Review: Man Card by Sarina Bowen and Tanya Eby

Reviewed by Joanna

Back to this snort-laugh series for my first read of the New Year. Ashley Power (what a name!) is a thirty-something realtor with a driven attitude to sell sell sell, and dirty thoughts for her most despised colleague, Braht. Yep, Braht. That’s his name.

Ash hates him, but her body disagrees, and very much wants to sleep with him. A lot.

In book one (these work as standalones), they were caught getting down to business in their friend’s pantry, but Ash doesn’t want a repeat. Or does she?

Forced to collaborate on selling a house, they prank one another as a method for resisting the attraction. Or in Braht’s case, to reel in the fish. She resets the security codes, while he, rather inventively, gets giant nude posters of himself made up, and decorates one of the rooms with them. It’s so silly, but the comedy of it all totally works for me. (It also helped sell the house, so win/win.)

But resistance is futile. Ash and Braht are caught kissing by her mother who mistakes Braht for Ash’s imaginary boyfriend. Ash created Hunter, said imaginary guy, to get her parents off her back, but luckily Braht takes up the mantle. This ends up in a Thanksgiving invite which means lots of lovely family time and of course, sharing a bed. But Ash has a problem, other than not being able to stop her attraction to a man who irritates the pants off her. Her ex-husband, not a very nice guy, gets out of jail, and he wants to see her again. She’s scared of the guy after testifying against him, so trouble is coming her way.

Ah, how I love this series. The writing is pacy and light, with GIANT capitals for wayward thoughts and a good, developing romance in amongst the hijinks. Ash is sharp and witty, with just the right level of competitive badass that made me love her. And Braht is a piece of work. He’s so polished I can see my face in his shine. He wears pastel shades, gets pedicures, moisturizes, and what’s more? He doesn’t care what you think. He’s refined, and he loves who he is.

He also gave himself the name Braht after the bratwurst sausage. Yup, that happened. But the reason why is good, and not so douchey as it sounds. I thought this guy would drive me crazy, but I absolutely loved him. He’s hardworking and self-supporting. He loves romcoms and takes care of those he loves.

His views on toxic masculinity echo my own, and he was so sexy and loving along with it. When Ash challenges him on having his man card, he says:

“It’s the guy who has a firm grip on his man card that can hold your purse. He’s not afraid to be seen with that Tory Burch you like to carry—nice color, by the way. He’ll free up your hands because he likes your hands, and he remembers all the terrific things you can use them for.”

“That man doesn’t speak the language because he’s afraid of sounding like a girl. But fuck that noise, honey bear. If a man doesn’t have the vocabulary to describe a satin teddy with peekaboo lace and mother-of-pearl snaps at the crotch, he can’t buy it for you and then strategically ask you to wear it. He can’t plan ahead to blow your mind sometime by lifting your skirt somewhere semi-public and dangerous. And he can’t get down on his knees and kiss that lace and then pop open those snaps while you bite your own hand to keep from screaming when you climax.”

Braht takes a deep breath and lets it out in one hot gust. “Fuck. What was the point of this speech?”

If you like angst free, fast moving, unserious and funny romance, this will work for you.

Rating: A

*ARC received in exchange for a fair review

Click to purchase: Amazon

Man Card
by Sarina Bowen and Tanya Eby
Release Date: January 15, 2018
Publisher: Rennie Road Books

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