Not A Game (Belen’s Review)

Not a GameTitle: Not A Game
Author: Cardeno C.
Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC
Release Date: July 15th 2016
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 55,872
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

An accidental meeting and a misunderstanding lead to a life-altering connection.

A new job, a new city, and hopefully a new life. When chubby gamer Oliver Barnaby receives a job offer from the best boutique game developer in the country, he leaves his family and his less than spectacular existence in Oklahoma without a second’s hesitation. Determined to change more than his career and his geography, Oliver implements a plan to finally land a boyfriend. Step one is improving his skills in the bedroom.

A life that looks perfect on paper, but feels empty in reality. Attractive, successful, charismatic Jaime Snow has a life other people envy. His already booming business is growing. He isn’t lacking in friends. And he has no trouble finding a date. But there’s an emptiness in Jaime’s heart and a hole in his life that only the right man can fill.

An accidental meeting, a misunderstanding, and falling in love. When Oliver and Jaime end up at the same bar at the same time, they each see something they want in the other. Going to bed together that first night is easy. Building the lifetime relationship they both desperately crave will require trust, time, and a little misunderstanding.

This is a perfectly fluffy, low angst, feel good romance that I read twice in a row. And I loved every minute.

Oliver Barnaby is 6’2″, 290 pounds, and self-conscious about being husky and inexperienced. Now that he’s moved to Seattle from Oklahoma he’s ready to get some experience so he can become the “new” Oliver.

I want Seattle me to be different than Oklahoma me. I have this great job now. I make enough to pay for my own place. I got a new car. But I’m not any closer to having a boyfriend.

The moment Jaime sees Oliver he’s smitten. Oliver is exactly Jaime’s type. Everything that Oliver finds wanting in himself, mostly his physical appearance, calls to Jaime like a siren’s song.

“It took me a lot of years to figure out what does it for me, and I’m past the point in my life where I’m willing to pretend.” Making sure he held Oliver’s attention, he slowly lowered his hands, unfastened Oliver’s pants, and reached into his boxers. “I love your body.” He wrapped his fingers around Oliver’s erection and started stroking. “I love pressing myself against you.” He moved his fist up and down, not quickly but not slowly either. “Your thick thighs, your full ass, and yes, your round stomach, all make me insanely hot.”

One of the many things that I absolutely love about the story is the misunderstanding (that is obvious to the reader) that fuels most of Oliver and Jaime’s early encounters. I cheered when the truth comes to light and the most wonderful thing happens…they work it out like mature adults!

crying right now just thinking about it

I love how perfectly Oliver and Jaime mesh and how sexy they are together.

But my most favorite thing about this story is that Oliver doesn’t magically drop all his extra weight in order to get his HEA with Jaime. No, he’s perfect for Jaime just the way he is – and Jaime loves him, extra weight and all.

“You’re beautiful, you know that?”
“You make me feel like that could be true,” Oliver said quietly.
Jaime curled his hand around Oliver’s nape and brushed their lips together. “It
is true.”

This is a perfect romance for anyone looking for a lighter, low angst, feel good story with great characters, hot sex, and a perfect sigh-worthy ending.


Highly Recommended!

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Not A Game provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.


I am an unapologetic book addict/lover. I’m happiest when reading and I spend most of my time with my Kindle, which is never far from my hand.
I love to be told a good story! I mostly read fiction: Romance, Erotica, Young Adult, New Adult, Paranormal (shifters? Yes, please!), a little BDSM when I’m in the mood, and I love a good ménage story. I DEFINITELY PREFER A HFN/HEA!

My biggest no-no’s are cheating, miscommunication / misunderstanding plots, unnecessary angst, and cliffhangers.

A sampling of my “Favorite M/M” stories:

Carry the Ocean The Half of Us Red Dirt Heart Adulting 101 Tied Up In Knots
Shelter the Sea Manties in a Twist David, Renewed Ethan who Loved Carter Perfect Imperfections
Wolfsong Fight the Tide How to Walk Like A Man The Lightning-Struck Heart Forging the Future


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