***3 ‘Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better’ STARS***
Two rivals. One endgame. Uncontrollable desire. Uncomfortable truths. There’s only one winner in this competition and these two rivals both believe they’re the only logical choice. Wrapped up in a enemies to lovers tale the lines blur and winning depends what game you’re playing.
“We have a history that counts for something with me. But at the end of the day, Harper, I have every intention of being the one who comes out on top.”
Ryder Rogers and Dylan Harper have a combative, competitive and complicated history – always playing a game of one-upmanship. Over a decade ago they both went their separate ways, graduating and starting their lives. But they both always wondered ‘What if?’ Youth, inexperience, pride and effortless button pushing all combine to convince these two they’re better off without each other. Until ‘What if?’ becomes reality and these two players are reunited.
“My eyes are on him, appreciating not only the sight of him and the way my insides twist because of him, but also the firing of the competitive edge inside of me. We’re going to kill each other.”
Snarky, self-possessed and savvy I enjoyed Harper’s character. The majority of the story we get her backstory and current viewpoint. She’s a firecracker who stands up for herself yet has a core of vulnerability, especially because of past mistakes she’s still learning from. I didn’t connect as well to Ryder. Perhaps because I felt Harper stole the show so to speak. He’s perfectly sexy, inked up and smart. Taken from the title I expected a little more banter and professional glimpses of their rivalry working together in the boardroom or project room but the majority of their snark is college flashbacks. I did enjoy the back-and-forth we were given, I just didn’t feel like it was enough. Overall, while this story has a solid plot, well developed characters and plenty of steam I felt like I read an excerpt of a forthcoming full-length book. Something was just missing for me and I’m not sure if it’s the compressed timeline novellas deal with or my expectation of more story – other than the characters admitting to lusting after each other (the sexual tension was built very well) and finally indulging in a sexual relationship I didn’t feel this was heading to love. It felt like friends with benefits, which is fine, just not what I was expecting. The ending felt a little abrupt, but we are left with an implied HFN.
“I love that you’re still hostile. You wouldn’t be you without it.”
Who wins in the game of life and love? Take a chance and find out. Although I felt something was missing, that’s my personal opinion and you may connect much differently. If anything, pick it up for the solid writing and steamy buildup, and nice way to pass a lunch hour.
“Either way, she wins in the end. Because my thoughts are on her.”
*I received this ebook as an ARC. This in no way effects my rating or review.*
K’s Category: 1st date, first novel read by author to date
HEA: Implied HFN
Standalone: Yes, although loosely related to Sweet Cheeks