Authors: Christina Lee & Riley Hart
Publication Date: January 16, 2020
Length: 261 pages
Reviewed by Jenn
After spending the first part of my life trapped in a small town where it wasn’t okay to be a makeup-wearing boy who liked boys, I swore I’d leave and never be anything but loud, proud, and unapologetically me. I’ve kept that promise. I’m following my dreams, have an apartment with my bestie, and get to dance my nights away at one of the hottest gay bars in Portland.
The only downfall is Dane, the sexy bartender with a perma-scowl always aimed my way. The tension between us is so strong that even the clubgoers notice, and they eat that stuff up. Our boss makes us dance on the bar together every Friday night. I might shake my booty a little more with Dane just because I love getting under his skin. It’s not my fault he doesn’t know how to have any fun…but I kind of want to teach him.
I got burned bad by my last boyfriend. Thankfully, my sister, Bree, and my niece, Hailey, make my days a whole lot brighter. I’m getting back on my feet, including a decent job as a bartender. But working in a gay club makes it harder to keep to myself. No way do I want to get reeled in by another charming, pretty face and get hurt again, and definitely not by someone like Jesse, whose audacity frustrates me to no end.
So why do I want to shove him against the wall and screw that boldness right out of him?
Only…sometimes he’s pretty sweet, especially with Hailey. As we go from enemies to angry hookups to friends, our feelings are changing and moving into uncharted territory. This can’t go anywhere. Jesse and I are like oil and water; we just don’t mix…right?
Pretty Perfect by Christina Lee and Riley Hart is aptly titled because the book is pretty darn perfect. Enemies to lovers with so much more than attraction between them. These two men, Jesse and Dane are made for each other…they just don’t know it yet.
Jesse is a student by day and a dancer by night. Jesse grew up in a small farming town where being gay is difficult but being gay and loving make up and a more feminine look is almost impossible. While Jesse loves his parents and they love him, he can’t picture a middle ground for them and leaves. He ends up in Portland where he makes an awesome best friend and they share an apartment together. Jesse is living out loud…he’s proud of who he is and he’s happy. So what if he’s broke most of the time and the hot bartender at work is grumpy…he sure is nice to look at.
Dane is the grumpy bartender in the hottest gay club in Portland. The same club Jesse dances in. These two bicker so much and it’s filled with so much tension that the boss makes them dance together twice every Friday night. Jesse shakes his booty a little extra each time to annoy Dane and the customers eat it up! Both men deny enjoying dancing together, but if the steam coming off of them is an indication…they love it as much as the customers do.
Dane is grumpy, but he’s not in any way mean. He’s a great guy who happened to be burned in an awful way by his ex. Tending bar and living in his sister’s basement is what he wanted for his life, but he can’t deny that he loves being able to help his sister with his niece, Hailey. Seeing Dane and Hailey together is the sweetest thing, this little girl knows how to wrap her uncle around her finger. When an accidental meeting between Jesse, Dane, and Hailey outside of work starts a friendship between the two men, it’s hard to tell who is more shocked. Dancing on the bar quickly goes from annoying to something neither man can deny looking forward to. For Dane, Jesse has always been a pretty boy who gets whatever he wants. After seeing him with Hailey though…there’s so much more than a pretty face and that scares the grumpy man…even if it would never admit it.
I love this book, I love the message of acceptance and the strength in the characters. Jesse is unapologetically who he is even when that causes him pain. His relationship with his parents is one of my favorite parts of the book. While there are problems, we see the love this family has for each other. It almost makes their struggle with each other more painful. Each scene between them both, gives me hope and breaks my heart. Dane’s relationship with his family adds a layer of love to this story that warms your heart. Hailey and her mom, Bree, see Dane as the best kind of man. They love him unconditionally as when Jesse enters the picture, they’re welcoming of him into their lives is so incredibly moving. This book is about two people falling into friendship and into love, but it’s also really about family. The family you’re born into, the family you choose, and the family you make when you put those altogether. It’s a book that makes your heart happy. Jesse and Dane are super-hot together and their chemistry is off the charts. But all the other things they are to and for each other, those are the reasons I love this book so much.
Enter the monthly review giveaway
Ends February 29th
a Rafflecopter giveaway