Review: Sweet Rivalry by K. Bromberg

Note: This ARC was provided by the publisher via InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review.

Sweet Rivalry is a spin-off novella of sorts featuring Ryder Rodgers, older brother to Saylor Rodgers and best friend to Hayes Whitley, whose love story was told in Sweet Cheeks, one of my top reads of 2016. K. Bromberg gives us two former graduate school rivals in the form of Ryder and the girl who gave him a run for his money and bested him while also earning his respect and a secret crush, Harper Denton. Their rivalry ended with one kiss, but thirteen years later, they face off yet again, only this time, they're in a boardroom trying to come up with the best possible bid to win the contract for a building. He always thought her beautiful in grad school, but she never seemed to recognize her own beauty. Now though, she's no longer the wallflower who only seemed to find her confidence when she was up against him. She's owning her beauty and intelligence, and if Ryder couldn't stop from noticing her when they were students, there's definitely nothing stopping him now. But neither one of them can afford the distraction, not in this rivalry where there can only be one winner...or can they both win this time?

This being a novella for the 1001 Dark Nights collection of books, it's a quick and easy read. Ryder was a supporting character that was far from forgettable in Sweet Cheeks, and I'm glad that he gets his shot at his own happy ending here, although it did feel more like a happy-for-now than a happily-ever-after kind. He's ambitious, but he's not an ass about it, which makes me wonder why Harper saw him that way when they were in grad school and again as rivals for the same project. I'm not saying that Ryder didn't take their rivalry seriously, but it always felt as if Harper did more so, and I wished that we could have delved deeper into her motivations. Speaking of motivations, there's a point in the story where I wasn't all that sure why Ryder chose to do what he did. I think it was chivalrous, but if you were to tell me he did it out of love, I would have had serious doubts, mainly because I didn't see them as this couple with very intense and romantic feelings for one another, which is why I think the ending fit them. While not as endearing as its predecessor, this standalone was a satisfying read. I'm giving Sweet Rivalry four out of five stars. ♥

Date Read: 09 March 2017

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