Review: Consolation Prize

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Consolation Prize
Consolation Prize by Linda Kage
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Linda Kage crafts a beautiful and inspiring story about a relationship between a young white man and a slightly older black woman who apparently have nothing in common but together forge an incredible partnership based on love, respect and friendship.

Maintaining her impeccable image was just one of Julianna Radcliffe’s concerns, adhering to her sensibly constructed life plan in which she saw herself graduating from college and moving out of town for a big and meaningful job were the main ones. Getting over one brother and falling for the annoying younger, cockier one was certainly not on her list. When the whirlwind that is Colton Gamble comes along there’s not much she can do but give him a chance.

Colton Gamble had hit on and flirted mercilessly with Juliana for months getting constantly rejected. But on the eve of his brother’s wedding he didn’t care he was second best in Juliana’s eyes, he only wanted to erase the sadness from her face when she looked at his brother getting married. He never thought that opening up to her would lead her to open up in return. Can he use this chance to convince her that despite all their apparent differences he’s exactly what she needs?

I’ve loved and followed the Forbidden Men series missing the last two books, which I’m reading ASAP of course, enjoying both the appealing plots and flawed yet charming characters Linda creates in this forbidden romance subgenre.

I met Colton way back when he was just a boy being rescued by his oldest brother Noel in book #2. He was a defenseless kid who was being raised in a bad situation, but after moving in with Noel and his wife Aspen things got better for him and the rest of the Gamble clan.

So why the history lesson? Because one of Noel’s best friends happens to be the smart, unfiltered and incorrigible Oren Tenning, a caring man Colton took to whose character seems to have rubbed off on the young Gamble. Colton is witty, funny, incorrigible, and has a comeback for everything that sometimes hides a heart of gold. He’s loyal, loves his friends and family fiercely and sometimes feels as though he’s not deserving of their love and that he’s just a Consolation Prize. I fell completely head over heels for him.

Although some of her priorities as a bit tangled up, Juliana is smart, independent and sassy and perfect for Colton. Together they tease and banter, steam up the pages but are also sweet and caring which leads to a lovely romance which is tested by racism, an overbearing father and a twist so shocking that had me devouring the last pages like a crazy person. That epilogue though was swoony sweet, but also felt as a farewell to the series which gave me a bittersweet feeling because I’ll miss the entire set of characters which along the way became dear friends.

Two mentions of more things that worked for me. I loved getting up to date with the characters from past books which are part of Colton’s incredible family and the quotes at the beginning of each chapter which were part of Aspen’s quote board from book #2 (…)

Consolation Prize is book 9 in the Forbidden Men series by Linda Kage that can be read as a standalone. It’s written from both points of view and interconnecting characters from past books. I recommend it for readers that like touching and sexy romances with a sweet happy ending.

* I was given an ARC of this book courtesy of the author via Tasty Book Tours. The excerpts are from that copy. *

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