Note: This ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
“Sometimes we search for happiness in the wrong places and in the wrong ways. Search simply, Lance. Don't over-complicate it.”
If Graham Landry is my favorite Landry brother, Lance is my favorite in the Gibson clan, though to be fair, we're only two books and one novella in, so there's always a possibility that someone could usurp Lance from his current lofty position. After all, Adriana Locke has a knack for giving fans and readers male main characters that go beyond the usual brooding alpha that's littered many a bookshelf, virtual or otherwise. Oh, these men are certainly packaged rather prettily--I mean, come on, it's difficult to resist a gorgeous guy, and Locke definitely has some of the hottest looking ones around based on how she's described them in her books. But here's the thing: this author also has created men that you want to get to know better and dig deeper in order to get to know who they are beyond the good-looking exterior. Lance Gibson? Well, you will need to know him.
Lance Gibson has never hidden the fact that he's been with a lot of women, each one he's met through a dating app. Sure, people may think someone in his mid-thirties should start looking to settle down, but Lance has only been in one relationship and since then, he's relegated himself to sating his baser needs with a hook-up here and a one-night stand there. Nowadays, though, he's met a woman through the app who's captured his imagination. She may go by the username of "Nerdy Nurse", but her naughty comebacks have the "History Hunk" coming back for more. There's only one other woman who intrigues him as much--school twenty-seven-year-old librarian Mariah Malarkey. From carrying off her cupcakes--which Lance knows she bakes just for him--to their arousing arguments, Lance is smitten. But there's no future to be crafted with either one with his past...
Le sigh. This man! Goodness me, but how Lance simply stole my poor battered heart. The man was above and beyond his well-earned reputation of being popular with the ladies. Having worked more than a decade as a teacher, I have a special appreciation when I come across them in the books I read or in the shows and movies I watch--assuming, of course, that they're worthy of said appreciation, and Lance was more than worthy. He was truly someone who taught his students, not merely with words but through actions and by example. And then there was the kind of grandson he was to his Nana and brother, cousin, and friend to those closest to him. What he wasn't confident in being was someone's boyfriend or husband, but there was a deeper reason behind his hesitation to enter into any sort of committed relationship that could lead into marriage or having a family.
As much as I loved Lance, I loved Mariah and how she refused to back down from the guy. Theirs was the kind of relationship whose beginning reminded of when a boy would pull on a girl's pigtails on the playground, but not because he was being mean. These two had some of the most memorable exchanges that I've come across in a long time, and they made this book such a fun read. That doesn't mean, however, that there wasn't some measure of angst to this. There was, and how my heart squeezed in empathy for both of them. The journey these two went on had detours and potential pitfalls, but I love that they were surrounded by people who truly cared about them and not only supported them as individuals and as a couple but also pushed when necessary. Gah! I totally loved this well-crafted (pun intended) romance and can't wait for more! Five-plus stars go to Craft. ♥
Read my reviews for the Gibson Boys series:
Cross (prequel novella found in Team Player) - 4.5 stars - My Review
Crank (book one) - five-plus stars - My Review
Craft (book two) - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)
Release Date: 14 March 2018
Date Read: 13 March 2018
Learn more about Adriana Locke.
Purchase Craft on Amazon.