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Not a Game (Friends #1) by Cardeno C.

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An accidental meeting and a misunderstanding lead to a life-altering connection. A new job, a new city, and hopefully a new life. When chubby gamer Oliver Barnaby receives a job offer from the best boutique game developer in the country, he leaves his family and his less than spectacular existence in Oklahoma without a second’s hesitation. Determined to change more than his career and his geography, Oliver implements a plan to finally land a boyfriend. Step one is improving his skills in the bedroom. A life that looks perfect on paper, but feels empty in reality. Attractive, successful, charismatic Jaime Snow has a life other people envy. His already booming business is growing. He isn’t lacking in friends. And he has no trouble finding a date. But there’s an emptiness in Jaime’s heart and a hole in his life that only the right man can fill. An accidental meeting, a misunderstanding, and falling in love. When Oliver and Jaime end up at the same bar at the same time, they each see something they want in the other. Going to bed together that first night is easy. Building the lifetime relationship they both desperately crave will require trust, time, and a little misunderstanding.

4 out of 5 (very good)

Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Oliver leaves his home town, moves away for a new job. Now he wants to work on getting a new man. But, he decided, he needs help, professional help, and hires himself an escort to teach him. First time Jaime sees Oliver, he knows he's the man for him. But a huge misunderstanding is no way to begin a relationship, and Jaime works hard to set things right. *insert wailing!* I'm sorry! I really am! I'm just so sorry I don't love this one as much as I loved other books by Cardeno C. Because you know I do love their work, I rave about it often enough, but this one?? It was okay, I just didn't love it. But I did like it. Its a lovely tale of misunderstanding coming out good, of not everyone wanting that rock hard, cover model, Greek god body next to them, about whats INSIDE that appeals to some people. It follows a solid Cardeno C track, with no break up/make up, nutty ex (more on that in a mo!) or murderous friends. Oliver's finding out the truth could have had a little more impact, for me, I thought, but that is just me. It doesn't have that nutty ex. What it does have is a best friend, kinda ex, who really does need his own happy ever after. Jack needs a story, because Jack loved Jaime, Jaime just didn't love Jack enough. And Jack needs to be happy now Jaime is. It's very well written from both men's POV, with just enough heat and steam that is perfect for Jaime and Oliver. I'm just sorry I couldn't love it. 4 stars

**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Cardeno C. - CC to friends - is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few "awwws" into a reader's day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno's stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever- after sunset. Cardeno's Home, Family, and Mates series have received awards from Love Romances and More Golden Roses, Rainbow Awards, the Goodreads M/M Romance Group, and various reviewers. But even more special to CC are heartfelt reactions from readers, like, "You bring joy and love and make it part of the every day."

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