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The Best Men Kindle Edition
Bestselling authors Sarina Bowen and Lauren Blakely team up for the first time in an enemies-to-lovers, opposites-attract, irresistibly sexy standalone romance between the best man and the other best man!
In my defense, I was left alone with a bottle of single-malt and a life-long penchant for protecting my baby sister. Still, that's no excuse to send ten drunk-texts on why her hasty marriage would be a mistake.
If only I had just texted my sister. But nope. I accidentally sent the message to her, her groom, and his super hot wingman.
I also used the phrase “super hot wingman,” so I’d like to die now.
Instead, I have to plan a wedding with the aforementioned hottie and share a too-small guesthouse in steamy Miami.
Three days in the sun with the cocky, charming former athlete who likes to push my buttons? Fine, two can play at that let’s-infuriate-each-other game.
Until Asher ups the stakes with one wildly sexy suggestion. A no-strings fling, then I go back to my single dad life in New York, and he returns to his star-studded one.
Sign me up.
But the more nights I spend with the other best man, the more I want days too, and that just can't happen. Especially when I find out the real reason why…
Contents Include: First times, a secret to-do list, champion-level flirting, fast cars, #eggplants, and two men who look good in formal wear.
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- ASIN : B09CLKPNV4
- Publisher : Troliver Books (18 January 2022)
- Language : English
- File size : 2764 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 332 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 4,063 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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On a side note I am a bit tired of reading about super rich people who throw money at their problems and have loads of fancy stuff and fly everywhere - being a one percenter is ethically dubious. It would have been great if the wealthy good guys in this story did something useful or ethical with their money at some point?
Mark is recently divorced, single dad that rarely steps outside of his comfort zone.
Asher is an ex soccer player turned photographer that lives and breathes spontaneity.
Mark and Asher are thrust together as best men to help organise Mark’s sister and Ashers best friends wedding. That would be awkward enough without Mark’s drunken messages about the ‘super hot wingman’ and Asher can’t let him live it down.
I really enjoyed the opposites attract trope. These two had some great banter and chemistry. The spreadsheet jokes were funny and I did myself genuinely laughing. It is that cute, fluff kinda read so you do know whats going but the ride was still enjoyable.
Mark and Asher are definitely opposites with such snark that kept me riveted throughout.
Both are best men to an upcoming wedding, how they make that work is hilarious .
Drunk texting isn’t the best way but it sure opens up communication!
A great book that I loved , the sensuality between them added with dirty talk makes this book 100% perfect.
They meet because Mark’s sister is marrying Asher’s best friend and the attraction is there but they’re gonna brood about it first, deny deny and all that. But, a little forced proximity and phew these two were fun!
The story starts off at the engagement party for Mark’s sister, Hannah, but Mark has mistakenly sent some hilarious drunk texts to the group chat that involves Hannah, her fiancé, Flip, and the Fiancé’s best friend, Asher. The texts haven’t painted him in the best light so he goes to the party with the need to apologise. This had me laughing so hard just in the first couple of chapters. The banter between Asher and Mark is so good, they immediately had great chemistry. I would recommend reading the novella first so you can read about how they both met the first time and the events leading up to the party.
Mark and Asher are complete opposites. Mark works on Wall Street as a Trader and is a lover of spreadsheets and polo shirts. He needs everything to be in order and everything to be perfect, especially for his little sister. Mark is also a recently divorced single dad to his 7 year old daughter, Rosie. His life basically revolves around Rosie at this point in his life. He takes on the extra parenting duties as his ex-wife gallivants around town. He’s always either working or spending time with Rosie. He doesn’t do much for fun outside of that. He tries to keep his attraction to Asher a secret but that doesn’t go to plan.
Asher, on the other hand is all about fun. He is an ex professional football (or soccer) player now turned photographer. He is all about fun, spending time at nightclubs or jumping out of planes. He would rather have a hookup than a relationship. He thinks that Mark is boring when they first meet, although he hasn’t completely figured him out. He can’t help but be attracted to Mark but he stays away as he thinks Mark is straight.
