Palm Island is the backdrop to a really sweet romance in the first full novel of The Off Season series, Perfect Ten.
Living and working on a resort island for the last two years, Bambi has one last off-season to decide if he should return to medical school, but when he’s invited to be his crush’s roommate it makes his decision even harder. Ten loves island life and the freedom to surf and sleep with tourists will never get old, until he feels more drawn to Bambi than he expected and begins to wonder if he will be happy with his life if Bambi leaves the island.
This story unexpectedly grabbed me, the jaded playboy with the innocent virgin has been done over and over, but Neuhold sprinkles in some believable sweetness on Ten’s part, and the slow build of romantic confidence from Bambi really worked. I really appreciated that Ten never treated Bambi as a conquest and their time spent together talking and sharing really felt true to their characters.
The willingness to sacrifice and risk for each other really drove the relationship romance for me, and all of the fun secondary characters which were a supportive found family made this book a great read.
Rating: 4.5 rounded up.
After meeting Ten in the prequel novella, Real Deal, I imagined this book going very differently, but the pairing of Ten and Bambi was sweet, their relationship built in a way that was respectful and made sense and honestly, I had all the feels...
Starting out as roommates, learning more about each other, feeling the pull of attraction and then beginning to act on it... all while getting to know the rest of the men who live in Palm (Hand Job) Island...
I think my favourite quote from Perfect Ten is the perfect summary:
“I hate to break it to you, but good relationships aren’t usually the paint by numbers variety. They aren’t simple because people aren’t simple, and once feelings are involved, shit gets messy quickly.”
Rating: 5 Stars