Oct 8, 2015

ARC Review: ROUGH ROAD (Lake Lovelace, #2) by Vanessa North


Eddie Russell is many things: A wealthy pillar of the community. An outrageous flirt. A doting best friend. A masochist with a kink for brawling with his bedmates. But he is definitely not a man who invites intimacy. His friends are close but few, his lovers rarer still.

When Eddie runs his Mercedes off the road on a hot July afternoon, Wish Carver comes to his aid—and leaves his number in Eddie’s phone. Wish, a road crew worker half Eddie’s age and sexy as sin, seems fascinated by Eddie’s different sides. Mutual attraction and compatible kinks ignite the sheets, but it’s their connection outside the bedroom that Eddie begins to crave.

When the two come down on opposite sides of a local issue, Eddie finds his growing feelings for Wish at odds with his business interests and his devotion to his best friend, local wakeboarding legend Ben Warren. Torn between old loyalties and his new love, Eddie is reluctant to make a choice. But he knows he can’t make Wish wait too long to make up his mind.


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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. As Goodreads would say: I really liked it!


When I find a book in which the main character has the nickname Kinky, my reaction is:



And go there I did. But before that I wanted to read Double Up, the story that made a lot of readers wish for Eddie's book. Sure enough, by the end of it, I was one of them. I was just lucky enough not to have to wait for it.

I'm happy to report I liked Eddie & Wish's story better than Ben & Dave's for several reasons.

I'll start with the two that appealed to me personally. The majority probably wouldn't be this glad about this, but I am, and whoever shares my opinions about these things will be too.

Lovers calling each other "baby" is a big pet peeve of mine. Whenever I find that in a book, my face contorts in an ugly grimace. Ben & Dave did it, so that had me worried. However, no worrying was necessary because Eddie and Wish skipped that endearment. Maybe it didn't fit into their kinky games. Maybe they're just not a fan of it, like myself. Either way, I was grateful for the lack of babys. I was much fonder of Eddie's darlings and lovelys.

I may be the most anti-sporty person on the planet. Seriously, all the sports activities could seize to exist, and I wouldn't even notice. Since several of either main or side characters are wakeboarders, there was talk of that sport, especially in book one. But Eddie, bless his heart, apparently feels similar as I do since he didn't even consider sports talk to be even English. I was all smiling and nodding. Finally someone who understands.

Other than that, there were other reasons that made this book one of those stories I finished reading with a smile on my face.

The length. Rough Road is longer than Double Up, which is, you know, YAY! But that would be irrelevant if those extra pages weren't used wisely. And they were, in my opinion. The story had a nice flow. The progression of Eddie & Wish's relationship, the sexy kinky times, the conflicts, the resolutions -- all of that found its place. I also liked that we got an update on how Ben and Dave are doing in their relationship, and how Ben's health is after everything that happened in Double Up.

The relationship. Eddie and Wish certainly had the case of insta-lust. For a moment there I was worried they would get too serious too soon, but they didn't. It all moved on naturally, or as naturally as it can go when you have a forty-three year old rich man who doesn't want to get involved with a younger man, and a twenty-four year old man with a much lower income. The significant age difference was only significant to Eddie, but even he soon realized their main difference was money. That age gap wasn't even noticeable much from their behavior. The money did pose a problem, but I liked how those issues it caused were resolved.

The kink. Like I said at the beginning it was the nickname Kinky that drew me to this book. I just love discovering all the various kinks fictional characters have. Plus, I have a soft spot for masochists, and Eddie is one, one that likes to make his tops work for it, which made it interesting to read.

The Eddie. Whenever I think about Eddie in Double Up, my mind goes straight to the scene with Eddie standing on the dock... in a Speedo... with a raging hard-on. It was love-ly to get to know the man who owns a ton of Speedos. The Speedos made an appearance, of course, but it was the man himself who left the best impression on me. For example, I already knew he was important in Ben's recovery, but only now did I realize just how much he did for his friend.
Another interesting detail I was wondering about in book one came to light: the reason for age-old rivalry with a certain homophobic asshole. It was that piece of information that made what he did for Wish all the more meaningful.

The end had me smiling. It was all gooey and romantic, not just because of Eddie and Wish, but Ben and Dave as well. It was a lovely happy ending for both couples.

***ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***

Until next time, happy reading!



  1. Damn. The list of books I want to read from this site is about two books away from endless. Le sigh.

    1. YAY!


      Not sure which to put. :D

      That's the thing with TBR -- the list just keeps getting bigger and bigger. My own list scares me...

  2. oh, never heard of this one. Not anti-sports myself, I love a good sport romance. Glad you clicked with Eddie ;P

    1. Yeah, Eddie was something. :)

      There is more sports in book one. The main character is a wakeboarder, and he was training the other main character for a wakeboarding competition. Honestly, for the most part I didn't even understand their talks about that sport, but maybe you'd be luckier. :)

  3. LOL I'm like that with lover. I cannot stand that as an endearment. Total body cringe over that. Heh I feel like yall about sports in real life but in books for some reason I love em. Glad you had a good time with it!

    1. Glad I'm not alone in this! :) I just find "baby" creepy. Yuck! :/

      The sports... Well, my problem with sports in books is that most of the time I have no idea what they're talking about, especially if it's a sport we don't even have in Europe. You're lucky you like it -- you have better chances of finding books you'll love. :)

      Thanks! I am, too. Of course. :D

  4. "Eddie is one, one that likes to make his tops work for it"

    I actually LOVE that. Especially when it comes to guys.

    1. I liked that about him. Whenever Wish gave him an order, Eddie was like: "Make me." It was fun. :)


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