The Librarian’s Rake, by Z. Allora
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: October 25, 2017
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Opposites might attract, but is acting on that attraction wise?
Librarian Tristan Cooper can’t steer clear of sexy, motorcycle-riding bad boy Phillip—the man is hot—but Phillip is bound to find quiet, bookish Tristan boring, like all Tristan’s boyfriends. Tristan yearns to explore his wild side, the part of himself he’s only allowed into his fantasies, and maybe rakish Phillip is just what he needs to feel free.
Sexperienced hairdresser Phillip is more of a believer in happy endings than happily ever afters. Experience has taught him not to hope for more—until he meets sweet, vulnerable Tristan, who seems genuinely interested in his heart. But Phillip can’t trust enough to see himself as a man Tristan might want for more than a night.
With the help of a pair of matchmaking grandfathers, Tristan and Phillip might find the courage to step beyond their comfort zones and discover what has been missing from their lives….
This book was short but I really enjoyed it. I feel like the story was developed enough without being too cluttered. I don’t expect novellas to be as deep or thorough as full-length novels, so when they are, I am very happy.
To be honest, I was not sure if I was going to like this book. I love the nerd/librarian thing and opposites attract but I’m not fond of the super experienced/not-experienced match-up, unless it’s done well. A lot of the time the more experienced person ends up being kind of predatory and the less-experienced one becomes super passive. It’s just not my thing. In this book, Phillip, the more experienced one, was hesitant to start sleeping with Tristan for fear of getting his heart broken.
Phillip’s hesitation meant that they didn’t have sex right away even though it’s what Tristan wanted. I liked this because it meant that we got a nice tease and good, believable chemistry built up before they ended up together. This was smart because the reader got to see how good they were together and it made the relationship more believable. Usually an author has more pages to make a relationship more believable to the reader so they can throw more stuff in without it being a problem.
Tristan was my favorite. He was a nerdy, quiet librarian but he wasn’t overcome by timidness and low self esteem. I don’t mind when authors have someone timid or when they are doubtful that the other person would like them. However, sometimes it drags on too long and they seem whiny. Tristan wasn’t sure of himself but he liked Phillip enough to try to push past it. When it seemed that Phillip wasn’t going to open up to him romantically Tristan backed off. It was a nice back and forth.
Phillip ended up surprising me. He slept around in order to protect his heart, but he wasn’t mean to Tristan and he didn’t aggressively push him away. It was nice to see a character who sleeps around not ashamed of it but also not continuing the behavior when they meet someone they want to be with. The whole “I’m going to bury my feelings for this person with sex” thing is kind of overdone. Or at least, I’m done with it. Also, Phillip’s characterization wasn’t created as the opposite of Tristan in everything. Their sexual experiences were opposite but their personalities were more three dimensional than that.
I’m half and half with the side characters. I really liked Tristan’s and Phillip’s grandfathers. I want a book about their romance because they were really cute and I enjoyed their unsubtle approach to matchmaking. Phillip’s friends were ok but they had their own relationship “drama” going on and I wasn’t into it. Otherwise, I liked them.
All in all, I enjoyed this book. It was well paced, written, and plotted out. The chemistry was there and I actually enjoyed these two MCs together. If you are looking for a quick, relaxing read I would recommend picking this up.
Z. believes in soul mates, love at first sight, and overcoming all odds to find happily ever afters. Born in Upstate NY, Z. Allora and partner have spent the last fifteen years together traveling across the United States, the Middle East and Asia. These travels provide the inspiration behind many of the detailed settings and characters throughout Z.’s work. Z. received a Master degree in Psychology and Bachelor degrees in both English and Philosophy. (though Z’s editors would probably question the English degree). Z. is both a writer and a huge fan of M/M romance as well as Yaoi. It is said the pen is mightier than the sword. Z. thinks all writers and publishers of M/M are promoting equality, since everyone deserves a happily ever after.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.