Note: This ARC was provided by WordSmith Publicity in exchange for an honest review.
Our relationship might not be conventional, and we might have to hide it, but all the worry is worth it for moments like this. Moments where I feel so completely and utterly loved by this man that I don't ever want to give up, despite the challenges in our way.
I’m a swimmer. Swimming is the one physical activity I’ve loved above all else and while I may not swim as much as I used to (damn you, crack in the swimming pool!), I still and always will love the water. So, when Meghan Quinn’s latest romantic comedy and new series starter touted not just any regular athlete but an Olympic swimmer at that as its male main character, I wanted to see where she would take it. I’ve cracked my brain trying to recall if I’ve ever read a romance novel that had a swimmer as the hero, and while I do have one on my to-be-read list—one that I was supposed to read and review a couple of weeks back for my own leisurely pleasure—Stroked was a first, and I believe Meghan Quinn struck rom-com gold.
After “The Incident” that now has her wallowing in the depths of despair professionally, twentysomething Paisley Macarro finds herself with only one job opening: personal assistant to Bellini Chambers, reality star, demanding diva, and all-around spoiled bitch. It’s clear that Bellini can’t stand her and being called “Mauve” is the least demeaning thing she’s done so far. The one perk of her job is Bellini’s boyfriend, Olympic swimmer and gorgeous god with a bod, thirty-two-year-old Reese King. What starts out as seemingly nothing more than a crush on her snooty charge’s boyfriend begins to feel like more, leaving Paisley to contemplate if she’s really willing to risk her job for a shot at falling in love.
Reese King’s reputation as one of the very best in the sport will never be solidified if he doesn’t get his hands on a gold medal. With the upcoming Olympics set to be his last one, the pressure is on him to prove that he’s more than the stupid moniker the media has given him over the years, The Silver Stroke. He also knows that he needs to think beyond his career as an athlete, which is why he agreed to the what he now knows was the asinine idea to pretend to be Bellini Chambers’s boyfriend. He can’t stand the bitchy woman who is every bit as fake as she appears. His one perk is their now joint personal assistant, Paisley Macarro, but falling for her is about to make both of their lives extremely complicated.
I loved this banter between Paisley and Reese and felt this genuine dynamic between them that I always look for in the romance novels I read. There’s a pull to each other but it’s more than sexual, but doing anything about could very well lead to ramifications that could affect both their futures. But you know what they say about the heart wanting what it wants… One thing my heart wanted was to give Bellini a punch in her nether region, but that would sully my hand in a way that gives me the heebie-jeebies. She was the perfect villainess—someone that you love to hate. With laugh-out-loud moments and a perfectly balanced sweet and steamy love story, Stroked is a five-plus-starred stroke of rom-com genius. ♥
Release Date: 20 July 2016
Date Read: 19 July 2016
Learn more about Meghan Quinn.