Hi there! Today I’m sharing two New Adult romances from the husband-and-wife writing team of Kat and Stone Bastion. I had really enjoyed Kat’s time traveling/supernatural/Scottish mysticism series, and this contemporary work has scratched a whole other itch. The No Weddings series is a 4-book effort following the romance of a disillusioned business student/entrepreneur Cade Michaelson, and jilted cupcakery owner Hannah Martin.
About NO WEDDINGS (Book One):
I think I have my act together as a successful bar owner, my master’s degree within reach, and a list of no-strings-attached women warming my bed. Turns out, I don’t.
Hannah believes she has safeguarded her wounded heart by shunning men and focusing on her new baking business. The thing is, she hasn’t.
When my three sisters and I form an event-planning business with Hannah as our baker, I have no idea how my life is about to change. As Hannah and I work closely together, the attraction between us becomes irresistible. And complicated. I’ve promised my sisters I wouldn’t mix business with pleasure. But I’ve never been one to follow the rules
Cade is a cad. Well, yeah. He is. He’s 24 and had his heart obliterated on Valentine’s Day two years ago, so he only has friends-with-benefits, now. Unfortunately, he’s attracted to his new business associate, Hannah.
Hannah’s an Ice Queen, or so Cade thinks at their first meeting. As he gets to know her, he finds out she’s been deeply hurt, too. More so than even Cade it seems. Can these two wounded hearts find solace in each other?
Okay, this book is told through Cade’s POV, which is pretty refreshing. He’s a decent guy, so long as he’s got control. And Hannah makes him lose it–so he’s a bit ruthless. Okay, not exactly ruthless. More like manipulative. Her business of cake/pastry art is new, and needs help. He’s got connections and knowledge. If she agrees to cook for him, and his buddies, a few nights a week, then Cade will share his business acumen as a start-up coach. It’s kind of a lame set-up, which Cade fully acknowledges, but he wants to know more about Hannah and relishes the time he gets to spend with her at these meals and afterward as he consults with her. He’s sworn to his three sisters (and business partners) that he won’t get physical with Hannah, but it’s hard to stay focused on what he SHOULD do, when he’s getting closer and closer to her. And finding he likes her very, very, much.
So much, he’s willing to ditch his list of female companions….for good.
I liked this one. It’s got a whole lot of sexual tension, without the usual girl-flops-into-bed-the-second-time-they-meet happening. No, Cade is very patient, realizing that both he and Hannah need a lot of work to get to the point where they can emotionally connect. A true friendship is developed, and the weight of that is heavy: how will they proceed if they begin a relationship and it fizzles? Their professional life will suffer, but they NEED the friendship, almost more than anything physical.
In fact, I wasn’t disappointed by the ending, because I really felt so ‘in tune’ with the characters that I was sure everything romantic would be working out in the next book. This isn’t a typical new adult romance, and I think that made it stand out re, for me. I was on constant edge, waiting to see if Cade and Hannah would take THE NEXT STEP, that all the side-steps only ramped up my interest. Plus, for all that he’s a cad, Cade is an interesting narrator. Hannah is a strong woman, with serious goals and a passion for her work. She doesn’t fall for Cade’s BS, and gives him some serious friction–in the relationship department. Cade’s sisters make for a fun cast of supporting characters; looking forward to seeing them in later books.
And, ONE FUNERAL (Book Two):
I’m drawn to Cade as he charms his way into more of my life and offers me something I truly haven’t ever had: a friend. Yet his humor, patience, and drop-dead sexiness take my breath away, and I know my heart is at risk. I want to move forward but am terrified I can’t.
Cade seems to have it together from his own devastating heartache. His subtle actions, however, suggest a different story. And even though he says he wants more, I wonder if he’s able to trust in our developing relationship.
As we navigate through our tangled feelings, we vow to take it slow. Yet no matter how careful we try to be, things between us intensify—and there’s nothing we can do, or want to do, to stop it.
But the biggest question remains: Is chemistry enough to move beyond the past and toward a future together?
This second book of the series features Hannah’s POV throughout. Hannah has survived being jilted, but barely. In her life she’s had few close relationships; her mother died years ago, but they weren’t close. Raised by her (now deceased) grandparents, she had the closest connection with her Gran, who died a year ago. Embarking on a relationship with Cade is a REALLY big deal for her, and it’s good that Cade is really understanding.
In fact, with his encouragement, Hannah seeks counseling. Therapy does a world of good as Hannah challenges herself to step out of her comfort zone and make friends, not only with Cade’s sister, but with fellow business owners in her community. And, she challenges Cade to claim her in a public way with his family and friends–though they were non-dating “exclusively” openly embracing Cade helped quell Hannah’s relationship anxiety.
I enjoyed watching Hannah crawl out of her shell. Like NO WEDDINGS, ONE FUNERAL is long on sexual tension. Cade and Hannah spend lots of time together, but the attraction only simmers, it never overboils the pot…well, until the end. There are some humorous moments, and Hannah’s slightly snide narration made for a fast-paced read that kept me turning the pages. The constant push of innuendo, and super-sexy HEA puts this book in the Grown-Up category.
About the Authors:
Award-winning and bestselling romance author Kat Bastion has teamed up with her husband Stone Bastion to create the new contemporary romance series No Weddings.
A few factoids about the writing team…
Kat enjoys her chocolate rich and dark, her music edgy and soul-filling, and her vacations exotic with toes dug into the sand. And she’s wildly, madly, deeply in love with Stone.
Stone likes pounding the trails on a mountain bike, vibrating the sound system with rock music, and down time spent on a stand up paddleboard. And he loves Kat wildly, madly, deeply…and then some.
Together, they’re having a blast bringing fun-filled romantic stories to life and hope you’ll join them in the exciting adventure.
Kat’s first published work, Utterly Loved, was a twentieth anniversary gift of love poems to Stone that they decided to share with the world to benefit charity. Net proceeds from Utterly Loved, and a portion of net proceeds from all their books, go toward charities involved in the fight against human trafficking.
Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!