Review: "One Real Man" by Coleen Kwan (Real Men #3)

Note: This ARC was provided by Entangled Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One Real Man is the third novel and fourth release in the Real Men series by Coleen Kwan. Those familiar with the series will remember the female lead character here as having been introduced in the first book and showing up again, albeit briefly, in the second installment. She's always been the girl who had the world at her feet, but there was one point in her life where she gave in to temptation. It just happened that that very same temptation is back and all the memories come flooding back, both good and bad.

Paige Kerrigan's life has always been one of comfort. She's never wanted for anything, thanks to coming from a more than well-to-do family. When she finally married the man that seemed to suit her needs for an ideal husband, she never expected to be back in her hometown, with barely enough money left to her name, and needing to hole up in her parents' mansion. She just needs time to recoup and gather her bearings; the last thing she needs is someone from her past who brings a whole set of complications.

Owen Bellamy's life hasn't always been an easy one. Being the son of the hired help when he was a teenager meant he wasn't good enough for the privileged princess who caught his attention. But for two weeks, they exchanged stolen kisses that made Owen believe that maybe there was a possibility of an "us"...until she publicly humiliated him. He soon left their hometown but now he's back and he's made a success of himself, but the privileged princess never fails to remind him that he'll never be one of the select set.

Oh, how things have changed... Paige and Owen appear to have traded places. Owen is now renting Paige's parents' mansion, the very same house that Owen's father worked at and where Owen served as the pool boy. Paige is now Owen's housekeeper, desperately needing a place to stay and a job to keep her afloat until she gets her bearings. Paige and Owen are still very much at odds, Owen never forgetting how Paige treated him years ago and Paige unable to stop herself from acting like an ice princess without remorse.

But aside from the hurtful memories, Paige and Owen can't forget how they felt those two weeks that they spent exploring their feelings for one another. Paige's fear got the better of her, forcing her to treat Owen terribly in front of others. Now that they're older, certain habits are difficult to break and there are still doubts swirling about, but they both need to decide if what they're feeling is worth finally standing up for or if they'll allow the dictates of social class and archaic thinking push aside their second chance at love.

This is a mix of a second chance romance and an enemies to lovers story, and while I did experience moments of frustration with Paige, I did enjoy this latest installment to the series. There was self-realization, forgiveness, and redemption, and maybe it was necessary for Paige to still retain her ice princess persona with Owen because it was what she was used to and her own form of self-preservation. Owen showed that success had not changed him but then neither had the prejudices of certain people.

I was feeling iffy at certain points of the book and I admit that it had to do with how Paige treated Owen in the past and even in the present. But by the time I finished reading it, I was left with a feeling of satisfaction because the story and characterizations felt more realistic than had the author gone with the oft-taken path of idealism. This allows readers to see the progress that is made by the characters and how their relationship evolves and matures with time and trust. I'm giving One Real Man four stars. ♥

Release Date: 09 February 2015

Date read: 05 February 2015

Learn more about author Coleen Kwan here.

Pre-order a copy of One Real Man on Amazon | B&N | Kobo.


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