The Real by Kate Stewart
Adult Contemporary Romance. Standalone.
Wow. Can I please repeat that a little louder? WOW. I have been sitting on this review for like 10 days because I honestly don’t feel like my words can convey the epicness of this journey. The blend of humor, emotion, angst, romance, and my favorite, message flirting, in The Real by Kate Stewart made this one of my favorite reads of the year, just like Ms. Stewart’s Drive was last year, despite them being very different reads. I didn’t think she could beat Drive for me, but she may have here with this adult romance featuring amazing characters in their thirties.
The Real started off sweet and funny and flirty. I was smiling and laughing and totally swooning as the slightly strange Abbie was sitting in a quirky coffee shop with fun mugs and had an airdrop message from “Cameron’s Mac”. Abbie’s past had her very skittish around men, but she messaged the cute guy across the room back, and so began an adorable messaging flirtation. There was one rule to this flirtation:
Abbie’s Mac: We leave our relationship baggage at the door.
Cameron’s Mac: Nothing but who we are now, at this moment, and where we’re going, or where we want to go.
Oh what a slow burn this was! I love how they really got to know each other by message only and the sexual tension was still there.
“A kiss can be an introduction, statement, and a promise. I plan to make all three when you let me.”
Sigh…Cameron was so awesome.
“Abbie’s Mac: You would kiss me for the first time in a coffee shop?
Cameron’s Mac: In front of God and everyone. At this point, I’d kiss you anywhere you let me. Are you ready for that, Abbie? Because once I get access to those lips, I’m going to suck them dry.”
When they finally got together, it was everything!
“Fuck, I’ll never forget the way you look right now,” he whispered.
I felt beautiful and worshiped, the new normal that only he could make me feel.
“I don’t want anyone else.”
“I’ll keep it that way,” he assured as he tore off his undershirt.
They were so perfect together, but they had the one pesky rule: no pasts, no baggage. Each of them was holding a part of themselves back, but it didn’t matter, it was so clear they were meant for each other..
“But just so you know, you and me, we are absolute.”
Then came the angst…
“Look at me. This is me at my worst. Please don’t do this to us.”
“I didn’t do this.”
“You’re right. I did. Love me anyway.”
But it was perfect. I did not expect it, I knew a twist was coming, but that wasn’t what I thought! HOLY SHIT. This book will knock you out.
“Love by its definition is a lie, its true definition is work and a fuck lot of it. It also means so much more than that one syllable. It’s a one-word representation of everything that can make or break a person. Love is only meant for the brave.”
- The cover is as unique as the story. (No abs! But I will say, my husband thought the title was Wicker Park)
- Messaging is my absolute favorite way for a couple to get to know each other in a book and I loved the way Kate Stewart did it here.
- I loved the side characters.
- Flirtatious banter.
- So much sexual tension!
- Slow burn.
- Totally blindsided by the story.
- It was such a real story. The characters were real and flawed.
- The quirky coffee shop.
- Did I say how much I LOVED Cameron?
- I highlighted so many quotes it was amazing.
- A great playlist.
- Completely unique and memorable.
- Older characters.
- It had a traditional romance feel in a contemporary story. He really had to woo her, and he wooed me too!
- It’s a complete standalone.
- Not one thing.
The Down & Dirty:
Rating: 5++++ Stars, 4 Heat
Purchase The Real by Kate Stewart