Things quickly start heating up when Asher and Mark are both sent to Miami to ensure that Hannah and Flip’s wedding goes off without a hitch as they are both the best men. Once they both get there, their chemistry is off the charts and they can’t deny one another anymore. They decide to have a quick no-strings fling while they are in Miami and then things will go back to normal once the wedding is over and they’re back in New York. So they both decide to enjoy themselves and Mark whips out one of his spreadsheets, but this time Asher is more interested than he thought he would be. I honestly loved the idea of this spreadsheet (once you read it you’ll know what I mean)… good for you Mark.
These two had amazing chemistry from the start, their banter was hilarious throughout the book and I loved their ‘love language’, it honestly made me laugh every time they mentioned it. Mark is who surprised me the most, I loved watching him completely let go with Asher and realise that the things he wants in life are still important even if he is a parent. Asher was just what he needed to discover that side of himself and Mark is exactly what Asher needed to ground him and show him that he is worth it. I loved seeing Asher fall for Mark and play with Rosie. He really needed someone to be there for him at this stage in his life after being told something wrong in the past.
I don’t want to spoil anything but I will say that I loved the last part of the book, it really made me feel what both Mark and Asher were feeling and just showed how much they loved each other. I could really feel their love through the pages. I felt like I was right there with them. I also loved the one thing they had in common at first that they bonded over, I thought that was a great idea.
Overall, this book made me deliriously happy. I couldn’t stop myself from squealing and swooning at the cute moments and laughing at the banter between the two of them. I truly did not want to put this book down to sleep and I never wanted it to end. I love Asher and Mark so much and loved watching them fall for each other. Lauren Blakely and Sarina Bowen have written an amazing journey for these two men, I love this writing duo. They made me feel like I was right there watching Mark and Asher fall in love right in front of me.
I highly recommend reading this book! I think this will be one of my top books of 2022.
Top reviews from other countries
Well...that really did happen 😕, and I just about made it to 50%. I must point out that Him and The Understatement of the Year are 2 of my all-time fave reads by Sarina BUT after all the hype and build-up, this is actually just a story about a bisexual virgin, a more than willing 'teacher', loads of sex, too much money, little credible storyline and some particularly stupid and quite frankly ridiculous and ignorant ideas about the game of ⚽️ football ⚽️ from 2 clueless American authors 🙄.
There were SO many things wrong with what was written about Asher St James's Premier League stint and his background as a whole [Swiss boarding school..really?? 🤣🤣 Most of our PL players still come from working class/blue collar backgrounds, and are taken into the clubs academy if they show promise, sometimes aged 10 or even less. Yes, this is 'fictional' work, but PLEASE check your facts!!] and oh yes, I'm 💯% in agreement 🤨 that a bull 🦬 could run onto the pitch during a football match against Barcelona...not **HUGE eye roll**, AND that a player would be brave/foolhardy enough to be out and proud in our caveman-driven football leagues. I may have pointed this out before in reviews for other ⚽️ football ⚽️-related stories, but the abuse from some of the morons on the terraces [and some other players I've no doubt] would cripple him, so why do you think players only come out after they've retired?? They must understand the risks when they take up football as a career.
I've sent the audio back to Audible [some parts made me cringe, sorry Teddy and Jacob, but some of your pronunciations were WAAY off], and the book has gone back to Amazon. I can absolutely understand why I've never read a Lauren Blakely story...and probably won't ever again. Very disappointing.
“Asking me to be your boyfriend?”
*possible spoilers for some*
So in the beginning we've got Asher who is a charmer with a touch of arrogance and Mark who is controlled, uptight and has sent some drunk texts letting his sister know how he feels about her rushed, in his opinion, wedding and her husband to be's best friend which is Asher. Now, both are being asked to be the best men at this wedding.
There is tension, but I wouldn't deem this as a true enemies to lovers. Maybe more frenemies kinda thing?
