Review: Taunting Tony by Marie James


Note: This ARC was provided by the author via Foreword PR & Marketing in exchange for an honest review.

Taunting Tony was a surprisingly lighthearted read, and I say this because everything I've read from Marie James has been heavier and more angsty in tone. There were moments this M/M romance read my me smile and a couple of times that I found myself snickering at some of the antics of the quirky yet close-knit group of twentysomethings. This isn't James's first M/M book, but it is the first that isn't connected to a series, and it's a romance sub-genre which is a favorite of mine and one that I hope she'll venture into every now and again because she's clearly proven to be quite adept to it, based on the two novels that the author's already released.

The story opens with two young men who both work for GMQ Architects--Joseph Snow, who is a home-based architect, and Anthony White, a relatively new architect on staff--tasked to clean up a mess made by someone else. There's a connection between them from the get-go, and it's one that they test with a kiss and a grope but not much else. When they see each other again, it's with Anthony, who Joey has nicknamed Tony, as a guest to the circle of friends that consists of Joey's twin brother Jonathan and his two closest friends, Cooper and Dave, the latter being the one who's invited Anthony. Then there are Joey and his own best friend Andi, who make up the rest of the group. Anthony's informed that there are rules to be followed within their circle of friends, the most important being that Jon's friends cannot become involved with Joey. Now who says rules can't be broken?

In as much as Joey and Anthony are the "stars" of this love story, the supporting characters certainly helped pushed this one upward and forward, what with Andi and Dave and their somehow passive-aggressive approach to adhering to the rules while also pushing at either Joey or Anthony to pursue their obvious attraction while Cooper and Jon were totally clueless to the on-going shenanigans. The rules set forth prior to Anthony becoming a part of their group may seem random, but the most important ones are actually based on the desire to not have anyone of them get hurt unintentionally. You'll get what I mean when you read the book. The chemistry between Joey and Anthony was palpable, and I actually found the back and forth between them more enticing than frustrating, even if it happened for a huge portion of the story. I was also interested to see where Andi's seemingly unrequited feelings for Jon would lead, and if Dave was or wasn't gay. This cast of characters is a favorite! I adored Marie James's spin on the falling-for-a-sibling's-friend trope, Five stars for Taunting Tony! ♥

Release Date: 03 May 2018

Date Read: 03 May 2018

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