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    4.5 stars- Chemistry that ignites the pages

    I read Moment of Fate based on a recommendation and a tease of a fantastically hot and fun scene. I was assured I could read this book (the fifth of the series) out of order, so I dove right in…and pretty much loved everything about it. The characters were fantastic, the dialogue fun and flirty without being silly, and the romance was SEXY. The book is told entirely from a single first person narrative, using a stream of consciousness style. It is effortless, but polished, and a joy to read. Due to the style, there are disruptions to the flow, predominantly interjections of internalized thoughts during the dialogue. Those aspects I loved. It added humor and kept a smile almost permanently plastered to my face. However, when it switched between narrating/ retelling a moment and those reflections, it was a tad abrupt and through me off. I think this was just a matter of getting accustomed to the style and pacing, because it felt less disruptive as the story progressed. The tone was upbeat, peppered with humor, with a good mix of introspective moments and some angst. The characters were fantastic. Bryan and Oliver had depth to their personality, but were fun and lively. I especially liked how their interests and education background played a part in their thoughts. Since the book was exclusively from Bryan’s POV, most of those insights were his. For example, he described moments like photos- the framing, light, ambiance, but Oliver’s writing also played a significant aspect in the story. Weaving these details into the narrative and interactions made the characters pop and come to life. Not only were the individual characters personable, but Oliver and Bryan were equally great as a couple. The fluid flow in conversations between serious topics and silly puns or side remarks made for an authentic romance. They complimented each other well, and it was evident early on there was more than lust fueling their budding relationship. Throughout their story, there was an underlying sweetness that made me sigh, and the chemistry was emotional and physically palpable. I do have to comment how crazy amazing the sex scenes were. I know having that intense emotional connection and chemistry ramped up the heat factor, but in general the scenes were smoking. There was a good variety too- different scenarios, environments, and emotions fueled each interaction, preventing any chance of monotony. The conflicts were also well flushed out and the resolutions thorough. I liked that the author factored in Bryan’s chronic illness throughout the plot, how it weighed on him and influenced everything, yet he railed against it changing his life. That felt honest and was woven into the storyline just as a chronic illness permeates every aspect of one’s life. The outside influences on their relationship worked as well, strengthening them and sometimes stirring up conflict. And up until the last portion, I liked the couple’s unknown futures weighing on Bryan while he kept trying to simply live in the moment. It was believable, and even though they weren’t communicating about it, it didn’t feel like self-sabotage. Until it turned into exactly that. I take issue with the miscommunication plot point. It’s so frequently used that it’s become a sore point for me. Sometimes the scenario works and make sense for the characters. For the most part, the way things occurred fit with Bryan’s personality, but it made me love this story a little less. I liked how it ultimately concluded. I even liked aspects of how the major conflict went down. However, anytime the major miscommunication happens in a book, I cringe. Overall, Moment of Fate was a fantastic read and certainly had no issue standing alone, so don’t let the #5 stop you from adding this to your shelf immediately. The characters are unique with a vibrant narrative that is sure to leave you with a smile. The chemistry was off the charts, which is always a win in my book. This was one of the hottest books I’ve read in a while. The scenes were descriptive but never monotonous, and there was a steady emotional current that made the scenes that much better. Definitely a book I’ll recommend often to friends, and a series I’ll be going back to read from the beginning. *Reviewed for Alpha Book Club*
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