This is a well written story, the pacing is great and the style of writing makes it for an easy enjoyable read. I have read more of Sarina Bowen than Lauren Blakely but it still felt like their writing really meshes together and I did see Sarina mention that both have written all characters rather than one each kind of thing and I think that comes through. There's great sweet intimate moments as well as the steamy ones. There's flirty and funny levity to the book, there's no big over the top drama. There's a love for spreadsheets and cute days out on the beach and drunk texts and letting go with one another. All the good stuff. It's a very likable book and I imagine many are going to love this and I'll more than likely be in the minority here.
But Mark. Bloody hell. Give me patience. Asher is supposed to be the one with arrogance, well Mark said hold my beer. For me I couldn't see Mark as anything but an overgrown man child.
[ His ex Bridget (Also once I clocked these names I couldn't help but think of Mark Darcy and Bridget Jones lol) is painted as an absent mother who has a glass of wine in her hands at all times and is manipulative of Mark as a parent and ungrateful of all that Mark has done for her and their child. He was soooo chivalrous and married her when he got her pregnant. Did he truly love her though? Meh. Is he gonna be bitter though when she falls in love with someone and asks for a divorce? Yeah. I get that part, I do. but basically the whole book is him taking a swipe at her whenever possible, even in the most subtler ways, then even Asher gets in on this. At one point all it seems to boil down to is that Mark didn't get with anyone once he and his ex wife split and he was sexually frustrated and he blames his ex for every damn thing. Is she flaky? Sure seems to be when it comes to events and games and such for their daughter Rosie. But we don't actually see the impact of that & she is there, it's not like she just comes for birthdays and Christmas then goes off again. Even when they're in Florida for the wedding she seems to be the one who is mostly with their daughter. For me it was too convenient, it seemed to be just constant swipes at her. There is a conversation that happened between Mark and Bridget regarding boundaries and if things were explored more like that then maybe I wouldn't be so annoyed but it just wasn't sold authentically to me. It very much felt like the convenient villain woman in an MM story even if it wasn't the OTT kind. If it had just more depth or even Mark went and actually said to Bridget that both of them needed to be sharing the same responsibilities they owe their daughter then sure I would have perhaps felt differently.
Then there's Flip's, the groom in the wedding, parents. I'm not sure if they were supposed to be a schitts creek kinda thing and it didn't translate well or if it was supposed to be like the reality of those eccentric characters. Either way, I hated them. They are rude and obnoxious and apparently because they are rich and wacky nobody stands up to them but instead just smiles and nods along. So glad they were only in a chapter or two.
Also that one scene with the cake tasting and all the sexual innuendos was done in a cringey way. There's a way to do those kind of things but this was not it. Asher and Mark basically had a big neon sign overhead, I rolled my eyes big time.
I was way too annoyed for a book that is actually mostly light hearted. I did actually like that when a conflict is present with the opportunity that arises for Asher that the authors didn't take an easy out and Asher didn't have his Lauren Conrad moment lol. Seriously though, I appreciated that and how they have to manage that as two people who want to be together. I do think this book has a great feeling about it but honestly when it came down to it I didn't like Mark. It's difficult to love a book when that's the case. The authors write brilliantly together but unfortunately this was not it for me.
I'm curious though, This seems to be marked as book #1, I don't know if there's more to come or if that's a mistake. If there is more to come is Brett getting a book? That's the only character I can think of that could possibly get one from this book. This one was not it for me but I'd still check out more by these authors.
You know sometimes you just want to read a book that entertains you without it being full of angsty drama or unnecessary complications just to drive up the “shock horror” point?
Well, this is that book. It’s just fun. From the ridiculous drunken text messages Mark leaves in the group chat for his sister’s wedding, to Asher’s irrepressible nature, it’s just joyous.
There is some tension, of course there is otherwise it’d be a one-note emotional experience, but they’re all valid and come up as part of the narrative in an organic fashion which makes sense based on all we’ve seen of the two men.
Mark appears like he’s a boring banker (although he’ll be quick to point out he’s a trader, a man who takes risks every day!) but he’s anything but. There’s a fire in him that’s been waiting for free reign after he’d ended up stuck in a marriage that occured because his college girlfriend got pregnant.
