself and no one else. I think that’s why Chance finally felt brave enough. Brook’s support. He was Chance’s perfect partner.
And the heat, oh my Lord! I’m not a huge fan of sex scenes anymore. I didn’t mind them when I was younger, but lately I’d much rather read romance than I would sex. Still, every once in a while a book will come along and remind me that a well placed, well written, sex scene can be just as vital to the romance. For Chance and Brook it wasn’t just sex, but more about what intimacy between them meant, and how it helped to bring down Chance’s walls.
Obviously I loved this one. I’m only subtracting half a star because Chance’s coming out was too clean. Perhaps it worked out too well because there wasn’t enough page time to really delve into family issues toward the end, in which case I’m subtracting half a star because it wasn’t longer! I would have read this story even at 500 pages!
Now… who in the hell is going to be our D, E, and F books??