by: Nina Crespo
Series: Breakup Bash
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 12, 2018
Publisher: Entangled Publishing ~ Brazen
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One night can change everything.
Someone once told me that there are worst things than being left at the altar. Well, not many, in my experience. That was six months ago, though, and my life has moved on. Heck, I have a new job lined up and I'm leaving town.
But, I can't deny that my love life kind of sucks.
That’s why I let my friends convince me to join them for Club Escapade’s Breakup Bash. And we might just be disillusioned enough to actually enjoy it. Last time we were here, it was for my bachelorette party. That night, I met one of the dancers – Raphael – and when he flirted with me, I almost forgot I was engaged. And there's a part of me that never forgot him.
Now, it seems my friends have wandered off and I’m thinking about calling it a night. Until the music begins and I see Raphael, my secret fantasy, on stage. And this time, I’m definitely not engaged…
Confession time...The cover for Nina Crespo’s The First Rule of Hook-Ups had me doing a double-take. Yes. It's that nice. The blurb had me wanting to read the book. Seriously the cover is perfect for the story.
I love the story setup. Alexandra “Alexa” Cayne meets Raphael “Rafe” Dumond aka Raphael the Dream Maker, doing her bachelorette party at Club Escapade. After losing a bet, Rafe is fulfilling his end of the deal by getting back on stage as a member of the Hot Body Hunks. After his performance, he gives Alexa a kiss. Six months later, they meet again. Rafe stops himself from kissing her this time and walks away. Not having any of this, Alexa chases after him and demands her kiss. Rafe thinks she’s now married and still refuses. But when Alexa informs him of her disastrous wedding day, the two give in to their desire. Neither is looking for anything serious. Alexa is planning on moving out of state in a matter of weeks. But Rafe convinces her to extend their one-night stand for as long as they each want to or until she leaves.
What starts out as a one-night stand slowly turns into more. Before each of them knows it, they're in love. Past relationships, family, and perceptions play a role in keeping these two from what they truly want, which is each other, forever.
It took me a really long time to truly get into the story. It seemed as though Alexa and Rafe’s relationship was only about sex. I personally needed to get to know the characters, in order for me to become invested in them and their story. It wasn't until halfway through the book that I was able to get the true emotional connection I wanted. For me, at that point, the story got better.
In the end, Alexa and Rafe complement each other. He makes her happier than she's ever been. Alexa sees Rafe as a person who is smart and caring, and not just as a former stripper trying to be a business owner. Rafe makes her a stronger person and she helps him to overcome his past. Because I didn’t have that emotional connection immediately, I can't say that I was crazy about these two as characters, at least not Alexa. But I can say that by the end of the story, I understood her and liked her.
**Received a copy from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed.**
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