Note: This ARC was provided by the author via InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review.
“Honest? You want honest?” I raise my eyebrows. “Here’s honest: I hate the way I feel about you. I hate the way you make me laugh and the way you make me not so serious without realizing it. I hate the way I feel when you smile at me the way you do, and I hate how easy it is to be around you. Most of all, I really, really hate that I want you. Not because you’re cocky and annoying and a jerk, but because you’re so closed off that you’re the worst kind of person to want. Because if it came down to it, I’d trust you with my life if I had to, yet it sounds like you wouldn’t trust me not to poison your cup of coffee. So, there you go. There’s honest. Game, set, match, checkmate, touchdown, home run, whatever. Game’s over. I’m done.”
It's been several hours since I finished Catching Carly and now I'm sitting in front of my computer typing out my review for it and I still can't help but grin like a completely smitten fool while trying to recall everything I loved about it. This second novel in Emma Hart's Barley Cross series is all about twenty-five-year-old bank teller Carly Porter, best friend to Cain Elliott and Brooke Barker of Being Brooke fame, and twenty-seven-year-old home builder Ezekiel Elliott, older brother to Cain Elliott and the person Carly has loved to hate for eleven years. This was an enemies-to-lovers romance with a bit of falling-for-your-sibling's-best-friend (and vice-versa) thrown into as well. These two stood out as supporting characters in the first book--especially since they were more than privy to how Cain and Brooke had felt about each other for years. This was romantic comedy with snark, sex, and one horny dog named Delilah. It's also got sweetness but in far more subtle ways. Oh, and muffins. There are muffins in this story.
When her best friends finally came to their senses to live their happily-ever-after, Carly knew she shouldn't begrudge them their happiness. After all, she was a witness to them pretending they were "only" best friends for years, denying their feelings for one another. But she can't and feel like a third wheel around them. She wants a happy ending for herself, and she's pretty sure she's not going to get it with Zeke Elliott. One hook-up does not make for a fairy tale romance. So why is it that she can't seem to get that one night out of her head and why can't get her damn private parts control themselves whenever the cocky man she would never admit to fantasizing about is around? Zeke doesn't believe in the things Carly does, not after he was betrayed by his own fiancée two weeks before their wedding. All they need to do is to go back to the way things were and to not let anyone know about what happened. But you know that oh-so-thin line between love and hate? It's about to be crossed again...
I loved Carly and Zeke! These two made me laugh at different points throughout their story. They were snarky and sassy and sarcastic and all of it proved to be a different form of foreplay. They were clearly pushing each other's buttons and maybe they didn't have the kind of attraction to one another that's been percolating for years but all it took was that one hook-up for that switch to get flipped and voila! Lust galore. Now, this is a LOVE story after all, but I liked how things evolved between them as the story progressed. There was miscommunication, connivance, passive aggressiveness, and the like, and it made for rather irresistible entertainment. These two had issues to tackle that were beyond them not liking one another for years, and that's what gave this story such heart, because a love story with angst means they'll have a fight on their hands to see if theirs is worth fighting for. I'm hoping to see even more from the cast of characters as the Barley Cross series continues. Five-plus stars go to Catching Carly. ♥
Read my reviews for the Barley Cross series:
Being Brooke (book one) - five stars - My Review
Catching Carly (book two) - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)
Date Read: 08 March 2017
Learn more about Emma Hart.