AUTHOR: Leisa Rayven
Release Date: April 30, 2017
Purchase @ Amazon
REVIEWED BY: Pistol Annie
(ARC provided by author/publisher)
5 PURE GOLD STARS
Max Riley is the man of your dreams. Or at least he will be, for a price.
As his alter-ego Mister Romance, Max is a drop-dead gorgeous escort who makes romantic fantasies come to life. No sex, just swoon-worthy dates to die for, and the cream of New York’s socialites can’t get enough. Whether they want a dominating billionaire, bad boy with a heart of gold, hot geek, sexy biker, or best friend who loves them from afar, Max can make it all happen, but he’s careful to keep his real identity a secret.
Enter investigative journalist Eden Tate. Having caught wind of the urban legend of Mister Romance from a lovestruck client, Eden is determined to publish a scathing expose on Max and his ability to swindle lonely society women out of their fortunes.
Desperate to protect his anonymity and his clients, Max challenges Eden to give him three dates. If she doesn’t fall in love with him, she can run her story with his blessing. If she succumbs to his charms, the story dies.
Cynical Eden has no doubt she can resist his fake romance personas, but when the real Max admits he’s falling for her, she has to decide if the professional liar is telling the truth, or if the passionate man with the mysterious past is just one more character designed to con her out of her career-making story.
A phenom and new-to-me author, Leisa Rayven fills 452 pages with a distinctive and unusual take on romance revolving around an escort scenario. What feels at times to be a bit OTT and an almost impossible to categorize romance, I chose to label it fantasy-fairytale. But whatever, Mister Romance is so much more than romantic comedy, showcasing Rayven’s artistic cleverness in creating a magically unique storyline that is unlike anything I’ve been fortunate enough to read before.
So, let’s get started . . . . Once upon a time, an enigma named Max Riley started a business peddling romance under the guise of the alter-ego, Mr. Romance. If you can afford his outrageously steep prices, Mr. Romance will bring your dreams to life — unless it involves anything below his waistline. That’s where he draws the line, and the no-sex-no-touching rule goes into effect. Business is booming and Mr. Romance is getting great reviews for his performances.
What’s he providing to these rich housewives of NYC that their million-dollar lifestyles and powerful husbands aren’t? That’s the big question. And if you figure out the answer, it’s going to be one hell of a story.
And then one day a nosy investigative reporter slithers into Mr. Romance’s life looking for “the big one” – NO, NOT THAT BIG ONE – the big story, the one Eden Tate needs desperately, or she’ll likely find herself slinging drinks and wiping down tables if she can’t meet the deadline her boss set. When she happens upon a tip that could help expose the elusive Mr. Romance, a plan begins to take shape. It could be a game-changer for her career. I was cheering for her success because curiosity was about to kill this kitty! But Max is smooth, and he had her number from the start. He has his own plan to counter the delectable Ms. Tate’s scam to uncover his secrets, and ultimately opening him up to possible scandal. GAME ON!
From this point on, don’t count on anything being what you think it might be — most likely you’d be wrong. Believe me, frustration and irritation will set-in before the answers to, “Hey, what’s the deal?” are gradually revealed. But I assure you that the answers carry a wow factor well-worth the wait, and packs a punch that comes at a most unexpected time.
Everyone wants to feel special, whether we admit it or not. And loving without limits and allowing ourselves to be loved in return is what life’s all about. Or at least, what it should be about. Everything else just gets in the way.
Eden Tate is not an easy woman to understand. The girl is unpretentious, could care less about fashion or being socially acceptable, and is happy in her own skin. She’s loaded down with resentment and pain from her past. That makes it difficult for anyone to get close to her. She doesn’t trust, certainly doesn’t believe in love, and she’s only looking for a sexual release – no commitment. I liked her in spite of her faults.
Max is a maddening chameleon, who so easily changes into many different characters. He’s paid to tell lies and role play. He’s a man well-versed in the art of romance – but too busy for a relationship of his own. Until the author decides it’s time for you to know, you’re never sure who he really is or why he chose the lifestyle he did. On the other hand, he’s charming, orderly and logical, intelligent and highly observant. The problem is you just never know what or who to expect from him.
Sex is for the body. Romance is for the soul.
Max is sure that he can give Eden a dream or two of her own if she’ll only let go of her past and allow it to happen. She never expected the unexpected. And neither love or relationship ever crossed her mind. The battle is on in a tug-of-war between cynic and romantic. It’s sex vs. romance and lust vs. love. There is no denying the sizzling chemistry or their attraction to one another. The lines are now blurred by something yet unnamed that has begun to take hold between these two adversaries. But with Eden’s need to complete the assignment on Mr. Romance, and the effects that could have on Max’s life, the story becomes even more complicated. Fighting their individual fears and tormentors, the differences between them, the good, the bad and the ugly, are what drives this story.
Eyes speak truths, mouths refuse to, and liars always find a reason to glance away.
Not only is this masterpiece more than a little fun to read, I can’t even come close to putting into words how much enjoyment and pleasure I got from its treasure trove of goodies. I felt a whole lot of feel-goods, along with some heavy-heartedness as well. The whole shebang is a smorgasbord of delights rolled into one epic story.
I’m totally hooked! I highly recommend that you get hooked, too. For a fantastic good time, make a date with Mr. Romance now.