Title: Life of Bliss (Love Life #2)
Author: Erin McLellan
Publisher: Self published
Release Date: April 30th 2018
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 211 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Nobody plans to accidentally marry their frenemy with benefits.
Todd McGower and Victor Consuelos do not like each other. They can’t have a conversation without insults flying, and Victor seems to get off on pushing Todd’s buttons. The fact that their antagonism always leads to explosive sex . . . well, that’s their little secret.
Victor has a secret of his own. His full-blown crush on Todd is ruining his sex life. He hasn’t looked at anyone else in months, and he’s too hung up on Todd to find a date to his cousin’s wedding.
In a moment of weakness after a heart-stopping night together, Todd agrees to be Victor’s fake boyfriend for the wedding. Victor will have his plus-one—which will get his family off his back—and Todd will get a free mini-vacation. It’s a win-win.
But pretending to be fake boyfriends leads to real intimacy, which leads to too much wine, and suddenly, Todd and Victor wake up with wedding bands and a marriage license between them. That was not their plan, but a summer of wedded bliss might just change their minds.
NOTE: Before you read I need to point out this review was originally for an ARC of Life of Bliss provided by Riptide Publishing in March 2018. Due to recent events the author received their rights back from Riptide and will be self-publishing the title. However, this review was written before the book was tied to Life on Pause as book 2 of the Love Life series. So while updates have been done to bring the cover and information up to date – my review was for the book when it was being marketed as a standalone. xxoo — Belen
For much of the beginning of Life of Bliss I felt like I was reading a story in which I’d missed another book where the characters were first introduced. It took me a long time to get over that feeling that I had missed something important, so it took longer than I would have liked to get into the story.
It turns out that there is another book before this one, called Life on Pause but Life of Bliss is not being marketed as book #2 in a series, but as a standalone and I cannot for the life of me understand why. It really doesn’t stand alone IMO.
Let me try to recap as much as possible so you don’t have the same problems I did?
Okay, so Rusty and Todd dated, but broke up. Rusty then got together with Niles, whose best friend is Victor. But Todd apparently tried to break Rusty and Niles up, which pissed off Victor. Todd and Victor have mad chemistry and end up hate-fucking. Niles and Rusty eventually get over their drama and get back together, Victor and Niles are still best friends, and Rusty and Todd remain exes but settle in as best friends and Todd even ends up becoming friends with Niles too.
Life of Bliss begins with Niles, Rusty, and Todd returning from vacation together. Whereas the three live in Bison Hills, Oklahoma, they fly into Oklahoma City and decide to grab dinner with Niles’ best friend, Victor. Todd is happy about this because he hopes he can hook up with Victor again.
He scanned the dark, trendy restaurant until his eyes landed on the hottest man in Oklahoma: Victor Consuelos. Just being in the same room with him made Todd’s blood blaze with lust and frustration and anger.
Apparently they’ve been having super-sekrit sexy times with no one the wiser because everyone thinks they sort of hate each other, but they really don’t. In Victor’s case he really likes Todd, but valiantly hides it behind sarcasm and snark.
His crush on Todd was incredibly inconvenient. For one, they hated each other.
Except they totally didn’t. They only pretended to.
Victor and Todd have their hookup and spend the night together, a first for them, and Victor confesses he’s upset for having to attend his sister’s wedding and festivities without a date.
It was hard to woo other guys when you were carrying a torch for some fickle motherfucker you only saw when you visited your best friend, who lived hours away.
Todd agrees to go with Victor to his sister’s wedding weekend and pretend to be Victor’s boyfriend. They don’t have to pretend too hard. After an epic case of day drinking leading to a hazily-remembered wedding the two decide rather quickly to stay married for the summer and see if they can make a go of it.
Without the biting words between them, what was left besides desire? It was simultaneously a relief and scary as hell.
There’s some angst here as they also decide to keep their Marriage Arrangement, and any whiff of relationship between them, secret from their friends and family. There’s some angst between Todd and his parents, which leads to a pretty explosive fight. And then there’s the whole – what are they supposed to do once the summer of married bliss is over?
“I’ve liked you all along,” he said, to push the point home.
“I’ve liked you all along too. Even when I didn’t like you at all.”
I might have liked the story more if it hadn’t been for that off-kilter feeling like I had missed something hugely important at the beginning. As a result I just never really got into the story and had to struggle to finish it especially with all the secrets and angsty drama that came from it.
“I love you, Victor. I love you like there’s lightning in my veins. I love you the way I always hoped love would feel.”
Some drama and angst, quite a few sexy times, and a sweet HEA is what you’ll find here.
Hopefully now that you have the details – and the information that you should probably read Life on Pause first – I hope you can enjoy the story more than I did.