Series: The Gibson Boys #2
Author: Adriana Locke
They’re not quite enemies. Not really friends. More like frustrated balls of sexual tension and neither will give in.
Lance Gibson drives Mariah Malarkey absolutely crazy. He uses her office like a phone booth, takes cupcakes from the corner of her desk like she baked them just for him. She didn’t. Maybe she knew the history teacher happened to love peanut butter icing, but that was purely a coincidence. All sixteen times.
Mariah has a way of getting under Lance’s skin too. She calls him out on his crap, spoils him even if inadvertently, and seeing the librarian in skirts drives him wild. She won’t give in. It’s for the best, really, considering there’s no way he could lie to a woman like that and he’s not about to tell her the truth about himself. Not in a million years.
These two don’t hate each other. They don’t really like each other. But for this to be a friends-to-lovers story, they have to start somewhere, right?
Note: This can be read as a standalone novel.
Despite the sizzling sexual tension and the undeniable chemistry between Lance Gibson and Mariah Malarkey, these co-workers do a damn good job of denying their attraction to each other partly because they have differing views about what they want from a relationship and partly due to the fact that one or both of them has a dark secret that prevents anyone from getting close to them.
Lance Gibson is one sexy history teacher with a quick wit, a dirty mouth, and a demeanor that makes all women want a night with him with the possibility that they might be the ‘one’ who can turn this playboy into a long-term relationship kind of man. But this one night stand player is immune to anything more than a roll in the sack and a much needed release.
But it seems that a certain gorgeous librarian who matches Lance’s snark, giving as good as she gets, might just affect him in ways that no other woman ever as, and the fact that he can’t get her out of his head leads Lance to a crossroads of sorts – one where he needs to decide if he’s willing to put himself out there with a woman who has the ability to make him want to reveal all of his secrets to just as much as she has the power to bring him to his needs.
Mariah Malarkey may enjoy her banter sessions with Lance and may even fantasize about him every once and awhile, but she knows he’s a no-go when it comes to making her dreams a reality because she wants a man who loves and cherishes her in a happily ever after kind of way and Lance Gibson is certainly not that, regardless of how much she wants him to be.
An attraction like the one between Lance and Mariah, though, cannot be denied and the fact that they can help heal each other only makes the idea of them as a couple that much more appealing, but that doesn’t mean becoming a couple will be an easy task – Lance has avoided relationships at all cost, so allowing himself to feel something more than a sexual connection will take time and while I think readers might get more frustrated than Mariah does, the payoff definitely seems worth the stress and overwhelming emotions as readers wait to see if these two think that what they can build is worth the risk.
I love the small-town romance feel of Craft; it allows readers to get to know the main characters on a deep level and it also provides insights into the supporting characters, which provides a pretty well-rounded view of more than just the hero and heroine’s relationship. I already determined this idea in Crank, but if I hadn’t already felt this way, Craft would have solidified by love for all things Gibson! The Gibson boys keep proving just how much I need these guys in my life and in my corner because they understand the idea of family and they have each other’s back, even when one of them veers off course a bit and needs a kick in the ass to jumpstart rational thinking.
What I’ve always adored about Adriana Locke’s stories is that she always brings them full circle. It’s clear from the start of her books what her vision is for her characters and what her endgame for them is and even though there’s drama and tension, there’s also humor and a multitude of emotions that resonate from the pages, keeping readers’ interest until the moment Locke decides to give her characters and her readers what they’ve want since the beginning – a love story of epic proportions that delves into people’s pasts and the secrets and baggage they carry as well as the moments the characters realize who they’re meant to be and the person they’re meant to spend their life with, and even if that journey is a bit rough with bumps and grooves along the way, the payoff at the end is worth all of the tears, the frustration, and the unpredictable situations, not just because the characters deserve their happy ending but also because everything that occurs between the couple is realistically portrayed, which means that it will resonate with readers and appeal to them in a way that many other stories can’t.
4.5 Poison Apples
USA Today Bestselling author Adriana Locke lives and breathes books. After years of slightly obsessive relationships with the flawed bad boys created by other authors, Adriana has created her own.
She resides in the Midwest with her husband, sons, and two dogs. She spends a large amount of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. You can find her outside if the weather’s nice and there’s always a piece of candy in her pocket.
For sneak peeks, giveaways, and more, please join Adriana’s Facebook Group, Books by Adriana Locke, or her Goodreads group, All Locked Up.