My fellow followers,
I am super excited to celebrate the release day of Erin McLellan’s Life of Bliss, book 2 in her Love Life series, which focusses on the friends of Niles and Rusty, Victor and Todd and how they become being the wedding plus one to an actual married couple!
Read further for my review, an exclusive excerpt and a giveaway. 🙂
Don’t miss all this. 🙂
*~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~*
I shouted actually, when I first read the blurb and heard about the topics : “take my money”, hence I was super excited that I was able to review this book on my blog asap the review copies where out. :3
Erin McLellan did a fantastic job with her novel Life on Pause which focuses on Rusty and Niles and introduced us Victor as Niles’ best friend and Todd as Rusty’s ex-boyfriend as colleague at the local school.
The chemistry was already hot simmering in the former book and it was a great catch of this events. But no worries, this book, Life of Bliss, is totally able to read as standalone and I can honestly say I was so engrossed by Victor’s and Todd’s fake-marriage I nearly didn’t missed Niles and Rusty at all (of course I have them dearly in my heart ;)).
I admit I am a huge fan of frenemies to lovers, of fake relationship, pretending to be a couple and decline each other’s feelings – at least first. 😉 It’s the fun in exploring the emotions with the characters and the way Erin McLellan developed it was so charming and sweet.
She really fleshed out the unique personalities of the two guys, their needs, their wants, and how different they are – but how well they click.
I was also super hooked by Victor’s family, the warm welcome and slightly craziness in their knit-tight relationship. :3 It warmed my heart to see them so cozy, so funny and hilarious together and how it was the total opposite from Todd’s parents.
This book is – of course – not without a bit drama, and I honestly liked this very much, how Victor and Todd actually grew more into each other, how their feelings changed over their time spending together. That with living in a close space also creates arguments and fightings is pretty natural, so I liked this part too – and which is held the major dramatic scenes.
The end was super sweet and of course adorable as hell; I can’t say how much I loved it, I was actually a pile of goo. :3 The different parts were great balanced and the growing of the relationship a pretty realistic display. The feelings were nearly palpable on every page in the book.
5 out of 5 stars from me for this book. :3
Title: Life of Bliss
Author: Erin McLellan
Series: Love Live # 2
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: April 30, 2018
Publisher: self-published, 2nd edition,
former released with Riptide Publishing
Length: 207 pages / 53.000 words
Cover artist: LC Chase
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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.
The reception became blurry after Todd’s fifth—or was it sixth?—glass of wine, and not only because he was day drunk and not used to drinking wine. The sun sneaking through the rain clouds, the scent of Victor’s three-in-one soap, the muggy breeze—it all combined to make him feel like he was floating, like he was walking through someone else’s story.
He’d woken up with a headache, like he was a bit hungover, but he’d only had a couple of beers the night before. Maybe it was an emotional hangover? From the lying and pretending and sex followed by him spilling his parental issues all over the place. Regardless of the reason, his emotions felt thin and brittle today. It wouldn’t take much for Victor to get under his skin and flay him open.
And now he was slow dancing, Victor’s breath in his ear, their hands so hungry to touch each other, and not even in ways that would lead to sex. Just soft, sweet touches. Like a hand on the back of Victor’s neck. Their palms pressed together. A kiss feathered underneath his ear.
Todd was so happy, so content, so warm with wine that he never wanted this moment to end. Never wanted his time with Victor and Victor’s family to end.
And, okay, maybe the reception tent was dulled around the edges because he was drunk, but he was pretty sure the shakiness in his chest was because Victor had placed his palm there and said, “The man I want more than anyone else in the world? I don’t think he wants me back.” It had seemed like Victor had been talking about him. Like that had been an admission Victor had skirted for ages and then let loose because the romance of their weekend had blunted the animosity they so often erected around themselves.
Why did they do that anyway? Was it because it would be too overwhelming not to? Because no one had ever felt as perfect in his arms as Victor, and that was scary?
Maybe it was the warmth in his chest, or maybe it was because he was drunk at one thirty in the afternoon on a Friday, but he suddenly couldn’t stand the idea of this ending.
“We could do it, you know?” he said, pressing his lips right up to Victor’s ear so only he could hear. So it would be a secret.
Victor pulled back, his eyes so wide and dark. So beautiful. “What’re you saying?”
“I wanna belong. I wanna be the right person.”
They were still swaying, bodies pressed together, so close that their chests touched when they breathed, but Todd realized in a vague, numb way that everyone else was dancing to a fast pop song.
“Are you suggesting we get married?” Victor asked.
Todd’s heart flipped into his throat and his stomach clenched. He hadn’t been suggesting marriage. Really, he didn’t know what he’d been suggesting. Just a continuation of this moment, this feeling. But, God, did that question make his body go crazy with yearning.
“Yeah, sure. Let’s elope, pumpkin,” he said softly, with enough lilt to show he was joking.
Victor’s smile was sweet and broken, like he liked the tease.
They kept dancing, close, so close that the other dancers around them disappeared.
Pretending to be boyfriends is easy. Being accidental husbands is not.
Author bio – Erin McLellan
Erin McLellan writes contemporary romance with characters that are complex, goodhearted, and sometimes a little quirky. She likes her stories to have a sexy spark and a happily ever after.
Erin has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree in library and information studies from the University of Oklahoma. Though no longer a public librarian, Erin still enjoys being surrounded by books and readers, but now she hopes to find her stories on the shelves as well.
Originally from Oklahoma, she currently lives in Alaska with her husband and spends her time dreaming up love stories set in the Great Plains. She is a lover of chocolate, college sports, antiquing, Dr Pepper, and binge-worthy TV shows.
There is a giveaway to win $10 Amazon gift card and an eARC of Life on Pause
Your chance to win *click*
Please note: the giveaway is not sponsored, administered or endorsed by Mikku-chan / A World full of Words.