I'm Payton Blake. Just another twenty-something girl, living the dream.
That’s what I tell myself every morning. That I’m successful, self-aware, and well-balanced.
It's just a tiny fib. I would be all of those things, if I had friends who didn’t work with me at the bank. And if I made it to pilates more than once a quarter. And if watermelon slushies weren't the main source of nutrients in my diet. It wouldn’t hurt if I’d had sex in the last year, either. (My best friend insists Jorge the Nightstand Boyfriend doesn’t count.)
But when you know where you're going, you don’t need to enjoy the ride. Right?
Even if some teeny part of me did want to fool around, Max Donovan would be the last guy I’d call. Sure, he made the indie video game that broke the internet. And yeah, his eyebrow piercing’s sexy, in a ‘what-are-you-in-a-band?’ kind of way. And fighting with him gets me going faster than Jorge on bezerker mode…He’s still colder than a cactus and twice as prickly. And I’m not talking about his face, because the guy’s barely old enough to shave.
It’d really be best if we just ignored each other. Which is a problem, because Max Donovan is my new biggest client.
So what happens when the girl who lives to work meets the guy who was born to play?
Payton Blake works for a financial lending company. Max Donovan, 28, is her new client in need of money to launch his next video game.
“‘I am an extremely satisfied client…If you want to go in that bathroom, I’ll show you just how satisfied.’”
This is a sweet and sexy, low angst romance. And labeled as a hot gamer romance…well I just had to bring my real life hubs to the bookshelf (or to be accurate I 1-clicked a copy on his kindle) for a buddy read since he’s a total gamer.
So hub’s end of this review first….He says, “The writing was good, the characters were good, and I kinda wanted to play Max’s game.” 🎮
I suspect Max and my hubs would have hit it off well. See when Max was “romancing” Payton by loaning her game systems and taking her to comic-cons, I realized that his angle was a fresh approach from most of the romance novels I’ve read but also a trip down memory lane in my real romantic life. (Yep, my own sweetie once loaned me his Super Nintendo and took me on Comic-Con vacations.)
Unlike my own love life, Max and Payton start out a bit at odds. It’s a little adversaries to friends to lovers. The premise provided some engaging push/pull, and his Coyote nickname for her was a cute touch.
“Most first kisses are either tentative or sloppy. This was hot and raw…”
I liked that Payton knew when to stand her ground. She was also loyal and had a sharp business sense.
“I’m thinking that now that I’ve caught you, Roadrunner, I’m not sure what to do with you.”
While at first Max comes off a little broody, he had a good reason for trying to protect himself and some of his personal life reveals tugged at my heartstrings a bit. At the same time, he could roll off with swoonworthy and suggestive lines.
“‘So maybe we can lose a little more sleep together, yeah?’”
I can’t give enough credit for the fact that Max was just a regular guy despite his career success and not a manwhore in the least. It was nice to read about a hero who could keep it in his pants and only had eyes for the heroine. Told via Payton’s first person POV (the epilogue is told by Max), the pair made a good fit.
While hubs and I both felt the ending lacked a little zing, it was still an enjoyable read. The supporting characters are also very likable. I definitely want to check out Charlie and Riley’s stories.