The Charmer (The Vers Podcast Book 4) by Riley Hart - Review, Giveaway


Riley Hart's The Charmer is the story of Corbin, the notoriously flirty member of the Vers Podcast series and the final member to fall in love.  

From the blurb:

Corbin

If you listen to The Vers, a queer podcast I host with my three best friends, you know me as The Charmer. I’m always happy, flirting, and trying to win everyone over. I think most people would be surprised to learn I have a lot more going on beneath the surface.

But ever since all my friends have fallen in love, it’s getting more difficult not to feel left out…

Cue my fascination with Spencer, my neighbor who hates me. There’s something addicting about getting under his skin, and I blame the combination of my confusing emotions and too many drinks for spilling my guts to him about all my insecurities…and about how much I love cuddling.

Turns out, Spencer doesn’t hate me, and my word vomit is the catalyst that makes us decide to be cuddle buddies. When I need affection, I go to him, and he just…holds me. Along the way we become friends, and when I fall for him, it’s surprising that he feels the same. Spencer’s easy to talk to, fun to be around, and did I mention he’s hot? I love how confident he is in his full figure, and there’s nothing like being in his beefy arms.

Spencer has me wanting more for the first time in my life, and he’s determined to help with my disordered eating, but if I want a healthy future with him, I need to work toward being healthy for myself too.

The Charmer is an opposites-attract romance with a body-positive MC and a cuddle fiend learning to love himself.

The Charmer deals with disordered eating, low self-esteem, and negative talk about weight. While the story is uplifting and none of these are heavy-handed, please see the content warning at the beginning of the book for a full list.



Jacqueleen the Reading Queen's Review:

❝​๐Ÿ‡พ​​๐Ÿ‡ด​​๐Ÿ‡บ​❜​๐Ÿ‡ท​​๐Ÿ‡ช​ ​๐Ÿ‡ป​​๐Ÿ‡ช​​๐Ÿ‡ท​​๐Ÿ‡พ​ ​๐Ÿ‡ฌ​​๐Ÿ‡ด​​๐Ÿ‡ด​​๐Ÿ‡ฉ​. ​๐Ÿ‡พ​​๐Ÿ‡ด​​๐Ÿ‡บ​ ​๐Ÿ‡จ​​๐Ÿ‡ฆ​​๐Ÿ‡ณ​ ​๐Ÿ‡ฌ​​๐Ÿ‡ช​​๐Ÿ‡น​ ​๐Ÿ‡ฆ​​๐Ÿ‡ณ​​๐Ÿ‡พ​​๐Ÿ‡น​​๐Ÿ‡ญ​​๐Ÿ‡ฎ​​๐Ÿ‡ณ​​๐Ÿ‡ฌ​ ​๐Ÿ‡พ​​๐Ÿ‡ด​​๐Ÿ‡บ​ ​๐Ÿ‡ผ​​๐Ÿ‡ฆ​​๐Ÿ‡ณ​​๐Ÿ‡น​ ​๐Ÿ‡ด​​๐Ÿ‡บ​​๐Ÿ‡น​ ​๐Ÿ‡ด​​๐Ÿ‡ซ​ ​๐Ÿ‡ฒ​​๐Ÿ‡ช​.❝

❝​๐Ÿ‡น​​๐Ÿ‡ญ​​๐Ÿ‡ฆ​​๐Ÿ‡น​❜​๐Ÿ‡ธ​ ​๐Ÿ‡ผ​​๐Ÿ‡ญ​​๐Ÿ‡พ​ ​๐Ÿ‡น​​๐Ÿ‡ญ​​๐Ÿ‡ช​​๐Ÿ‡พ​ ​๐Ÿ‡จ​​๐Ÿ‡ฆ​​๐Ÿ‡ฑ​​๐Ÿ‡ฑ​ ​๐Ÿ‡ฒ​​๐Ÿ‡ช​ ​๐Ÿ‡น​​๐Ÿ‡ญ​​๐Ÿ‡ช​ ​๐Ÿ‡จ​​๐Ÿ‡ญ​​๐Ÿ‡ฆ​​๐Ÿ‡ท​​๐Ÿ‡ฒ​​๐Ÿ‡ช​​๐Ÿ‡ท​.❝

