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Review: For Valentine’s by Kat & Stone Bastion

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For Valentine’s
Author:
Kat & Stone Bastion
Reviewer:
VampBard
Rating: A+

What I’m Talking About:

Really, this is going to be a wrap-up of the No Weddings series, which needs to be read in order. For Valentine’s is the final title, a novella, in the series.

I’ve had the privilege of watching the relationship of Hannah and Cade develop over the past year. They’re real. They’re believable, and most of all, they’re honest. If you haven’t picked up the No Weddings series by Kat & Stone Bastion, you’re truly missing out on a well-crafted, humor-infused, voyeuristic look at the way an honest-to-goodness relationship evolves.

I finished For Valentine’s and had to mull over my thoughts about it. To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised, but didn’t know exactly how I felt about the final installment of the No Weddings series. Maybe it was a little about missing Hannah and Cade. Maybe it was because everything was SO different in this novella, versus the four full-length titles in the series. For me, it was different in a good way. I’ll try to explain.

Whereas I would classify all of the previous titles in the No Weddings series as contemporary romances, For Valentine’s falls into the erotic romance subgenre. The novella contains several explicit sex scenes, all of which are written from the male POV. If you do not prefer erotic romance, this novella may not be for you. BUT…if you have read the other books in this series, you’re definitely going to be missing out if you don’t try For Valentine’s. If you’ve never read an erotic romance, and you adore Hannah and Cade as much as I do, then this might be a good introduction to the erotic romance genre. Readers invested in the couple will see the sex for what it is—making love. Making memories. Growing together. THESE are things that are important to me.

Like I’ve mentioned, I’m invested in this couple. I think Cade is the one that drew me in to the story, however. I have always thought he was wise beyond his years. Had that, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” attitude about most everything. I also feel he’s grown a TON through the series. Starting off as Mr. Playboy-all-about-casual-sex, he found what I can only describe as peace with Hannah. Here’s a quote from Cade:

“I’d never considered myself an optimist. Realist suited me better. But I found myself drinking the half-full glass and subscribing to the notion. Maybe the point to focus on wasn’t the shit life threw at you, but the great things you did in spite of it.”

Now, originally I didn’t feel that Cade was all-in on this philosophy. He grew into it. Letting go of a thread of his control over all things was probably another aspect of Cade that I admired. The way he was so giving of his time, and thoughtful when it came to Hannah was probably the most important reason I fell for Cade.

Hannah, for me, became this old soul, with the perfect words of advice. Even though she also had to overcome some adversity in order to be invested in her relationship with Cade, she made it work. And she helped Cade make it work for him. She never tried to change him, or make him conform to some pristine image of what she thought her knight-in-shining-armor should be. She, too, was a realist, with a hint of optimist tossed in, I think. Her drive and desire to make Cade happy in whatever situation presented itself was admirable. Even when things weren’t picture-perfect. The entirety of For Valentine’s was a tribute to Hannah’s penchant for making lemonade out of lemons.

I’m not going to lie. There was a LOT of super hot sex crammed into this novella. Usually, when there’s lots of the bow-chica-wow-wow crammed into a short page count, there’s some gratuitous stuff going on that doesn’t further the plot. I can’t say that about For Valentine’s. Every instance of intimacy was purposeful and moved the story forward. When I reflected on the book, trying to figure out how to craft my review, I wondered if all the sex was going to be a problem for some readers. I decided to include my little disclaimer at the beginning. But right here I want to say that I can’t imagine the story arc playing out any other way. The place where Cade and Hannah were, at the beginning of the story, was light years away from the place they ended up. I think they grew together as a couple in so many ways—and their coupling was the catalyst, but surely the emotions involved in their love-making deepened their connection to one another at every turn.

Many thanks to the Bastions for concocting this fabulous series, on a pizza box. I look forward to further titles produced by the couple. And the fact that punctuation in text messages has been forever corrupted for me is a bonus take-away. I leave you with these words from Cade:

“Because no matter how hard I tried, no matter what curveballs life spun our way, incredible miracles happened in the middle of it all.”

My Rating:  A+ Personal Favorite

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About the Book:

This steamy nightcap novella, the fifth book in the No Weddings Series, takes us on a post-happily-ever-after adventure as Cade attempts to rewrite Valentine’s Day with his new wife, Hannah.

Wedded bliss. After everything Hannah and I have been through, we finally have it. Yet dark dreams from my troubled past continue to escalate as we approach Valentine’s Day.

Determined to fill our present with great memories that overtake all others, I plan a trip to New York—down to every scheduled detail. Yeah, there will even be a musical.

But Mother Nature has a few tricks up her sleeve. And the universe keeps throwing us curveballs…

EXCLUSIVE to pre-orders and release-day digital copies

Books will be signed by the authors
PLUS
they will include an intimate bonus scene from Hannah’s point of view
. 

Ad For Valentine's PROMO

Release Date: January 5, 2015
Publisher:
Kat & Stone Bastion
Series:
No Weddings #4.5
ISBN: 978-0692023822
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Format(s):
paperback (100 pages), e-book
Book Source: Author

Purchase Info:
For Valentine’s (No Weddings #4.5)

Reviews in the Series:
No Weddings by Kat & Stone Bastion (No Weddings #1)
One Funeral by Kat & Stone Bastion (No Weddings #2)
Two Bar Mitzvahs by Kat & Stone Bastion (No Weddings #3)
Three Christmases by Kat & Stone Bastion (No Weddings #4)

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