Title: It’s Been You
Author: Rina Gray
Series: Crush on You #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Short novel
Available: 7th Nov
Marketing manager Tiana Holliday just landed her dream job at an award-winning agency in New York City. There’s just one problem: cocky playboy Nathaniel Lawson, her old grad school nemesis, is her new officemate.
As the firm’s rising star, Nathan never had to compete for prime clients until all-work and no-play Tiana strutted into his workspace. When an opportunity arises to manage a lucrative sports car account and nab a big promotion, he challenges her to a wager: Loser does the winner’s bidding for one month. But their friendly little competition suddenly threatens to erupt into an all-out battle of desire.
As they straddle the line between love and war, they just might discover that challenging each other outside the boardroom is even more satisfying than advertised.
Source: ARC from Crimson Romance via NetGalley
This is a fun enemies to lovers tale, with straight-laced Tiana up against spontaneous Nathan. Not only do they work together, but they went to school together too and have never been anything close to friends. Their practical jokes were first mentioned in Fool For You and I’ve been dying to find out more about Tiana ever since.
I love Tiana, she’s amazing. Smart, hard working, she practically raised her younger twin siblings, is super organised, excellent at her job and not afraid to plan her best friend’s wedding on ridiculously short notice. Okay, she could do with loosening her tight grip on life a little, but she has her reasons – both from her childhood and in her love life. And when trouble heads her way, she’s not afraid of taking it on, colour-coded markers at the ready. I just plain like her, to be honest, and I wanted her to succeed.
Nathan on the surface is probably more instantly likeable than Tiana. He’s fun and friendly, but he also has some serious issues regarding his mother. I really disliked the way he continuously compared Tiana to her, always in a bad and unflattering way. I also really resented the way that his career ambitions were fine and no barrier to him ever having a family, while the same thing in Tiana just proved she was a ice queen who would mistreat her children. Double standards, Nate has plenty of ’em. There were times I wanted to smack him upside the head, especially towards the end.
When they’re together and Nathan isn’t being foolish, though, they’re adorable. I love how easily they connect when all silly stuff is put aside. Their chemistry is hot and their romance is pretty lovely. From soup to Mr. Beary to Lord of the Rings this book is packed with great moments, sometimes cute and very often funny. Having said that, I think more grovelling should have happened, though the ending still left me with a grin on my face.
Overall this was a great read, fun and thoroughly enjoyable throughout. It’s a good follow up to Fool for You, but also stands alone perfectly well if you haven’t read that first. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more.
It’s Been You is out 7th November.
Visit Rina Gray for more details.