Book Review: The Romantic by Riley Hart

The Romantic

Author: Riley Hart
Series: The Vers Podcast, book 2
Publisher: Independent (March 22, 2023)
Kindle edition, 274 pages
Romance, Adult Contemporary M/M Romance



When it comes to The Vers, the queer podcast I host with my best friends, I’m The Romantic. The one who’s looking for love in all the wrong places. If there’s a jerk close by, I’ll find him. I’m beginning to think my Mr. Right doesn’t exist.

It’s definitely not Elliott Delgado Weaver, the shameless flirt who keeps asking me out. We’re not supposed to run into each other in Vegas or get drunk together. We definitely aren’t supposed to wake up married…only, we do.

Before we can figure out what to do, Elliott’s family finds out. He doesn’t want to let them down by telling them it was a drunken mistake. My parents had the perfect marriage until my mom passed, and since I’d hate for my father to discover what I did, Elliott and I decide to pretend we’re in love and stay married for six months. Better to amicably divorce later than own up to our screw up, right?

All I’ve ever wanted is my happily ever after, and now I live with a serial hookup artist who never planned on settling down.

But then, why is Elliott so good to me? He takes me on dates, makes me laugh, and touches me like I’m someone to cherish. He’s shown me I’m a sucker for praise, and lucky for me, he loves giving it to me. Our marriage is playing tricks on my heart because suddenly I’m wishing my happy ending can be with the husband who doesn’t think love is for him.

The Romantic is a wake up married, opposites attract romance with tons of praise, an unforgettable massage, found family, and sweet moments on the pier.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Parker is considered “The Romantic” in his friend group of four who have a podcast together – the others being Declan (The Loner), Marcus (The Realist), and Corban (The Charmer). For being the Romantic of the group, Parker sure does fight hard against going out with Elliott! I’ll admit, for the first part of the book I kept reading because I needed to know just why Parker dislikes Elliott (or pretends to dislike him, anyway!)

Elliot has pursued Parker for a year, but Parker keeps shooting him down, convinced that Elliott is just trying to get into his pants. I knocked a star off my rating because for someone who is supposed to be a hardcore romantic, Parker sure shoots Elliott down a LOT and is very negative about what he perceives to be Elliott’s intentions. I didn’t really buy it all the time and it seemed like Parker as a person would have given Elliott more of a fair shake during several of the circumstances.

I had to add a new tropes shelf to my Goodreads for this one – woke up married! It’s like fake relationship, except they’re REAL married – the perfect breeding grounds for all sorts of misunderstandings and wacky hijinks! Elliott’s dad is in a prominent political position, and Parker’s dad is a true romantic, so they decide to fake it for their families. Oh fellas, I could have told you that’s not going to go the way you think it will… 😉

Oh gosh, I fell so hard for Elliott – and his family! When he finally brings Parker home to meet his parents – UGH. I won’t say anything more than SO GOOD, because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone! But I just want to hug and squeeze both these guys and their families and keep them in my pocket forever.

This is the second book in The Vers Podcast series, and while it can be read as a standalone there are spoilers for book one (The Loner) and this series is really just overall better if read in order. Be prepared to want the rest of the group’s stories too!!

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are unbiased and my own.

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