Not a Game (Friends #1) by Cardeno C. Review


Not a Game (Friends #1)
by Cardeno C.

Stars: 3.5-4

Reviewed by:

An accidental meeting and a misunderstanding lead to a life-altering connection.

A new job, a new city, and hopefully a new life. When chubby gamer Oliver Barnaby receives a job offer from the best boutique game developer in the country, he leaves his family and his less than spectacular existence in Oklahoma without a second’s hesitation. Determined to change more than his career and his geography, Oliver implements a plan to finally land a boyfriend. Step one is improving his skills in the bedroom.

A life that looks perfect on paper, but feels empty in reality. Attractive, successful, charismatic Jaime Snow has a life other people envy. His already booming business is growing. He isn’t lacking in friends. And he has no trouble finding a date. But there’s an emptiness in Jaime’s heart and a hole in his life that only the right man can fill.

An accidental meeting, a misunderstanding, and falling in love. When Oliver and Jaime end up at the same bar at the same time, they each see something they want in the other. Going to bed together that first night is easy. Building the lifetime relationship they both desperately crave will require trust, time, and a little misunderstanding.

Word count: 55,872


I’m a big fan of Cardeno’s books. I’ve read most of them. So I jumped at the chance to read this one too! This was a different read for me. It still grabbed me from the beginning. But this book had a very slow pace to it. Almost a little too slow. That’s what was hard for me to get past. I just felt like something was missing.

All of Oliver insecurities and self-esteem issues were sad to read. I mean… Being overweight does a lot to a person. It knocks you down on so many levels. I felt bad for him.

Jamie was a sand up guy and really worked to bring down all of Oliver’s walls. He challenged Oliver to step out of his confront zone and just be in the moment with him. I liked that about him. He was already of age to know what he liked and what he wanted in a life partner.
I thought they were a solid couple. Jamie really showed Oliver just how much he wanted him. And I just loved that. Because Oliver was the kind of guy that need a lot of reassurance.

The whole misunderstanding between Jamie and Oliver I felt lasted way too long. As Oliver kept paying… I was wondering what Jamie was doing with the money. I felt it was build up to a point I thought it would have been more. It just kind of fell a little flat for me.

Overall… This was a ok read. And I’m glad that I read it. I can’t wait for Cardeno’s next book.

*ARC provided for an honest review*


Cardeno C. – CC to friends – is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few “awwws” into a reader’s day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno’s stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever-after sunset.

Heartwarming Stories. Strong Relationships. Forever Love.


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