Save the Date, by Annabeth Albert & Wendy Qualls
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Randall Young has one duty as his sister’s “man of honor”: to ensure she has the best wedding ever. That includes an epic bachelorette pub crawl, leading him to Portland’s most popular gay bar… and into Hunter Mitchell’s well-muscled arms. A one-night stand with a sexy soldier is the perfect way to ditch that pesky V-card and get himself in the mood for a weekend of flowers, cake, and nuptials.
Hunter wants to blow off some steam before he stands up as his best friend’s best man. He’s already married to his military career, not looking to settle down. He certainly doesn’t intend for the one guy he met (and, okay, got off with) in Oregon to be his counterpart in the wedding party. Or a virgin. Definitely wasn’t intending that. Luckily, they have the rest of the weekend for Hunter to show Randall what he’s been missing.
The more they’re thrown together by the wedding, the more Randall and Hunter grow together outside the bedroom… which is dangerous because there’s a lot more than 2500 miles standing between them and a happily-ever-after. If they want a future beyond their wedding weekend hookup, both must find the courage to take a chance on love.
Please be aware that this review does contain minor spoilers.
This book was extremely cute. There is a loose association with Annabeth Albert’s military series, but not enough to ruin the book. Randall meets Hunter during a night out with his sister and her bridal party. I never fully understood why his sister’s bachelorette party seemed to include nothing but outings to gay bars, but I went with it. Thankfully it did because Randall has just come back to the Portland area after being away in a rural mystical land where he focused solely on his studies and didn’t manage to lose his virginity, which is now a pressing concern. Hunter is in town from Georgia, where the Atlanta scene has started to bore him, and job-related stress has him wound tight, looking for someone to spend an evening with prior to going to a buddies wedding. We all know where this is going… after what is supposed to be a hot one night stand the two find themselves face to face again when they are introduced as part of the wedding party. Seems Hunter’s bestie Beau is marrying Randall’s sister Autumn.
The thing I found the most enjoyable about the series is the two *cough* communicate well. Randall is inexperienced and realizes it’s because he’s never really felt comfortable in sexual situations, because he’s not known what to do. Hunter and Randall work because Hunter’s dirty mouth and bossy take-charge personality leaves nothing up for debate. Hunter knows how to get Randall out of his own way, throwing him orders that include “naked now, pants first then shirt”. Making Randall do things out of order, Hunter realizes, decreases his stress level because it doesn’t allow him to autopilot and over-think the rest. I also like that while Randall is a virgin and likes to be told what to do during sexy times I didn’t find him to be a doormat. He was very take-charge in handling things that went wrong with his sister’s wedding, decisive about his career & honestly flipped the script on Hunter during the “I’m a virgin” conversation.
My biggest complaint would be that the book is set during a wedding weekend. So the bulk of what we see happens in a few days. There is a resolution and a nice Epilogue where we see the two together after trying out long distance, but I almost wish we’d gotten a second book where we saw the two work through the distance and really build the relationship. We miss the intros to the friends and family as an established couple and I felt a bit cheated by that.
Wendy Qualls was a small town librarian until she finished reading everything her library had to offer. At that point she put her expensive and totally unrelated college degree to use by writing smutty romance novels and wasting time on the internet. She lives in Northern Alabama with her husband, two girls, two dogs, and a seasonally fluctuating swarm of unwanted ladybugs. Wendy can be found on Twitter as @wendyqualls. She is represented by Moe Ferrara of BookEnds Literary Agency.
You can find Wendy online at http://wendyqualls.com/
Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.
Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.
Find Annabeth online at http://annabethalbert.com/
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.