Not A Game (Vallie’s Review)

Not a GameTitle: Not A Game
Author: Cardeno C.
Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC
Release Date: July 15, 2016
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 55,872
Reviewed by: Vallie
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 the Cardeno I know and love!

I had so much fun reading this almost zero-angst, fluff-filled, fairy tale-like story that I am still smiling when I think of it.

Oliver and Jamie make for an amazing couple. Oliver is overweight and really down on himself because of it. He truly thinks no one would ever look at him twice, let alone want him. Imagine his surprise when the superhot Jamie not only takes a second look but enters a sexual relationship with Oliver. The story is very sex-based, mainly because Oliver was almost completely inexperienced sexually and Jamie was all too happy to help with that. Very fun times there. But there were soooooooo many sweet feelings evolving left right and center that I couldn’t fault the sex-fest. This book was marshmallow sweet from all angles folks.

The “false pretenses” under which they met, are better left to be discovered individually, so I won’t go into that. But let’s say that when the big reveal happened, it was not big at all, and Oliver dealt with it in a very mature, “I have my priorities straight/not gonna worry about shit like this” kind of way. I absolutely loved that! Cardeno did not disappoint in delivering the fluff and made it a very steamy journey there too.

I especially liked how generous Jaime was with compliments to Oliver. More so, the compliments were absolutely genuine and even though Oliver took a while to believe Jamie was legitimately turned on by Oliver’s physique, he eventually accepted that Jamie wants him for who Oliver is.

Extra bonus that the story did not finish on a “fixer-upper” note.

Oliver did not change anything about the way he looks nor did Jamie ask him to. The HEA was glorious, and left me smiling wide.


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Advanced Review Copy

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