As the last remaining member of The Vers Podcast/ Beach Bums to be single, Corbin is starting to feel like the odd man out. That's not a feeling he's ever had before with his amazing group of friends. With his family and other people? Yes. In fact, feeling like he doesn't belong is the norm when it comes to anyone other than his found family. Corbin suffers from quite a few mental struggles due to his upbringing. Body dysmorphia, disordered eating, and cripplingly low self esteem to name the big ones. It's why he spends so much time making sure he looks perfect. He knows from experience nobody wants to be around the ugly fat kid and he vowed to never be that person ever again. Is this healthy? No way, but it's how he has chosen to react to his trauma. You can't force someone to get the help they need. They have to want it for themselves, a concept I am intimately familiar with.

"แด›สœแด€แด›'๊œฑ แดกสœแด€แด› แดแด๊œฑแด› แด๊œฐ แดœ๊œฑ แดกแด€ษดแด›แด‡แด… แดแดœแด› แด๊œฐ สŸษช๊œฐแด‡, ส€ษชษขสœแด›? ษดแดแด› แด›แด ๊œฐแด‡แด‡สŸ แด€สŸแดษดแด‡."

Enter Sebastian, Corbin's new neighbor. He's the opposite of Corbin. He may be a chubby guy, but he's happy in his skin. He doesn't let others' opinions reflect on his own self image. This is something that is awe-inspiring to a man like Corbin who has let other's opinions shape his entire world. It's not love at first sight with these two. In fact, Sebastian thinks Corbin is shallow and self absorbed. It isn't until Corbin basically forces him to get to know him that Sebastian gets a peek at the man behind the smiling mask. As someone who has dedicated his life to helping others, Corbin's vulnerabilities call to Sebastian's caring nature. As does Corbin's love of cuddling. Cuddling that slowly leads to all those feelings that tend to arise when you are wrapped up in someone you consider safe.

❝​๐Ÿ‡ฎ​ ​๐Ÿ‡ฉ​​๐Ÿ‡ฎ​​๐Ÿ‡ฉ​​๐Ÿ‡ณ​❜​๐Ÿ‡น​ ​๐Ÿ‡ฐ​​๐Ÿ‡ณ​​๐Ÿ‡ด​​๐Ÿ‡ผ​ ​๐Ÿ‡ฎ​​๐Ÿ‡น​ ​๐Ÿ‡จ​​๐Ÿ‡ด​​๐Ÿ‡บ​​๐Ÿ‡ฑ​​๐Ÿ‡ฉ​ ​๐Ÿ‡ง​​๐Ÿ‡ช​ ​๐Ÿ‡ฑ​​๐Ÿ‡ฎ​​๐Ÿ‡ฐ​​๐Ÿ‡ช​ ​๐Ÿ‡น​​๐Ÿ‡ญ​​๐Ÿ‡ฎ​​๐Ÿ‡ธ​.❝

My heart broke for Corbin more than once while reading The Charmer. But in between the heavier moments was probably one of the sweetest romances I've read this year. It was so lovely, the way Sebastian would work to make sure Corbin felt seen, that he was always repeating how much he cared about him, knowing Corbin needed to hear it. Being with Sebastian wasn't a cure all for Corbin's mental health issues, but it did give him a safe place to snuggle into when needed, along with providing Corbin the strength he needed to finally take a stand for himself.

I will definitely miss The Vers Podcast guys. Hart has a knack for creating these found family groups of men that one can't help but fall in love with. I look forward to falling in love with the next wonderful group of men this author creates!

Rating: 5 Stars


Heather's Review:

I am so sad that this is the last time one of the Vers guys finds love... but it's Corbin's turn and that makes me incredibly happy.  As with the others in the series, you could read The Charmer as a standalone, but honestly it's so much better with the depth of the series behind it.

Corbin, like the other men in the Vers group, has a traumatic history (and present) with his bio-fam, so having a found family to rely on is so great!  I love how this book explores how one choice we make as an emerging adult can have a lasting impact on others... and that growing up makes change possible.

I absolutely love Corbin's mix of naรฏve and smarts, his ability to see the best in others and how his found family and his new love help him accept that he brings out the best in himself.

Riley Hart has created yet another amazing world and I hope that we can revisit it again sometime in the future.

Rating: 5 Stars 

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


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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.


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