Review: Maybe This Time / One Time Only by Lauren Blakely (The Extravagant #2.5-#3)
Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) of One Time Only was provided by the author. Maybe This Time is a personally owned copy.
"I never feel like you're fucking a rock star.
"Emotion rips through me, flooding me as I drag my hand down his chest. "Because I'm not. I'm not fucking a rock star, Stone. I'm fucking you." I spread my hand across his pecs. "I'm fucking the man." I take a beat, drawing a breath, digging down deep. "And I'm making love to you."
One Time Only is the third full-length novel in Blakely's The Extravagant series, which is part of her After Dark collection--although to be honest, I'm not sure if the author is still using that particular imprint title, so let's just say that this series belongs with her The Gift series, both of which are more risque than usual for her. That's saying something because Blakely doesn't shy away from the steamier aspect of her romances. Maybe think of it as her going from decadently dirty to fabulously filthy in all the best ways possible. A Guy Walks into My Bar showed readers that Blakely could write M/M romance as well as she does M/F; One Time Only proved how darn comfortable she is with M/M and we get to reap every single benefit. Like most of Blakely's books, this may be read as a standalone.
Have you read the story about the bodyguard who falls for the rock star and vice-versa? Yeah well, you haven't read it told the way Lauren Blakely has written (or heard it the way Jacob Morgan and Teddy Hamilton have narrated it, but that's a whole different review). You start off with the free prequel, Maybe This Time, before venturing into One Time Only, with the former paving the way for the latter. Maybe This Time allows readers to get a peek at how thirty-year-old former Marine turned personal bodyguard Jackson Pearce became one of the three close-in security assigned to thirty-four-year-old award-winning and chart-topping rock star Stone Zenith. This is a prequel novella, so it being shorter in length is to be expected, but unlike a lot of other free prequels out there, this is material that isn't found in the full-length novel, and that's something I quite appreciated.
One Time Only is very much a full-length novel, and while it may have taken me about three hours to read the whole thing, I savored every single second I spent with Jackstone, which is the name fictional shippers gave the hot bodyguard and his equally hot rock star. This had a slow burn feel to it, and goodness, but how downright delicious that burn felt. It prickled and sizzled then simmered until it boiled over and I was just happy to bear witness to this professional relationship that belied an evolving connection that led to a reluctant friendship and a fragile affair that had always been more than physical. Lauren Blakely offers up a romance that went beyond flirtation and sex (although there was a lot of both, and boy, where they good). Jackson and Stone were two men who bore emotional scars but worked hard to get to where they are--and when love came along, it was simply a matter of them admitting it was never going to be a one time thing. So, have you come across the tale of the bodyguard and the rock star falling in love? I bet you have never seen it play out quite as extravagantly as Blakely's One Time Only. Five-plus stars.
Read my reviews for the Extravagant series:
One Night Only (book one) - four stars - My Review
One Exquisite Touch (book two) - four stars - My Review
Maybe This Time (novella) - five stars - My Review (posted above)
One Time Only (book three) - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)
Release Date (One Time Only): 18 November 2020
Dates Read: 27 October 2020 (Maybe This Time) and 12 November 2020 (One Time Only)
Learn more about Lauren Blakely.