Lauren's 2¢: Ruffles & Beaus by Carina Adams

In the dance of life everybody needs a partner. Some have two.

My last year of college was set to be the best yet. With a great job and better friends, only a few months stood between me and the life of my dreams. Until it all fell apart.

Desperate, I stumbled into a job at Soirée, a private party company. The underground world of burlesque offered me something nothing else had. And since they’d never seen a girl like me, it was a perfect match.

Two problems stood between me and utter happiness. Roman, the boss who hated me as much as I despised him. And his best friend Reid, who wanted me as much as I needed him.

Our story didn’t start when I stepped into my first pair of stilettos. It began with the secrets I kept as I fell in love with two very different men. And continued with the lies I told to keep us all from breaking.

We're about to throw out all the rules - and create new ones. And it's all playing out on the biggest stage of all... the human heart. 

Amazon US / UK
(It's on Kindle Unlimited for all you KU users out there!) 

Hold on to your feathered boas, this is going to be a long one...

As far as I’m concerned, sleep is sacred. I only get around three blinks a night - thanks, kids - and Carina stole them. ALL. MY. WINKS. Just one more chapter, one more page, one more paragraph. It’s always that way when reading one of her novels. They’re captivating, dynamic, well developed, and intense thrill riders. Truth be told, staying up into the wee hours of the morning was worth every damn second of wasted sleep.

Ruffles & Beaus is much more than a love triangle. It’s not even a triangle, really. It’s more of a pentagon. A really intense, complicated, multilayered, infuriating pentagon. I fell in love with Cady from page one. Her level of self-awareness, self-acceptance, and ability to push herself outside her comfort zone was both shocking and inspiring.

“Perfection to me is found in imperfections. I find beauty in the broken. The things others see as flaws are fascinating to me.”

That’s no to say that Cady doesn’t struggle with the occasional insecurity. She does, just as we all do. And that, in itself, made her a strong, deep, lovable character. Add her unwavering loyalty, determination, bleeding heart, and unconditional acceptance, and you have a rare gem. Plus, she’s kinda goofy, a little uncoordinated at times, and dresses more like a tomboy than a sex symbol, when she’s not dancing, of course.

When Cady finds herself out of work, a friend introduces her to Roman - swoon - the owner of, Soiree, a company who puts on burlesque shows for private parties. Are you envisioning yourself dancing around in ruffles, thigh highs, and cool little corsets? Yeah, it’s okay. I did it, too. Roman is rough and gruff and kind of a jerk - at first. But he grows on you.

Reid, on the other hand, co-owner of Soiree, is more of the fun-loving flirt. He’s a calming presence among the chaos of their chosen profession. He’s not just a pretty face, though. The man is also pretty damn smart. Reid calls dibs on Cady pretty early on. But as we all know, love isn’t quite that simple.

Listen, Ruffles & Beaus is deep. It’s not just a love story. It’s a story about love. How love is messy and dirty, sometimes it hurts like hell, and other times it’s the sweetest kind of pleasure. It doesn’t fit into a neat little box; it spills out onto the floor and covers everything it touches, leaving stains in its wake. Carina embraces love in so many beautiful forms throughout this book. Her open minded, accepting, all encompassing view of what love truly is, in all its forms, left me with tears running down my cheeks.

If you haven’t figured it out already, Ruffles & Beaus is a book that is not to be missed. It’s not one you should read, it’s one you need to read. This is easily my favorite read of 2018. And I hope you’ll see the message behind the story, the one that makes this one of the most beautiful books I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing.

#TeamRoman 4ever

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