Asher comes across as all surface only, he’s a rich, successful former footballer (the right version with the round ball) and now has a career as a sought-after sports and leisure photographer. And even here things were “easy”.
Unlike the real world, Asher had no problem being a gay man playing in the Premier League.
I have to say, I’m not sure how much either author really knows about British or European Football as they seemed to mix up the two as being the same thing – Premier League = England’s top clubs – not playing in Europe unless it’s a cup competition so if Asher was playing at Barcelona at any time, he wasn’t playing for an English club outside of a tournament.
Still, it doesn’t detract from the overall story and it’s more of a thing thrown in in passing for his background. He’s not played for a while when the book begins.
So, as I said, he seems like he’s a bit of a flyaway but he’s hiding a lot of hurt. His last boyfriend basically left him the day he was going to ask him to move in and really damaged Asher’s sense of worth.
From their less-than ideal first meeting – which is available free in the prequel Super Hot Wingman – through to the start of their HEA, both men grow closer and gain strength from the other.
The book is as equally swoony and warm-hearted as it is scorching hot, with insane intimacy and chemistry that bounces off the page. The sex scenes in this one are on fire when Mark finally lets go and Asher gets to bathe in all his nerdy focus.
With a strong setting and some great secondary characters, this book delivers on all fronts.
What I liked:
- Their mean and cheeky banter. I'm always a sucker for good banter and there was some great laugh out loud moments when they playfully called each other out. It was funny and adorable!
- Mark was a pretty adorkable single dad and I loved the moments we do get between him and his daughter. Oh, also, I loved his one-eyed pirate orange cat named Blackbeard! 😂
- Once I got on board with their relationship, I loved how they were so soft for each other. It was meltingly sweet, especially when they were connecting through the period drama they were watching together. Their theories and banter were so cute!
What I wanted more of:
- I wanted to know more about what happened between Mark and his ex-wife, Bridget, particularly because it so deeply affected him and his stance on relationships. She does appear in the story (and quite selfishly) but I don't know what it tried to prove because her role never went anywhere so why was she even given page-time? 😂
- I wanted to see Asher and Mark get to know each other more outside of the bedroom! I mean, I'm always here for the steamy scenes, but I wasn't entirely feeling their chemistry. They spend time together to prepare for the wedding and they have a few personal moments where they talk about their pasts but not really in detail. I just wanted more moments with them discovering each other's personalities!
- I would've definitely liked to see more scenes with Mark + Rosie + Asher when he finally gets permanently involved. They had some cute moments but I wanted more connection!
I'm glad I read this but I'm also sad that I didn't love it as much as I was ready to!
Bottom line, it was rather tedious, with a few extra bits that I particularly didn't like:
- I didn't warm at all to Mark, who I found quite dislikeable. He was characterised from early on as one of those people who is 'rude to waiters', which is never excusable no matter how rich or successful you are. The way he spoke to the various sub-contractors who were involved in the wedding wasn't cute, or clever, or showed what an amazing person he was with finances. It was just rude. It's not a great start when you don't like 50% of your heroes.
- The story just didn't really have enough storyline. Sex is fine, but you do need to wrap it around some story that actually grips the reader. I just wasn't interested in what was going on.
- Spreadsheets? I think this was supposed to be some sort of light relief, but it was just tedious and not amusing in the slightest.
- Trevor & Oliver? Just not enough detail for readers to care. It became an unnecessary irrelevance.
- I really didn't like that Asher came back from Europe half way through his contract. It was his opportunity to show that he wasn't flaky, and he could see a job through successfully so that he could carve out a successful career. But instead he just abandoned it (apparently without thought or consequence) and all just because he missed Mark and couldn't live without him for another 6 months. It didn't exactly make me respect him. Funnily enough, focusing the book on how they managed to make their long-distance relationship work despite the obstacles (and doing some lovely French tourism together) might have given the book more storyline to work with. Instead Asher just abandoned France. Opportunity missed.
On the plus side, Rosie (Mark's daughter) was quite a good character.