The Romantic (The Vers Podcast #2) by Riley Hart - Review and Giveaway

The Romantic by Riley Hart lives up to its title in spades. A lovely HEA with a wake up married trope featuring Parker and Elliott who we meet in book 1. 

From the blurb:


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.

Jacqueleen's Review:

"When I get married, I want it to be for love."

"...I didn't remind him that he'd already gotten married, and it was, in fact, not for love."

Dear sweet Parker. What have you gotten yourself into now? As the self proclaimed Romantic of the Vers Podcast group he sure looks for love in all the wrong places. Some of his dates described were literally the stuff of nightmares. *cringes in sympathy.* So what's a Romantic to do when he wakes up after drunkenly marrying the man he swore to never give a chance? Why pretend to be happily married for 6 months before deciding on an amicable divorce. Easy peasy right? Wrong.

Elliott has his own reasons for staying in the marriage as well. It's a mutual decision so there's no one person pushing for this while the other begrudgingly agrees. In theory this could have worked, if it wasn't for the fact that both these men are wildly drawn to one another and their attraction is fueled in part by a heaping helping of lust. I will give it to them, they tried. It just so happens their chemistry was stronger than their willpower to stay away. Oh and Elliott also discovers Parkers secret praise kink and uses it to his full advantage.

I loved how Parker explains exactly what he's looking for in a relationship, while simultaneously not opening his eyes and realizing Elliott has spent much of their marriage doing just those things. Elliot is a closet sweetheart. He's kind and caring, exactly the type of man Parker deserves. He pays attention and then uses what he's learned to do nice things for Parker. I also adored how much Parker fit in with Elliott's family. He fell in love with them right along with Elliott it felt like. It was beautiful and made even better with how much they loved him in return. They didn't care who he was as long as he made their son happy. A-plus parents if you ask me.

It was a bit of a longer road for these two to get their heads out of their behinds. Elliott had some self discovery to work through, and Parker had to get over his preconceived opinions of Elliott from the past. He also had to realize how in denial he was about his feelings, and thankfully he had his friends to help him with that. It was all worth it because their HEA ending was absolutely beautiful. A perfect ending for a man of Romance.

Rating: 5 Stars

Heather's Review:

Sometimes a romance works backwards... marriage, dating, finding love and Riley Hart writes Parker's story so well... 

After years of chasing after love, he finally stops running and wakes up married in Vegas... staying together and in the forced proximity comes to find the depth of his feelings for Elliot growing... and Elliot gets the chance to figure out what the spark he's been chasing for over a year means too...

It was beautifully written, so well paced and illustrating the ups and downs of learning about your partner and finding your common ground, your spark and your off the charts chemistry come together into something lasting and I was glad to be a fly on the wall...

I can't wait for the next installments to see where the Realist and the Charmer find their matches!  Although you could read this book as standalone if the Waking Up Married trope is your go to, I think you'll get something out of starting at the beginning and reading The Loner first!

Rating: 5 Stars 

The Romantic is currently available in paperback and e-book formats and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription


The Vers Podcast Series - Book Two

by Riley Hart

Release Blitz

Release Date: March 22, 2023

Cover Design: Cate Ashwood Designs
Rafa G Catala
Genre: MM Romance
Trope: Wake-up married, Opposites attract, found family, praise kink

Add to your TBR List!


Purchase Link

Amazon Universal ~


$25 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter Giveaway

About the Author

Riley Hart’s love of all things romance shines brightly in everything she writes. Her primary focus is Male/Male romance but under various pen names, her prose has touched practically every part of the spectrum of love and relationships. The common theme that ties them all together is stories told from the heart.

A hopeless romantic herself, Riley is a lover of character-driven plots, many with flawed and relatable characters. She strives to create stories that readers can not only fall in love with, but also see themselves in. Real characters and real love blended together equal the ultimate Riley Hart experience.

When Riley isn’t creating her next story, you can find her reading, traveling, or dreaming about reading or traveling, and spending time with her two perfectly snarky kids, and one swoon-inducing husband.

Riley Hart is represented by Jane Dystel at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret Literary Management. She’s a 2019 Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Of Sunlight and Stardust.