Ripped (Mars Fitness #1) by Linden Bell

Ripped was a low angst love story between a cycling instructor widow and the man who helps him learn to live again. 

From the blurb:

Sometimes heartache is a blessing in disguise.

I thought my life was perfect, and then I walked in on my boyfriend sleeping with my best friend.

The only person I can turn to now is Donnie, the silver-fox spin instructor who lets me crash at his place. Donnie’s a lot older and he’s still grieving his late husband. My dreams of being a filmmaker have disintegrated along with my relationship.

The worst of life has brought us together. Do we dare create something beautiful out of it?

Ripped is an age gap, nerd/jock, hurt/comfort MM romance between roommates who cuddle while watching classic movies. Expect low angst steamy shower rooms, teary confessions, disapproving family, and brand new beginnings. It is the first book in the Mars Fitness series and can be read as a standalone.

CW: grief and loss of a spouse, description of fatal car accident, description of homophobic family, cheating secondary characters. Happily ever after guaranteed.

Jacqueleen the Reading Queen's Review:

"𝙏𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙠 𝙮𝙤𝙪, 𝘾𝙤𝙣𝙣𝙤𝙧"

𝙄𝙛 𝙝𝙚'𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙢𝙚 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙤𝙧𝙜𝙖𝙨𝙢, 𝙬𝙚𝙡𝙡, 𝙄'𝙢 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙖 𝙬𝙞𝙣𝙣𝙚𝙧 𝙩𝙤𝙤, 𝙗𝙖𝙗𝙮.

Ripped was actually super cute and not what I was expecting! I figured based on the blurb and the whole cheating mess that things were going to be a heck of a lot angstier. They in fact were not. The majority of Ripped was sweet. It has definitely hurt/comfort vibes and a whole lot of cuddling which I loved. Who doesn't love a good snuggle when you're feeling blue?

I enjoyed how at the start it was Donnie who was there to pick Connor up when things went to shit. Then later, when it was Donnie's turn to need someone, it was Connor taking care of him in return. Their relationship was based on kindness. These two truly enjoyed each other's company. They brought goodness into each other lives and in Donnie's case a kick in the butt to start living.

I'm totally curious about Sawyer and his bestie Preston. That little tid bit about their co dependence hooked me right in. Thankfully, those two are up next in Stacked. Best friends to lovers anyone?

Rating: 4.25 Stars

Ripped is available to buy as an ebook or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.