Blurb: If there’s one thing Rae can’t stand, it’s pity. She’s forty, frazzled, and fed up—so attending an awards ceremony alone while her ex swans about with his new wife? Not an option. To avoid total humiliation, Rae needs a date of her own. And her young, hot-as-hell new best friend is the perfect candidate…
Zach Davis, king of casual hookups, has a secret: the notorious womanizer craves emotional connection, and anonymous encounters leave him feeling hollow. After years of performance, Zach’s desperate to be himself. So why does he agree to play Rae’s fake boyfriend? And why does it feel so easy?
When the line between pretense and desire blurs, Zach’s forced to face an unexpected truth: there’s nothing phony about his need for Rae. But the jaded divorcee has been hurt by playboy men before. Can a weekend of faking it prove that Zach’s for real?
Review: So...this book was really freaking good. Disclaimer: it is the third book in the series, but I honestly wasn't bothered by that fact whatsoever except that the little mentions of the previous characters made me want to read the other books ASAP.
Last night, I skimmed through my TBR pile looking for a light read that I could maybe finish before bed time (spoiler alert: I didn't because it was nine pm and that was a pipe dream) and decided on That Kind of Guy. The ARC didn't have a blurb attached so I went in completely blind which is totally atypical for me. And...of course, my plan to be asleep by eleven didn't work and I had to force myself to put it down so that I could at least get six hours of sleep last night.
The first thing I noticed was that it was just so... real. Does that make sense to anyone or just my sleepy brain? Like, yes, romance novels are usually somewhat realistic, but That Kind of Guy truly felt like I could have been reading a book about two living people from small town, U.S.A. There was drama (thank the lord), but it wasn't like murderers or stalkers or mysteries. Just plain old ex-husband and personal insecurities drama and I loved it.
Our hero Zach is demisexual which I was unfamiliar with, but our author Talia Hibbert does a wonderful job of explaining a few different times throughout the novel. For those who don't know a demisexual is a person who does not experience sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection with someone. It, more or less, means that you probably won't find this person having unattached sexual relationships with others (i.e. no one-night stands or drunken hookups). I've been reading so many sex god heroes lately that it was actually really wonderful to read a story about a guy who is struggling with accepting this change to his sexual identity and getting to read his internal dialogue. He's definitely still an alpha, but he was so kind and considerate and thoughtful and emotional and... oh man, I think he's my new book boyfriend (until my next book, of course.)
I didn't realize this was an age gap romance at first, but Rae is actually 12 years older than Zach. She's a totally bad ass fantasy author with a dirty mind (but it was so refreshing that she wasn't ashamed of those sexual thoughts and fantasies). She was confident with moments of insecurity, bold with moments of pause, and impulsive with moments of quiet contemplation. And the best part was that she wasn't afraid of being wrong and had no problem apologizing (I do not have such a talent).
There's talk of consent and boundaries on multiple occasions (woot) and the conversations between Zach and Rae are better than half of the foreplay scenes I've ever read. Every word exchanged had me on the edge of my seat for more. They were so comfortable with each other and their dialogue was filled with teasing and adorable humor. By the time Hibbert got to the actual sex I was like... but more dialogue please. Although the sex was ridiculously hot, too.
The 'fake boyfriend' plot is a little been there-done that, but man... it's a beloved trope for a reason. The whole plot was very enjoyable and I'm pretty much obsessed with reading the first two books in the series and seeing what I missed with these other amazing characters. Like... what the fuck is Ruth's problem? I gotta get to the bottom of it.
The book is out May 1st, which gives you plenty of time to read the first two in the series. You can pre-order That Kind of Guy here.