The Realist, The Vers Podcast #3 by Riley Hart - Review and Giveaway

The Realist is the 3rd book in The Vers series by Riley Hart and it contains lots of flirty banter, plenty of time with the podcast guys, and a healthy dose of steam! 

From the blurb:


To listeners of The Vers, a queer podcast I host with my three best friends, I’m known as The Realist—I accept life the way it is, believe in honesty over sugarcoating, and okay, I can maybe be a little bossy.

If you asked The Vers guys, they’d tell you I’m a caretaker who’s always thinking of others, but they also give over-the-top hugs and don’t believe me when I say feelings are the worst.

It’s why I have no business offering Kai Lewis a place to stay when he’s in need. He’s a flirt who makes no secret about wanting in my bed…somewhere I’d like to have him if he wasn’t the employee of one of my closest friends. But, he’s too trusting and leaps before he thinks, so at least he won’t get taken advantage of if he’s with me.

Now he’s always around, wearing shorts that leave nothing to the imagination and saying he wants to take care of me because I’m always doing it for others. It’s not long before I can’t resist him—a man who likes listening in the bedroom but is stubborn in other situations.

Kai is sweet and funny. He gets me to open up to him. Maybe this whole relationship thing wouldn’t be so bad…if he wasn’t nine years younger…and leaving Southern California soon…or if I had any idea what I was doing.

The Realist is an age-gap, forced proximity romance with a bossy realist and a sunshiny flirt who has Marcus wrapped around his finger.

Jacqueleen the Reading Queen's Review:

Book 3 in the Vers Podcast series gives us Marcus' story aka the self proclaimed Realist of the group. I do have to say that the name his bestie Corbin has for him might fit him even better because Marcus is most definitely also The Daddy of the group (and I am not talking about in the bedroom). I'm talking about Marcus' bone deep need to be a caretaker. To feel needed in some way. It's something he lacked in his life growing up and since forming a bond with his 3 closest friends something he gets.

"𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙝𝙖𝙙 𝙣𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙡𝙚𝙩 𝙢𝙚 𝙙𝙤𝙬𝙣. 𝙄 𝙣𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙙𝙤𝙪𝙗𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙄 𝙢𝙚𝙖𝙣𝙩 𝙩𝙤 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙢. 𝘼𝙣𝙙 𝙤𝙣 𝙩𝙤𝙥 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩, 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙢𝙖𝙙𝙚 𝙢𝙚 𝙛𝙚𝙚𝙡 𝙣𝙚𝙚𝙙𝙚𝙙. 𝙇𝙞𝙠𝙚 𝙄 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙞𝙢𝙥𝙤𝙧𝙩𝙖𝙣𝙩 𝙩𝙤 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙢, 𝙡𝙞𝙠𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙞𝙧 𝙡𝙞𝙫𝙚𝙨 𝙬𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙𝙣'𝙩 𝙗𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙖𝙢𝙚 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙢𝙚, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝 𝙄'𝙙 𝙣𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙩𝙤𝙡𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙢, 𝙄 𝙣𝙚𝙚𝙙𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩."

Their group friendship is certainly unique, but even more so between Marcus and Corbin. It delighted me to finally get a bit of insight into their close bond. And I adored how much Kai didn't bat an eye one bit. He respected it and even loved Marcus a little more for it. These two were such idiots. They fought it every step of the way, even while everyone around them who had a set of eyes could see they were perfect for each other.

"𝙔𝙤𝙪 𝙠𝙣𝙤𝙬 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙞𝙨 𝙖 𝙛𝙪𝙘𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙙𝙞𝙨𝙖𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙬𝙖𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙤 𝙝𝙖𝙥𝙥𝙚𝙣, 𝙧𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩?"

"𝙎𝙤 𝙍𝙤𝙢𝙖𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙘."

"𝙏𝙝𝙖𝙩'𝙨 𝙬𝙝𝙮 𝙄'𝙢 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙍𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙨𝙩."

Oh Marcus. I loved how big that mans heart was. It was a joy watching him slowly open it to Kai. Kai was just as scared, but for different reasons. He owned a heart of gold as well. Not to mention these two were hot AF together. 🔥🔥 But that's never an issue in a Riley Hart book. The woman can write some steam. I'm honestly loving this series and am sad the next book is the last, but I can't say I'm not stoked to finally have Corbin's HEA. And from the hints in this one, The Charmer is going to need all the charm he's got if he's gonna win this one over. 😉

Rating: 5 Stars

Heather's Review:

While Marcus styles himself the Realist of the Vers group, he really is the caretaker and parent figure of the friend circle... he's also the one whose house they've always gathered at, the one who edits the podcast, the one who tries to stay on top of everything... the Daddy... but he's also afraid of getting close to more people, especially Kai, because his own situation with his parents was didn't teach him about love...

Kai is an absolute sweetheart and oh so trusting, and also has self esteem issues... the pair of them circle each other - Kai as the one who puts himself out there tho... and while it's a slow climb, the summit is worth it - and seriously steamy!

I absolutely love these two together and yet, they make the reader work to get to their HEA... 

Once again, Riley Hart drops just enough breadcrumbs to make me anxious to read the fourth and final book in the series to get Corbin's HEA, which I think will again be a slow and frustrating trip, but oh so worth it.

While this book could be read standalone, I think it's best enjoyed as the third book in the Vers Podcast series and you'll enjoy it more and get the jokes if you have the background from the previous two books

Rating: 5 Stars

The Realist is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription. 

Add to your TBR List!


Purchase Link

Amazon Universal ~


$25 Amazon Gift Card
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Other Titles Within this Series



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.