Note: These ARCs were provided by the authors via Enticing Journey Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.
Real Deal is my second Piper Rayne--the first one being the prequel novella, Jailbait--and if the prequel whetted my appetite for Marcus Kent and Catarina Santora, this full-length novel sated it. Thirty-four-year-old boat restorer and builder Marcus Kent belongs to the Single Dads Club of Climax Cove, Oregon. His five-year-old daughter Lily is the light of his life and she has and always will come first. With Lily's mother out of the picture, thanks in large part to her addiction and landing in maximum security prison, Marcus tries to more than make up for being the only parent around. But Lily's growing up and she's asking more and more questions about her absentee mother. Maybe attending camp exclusively for children of single parents will distract his girl, but it's Marcus who comes across one irresistible distraction in the form of twenty-four-year-old camp counselor Catarina Santora. He cringes when he remembers how he shot her down six years ago after she flirted outrageously and come on too strongly. The ten-year age difference, her father being his client, and receiving news that changed his world permanently were also enough to have Marcus do what he did back then. Now, Cat is all grown up and he wants her, but the reasons why he shouldn't be pursue her are still there, along with new ones, most especially a little girl named Lily.
This was such an adorable story! After reading about how Marcus and Cat met in Jailbait and how he subsequently--and publicly--shot down her very physical advances, I had a feeling their sorta second-chance love story was going to be, at the very least, was going to be an entertaining one, and I was right! These two had sparks from the get-go, and while I don't think them getting together six years ago would have been a good thing, when something's meant to be, it'll happen at the right time, and that's what happened with these two. While Cat's overly amorous antics in the prequel novella had me cringing for her, she's certainly done a great deal of maturing in the six years since she last saw Marcus, and I liked that the tables have somehow turned. Not only did l love reading about Marcus and Cat's relationship developing from something that started off as physical attraction into something more, but I also loved how Cat assimilated herself into Marcus and Lily's lives, almost as if she was always meant to be there. Aside from Marcus, Catarina, and Lily, there were notable supporting characters who I'm pretty sure we'll be reading more about as the series moves forward, i.e. Marcus's and Cat's respective best friends. If the rest of the books are as good as Real Deal, I'll totally be one happy camper (pun intended). Five stars! ♥
Release Date: 15 May 2017
Date Read: 14 May 2017
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