Real Men Will (Hqn)

Real Men Will  - Victoria Dahl Eric Donovan has lived his life being the perfect son and brother. When his parents were suddenly killed in a freak car accident, he abandoned his dreams to return home and run the family brewery, raising his teenage brother and sister at the same time. Beth Cantrell is the35-year old manager of White Orchid, an erotic boutique in Boulder, located only a few blocks from the brewery. Both she and Eric were attending a business expo in Denver with stations near each other when they established eye contact and the chemistry was explosive. Neither fit each other’s ideal of their normal “type” but the attraction was undeniable. They end up in a hotel room but agree to go their separate ways, marveling at how what they’d just done was out of character for them both. However, the entire time Beth believed she was with Jamie Donovan (that was the name displayed at the expo) and Eric did nothing to clear up the misconception.This was a story of two people who were living lives based on the expectations of others and not necessarily ones they would choose. They are more alike than how they appear on the surface, suppressing their real feelings and resorting to lies whenever needed to perpetuate their myths. It was inevitable that Beth and Eric’s paths would cross again and she would discover his betrayal. As much as she distrusts him, they cannot seem to avoid their physical attraction and succumb to it repeatedly. Eric isn’t an easy character and I found it difficult at times to be sympathetic towards him or even like him, however, he redeems himself very late in the story. Beth makes choices that are very curious and it was often difficult to clearly understand her point of view. We learn more about her personal baggage fairly late in the story and it might have been more helpful in getting her character if this information was disclosed just a little earlier. Nevertheless, she’s extremely likable but you question what it was that attracted her to Eric, beyond his “preppy” look and why she’s such a contradiction.I liked this story but it is my least favorite in the series. Be forewarned that the glue that holds this couple together is sexual compatibility so there are many steamy scenes between the two, almost to distraction. There isn’t a neat wrap up at the end of the story so I’m hoping there will be more to the series. There are some secondary characters, like Luke Asher’s partner, Simone Parker, and Wallace Hood the brewmaster who are pretty interesting with room for stories. We can only hope as this was a very interesting series. My rating for the book is 3.5 stars.(I received an ARC from NetGalley)