Katiebabs is a self-proclaimed present day bluestocking with her head always in a book. She runs her own book blog called Babbling about Books and More!
I always have a smile on my face when I read an Elizabeth Bevarly romance. She has incredible skill with balancing two romances in one story. The main one is more on the steamy side, while the secondary romance is sweeter and has more awwws. So is the case of Neck & Neck (Kentucky Derby #3). I actually preferred the secondary story over the main one here, but the two couples kept me interested, especially the heroine and the secondary heroine, both hard working independent women readers can admire.
Natalie was brought up in the lack of luxury, and could have become a high society wife, but she wants more to her life. She's worked hard to achieve her success. She now plans parties, but is having a hard time getting noticed. She thinks she can hit it big by throwing one of the best Kentucky Derby soirees in the state. But in order to do so, she needs some big names and celebrities. One such "big name" is video game creator millionaire Max, who's visiting for the Derby. If she can get him to come to the party, she's set. But Max isn't big on the social scene or partying. Natalie feels she can get him to accept her invitation to her party. But first she has to get past his bodyguard and childhood friend, Finn.
Finn and Max go way back. He's very loyal to Max, including Max's teenage son, especially since Max's beloved wife died. Finn is onto Natalie right from the start. He blocks all her attempts at convincing Max to come to her Derby party. These two may appear to be adversaries, but then their attraction flares for one another and lines are crossed. Now Finn is backed into a corner because he really likes Natalie, and not just because she'd great in bed.
Max is dedicated to his work and his son, but he misses his deceased wife. He's had a some relationships, but they don't last. One night while he's at a gentleman's club, one of the servers catches his eye. Her name is Amber, and he wants to get to know her outside of the club, which means going back to his hotel suite for some naked fun. But Amber blocks his moves and ignores his flirting. She's not the typical type of woman who ends up hanging all over him because he's rich. She's a single mother trying to make ends meet. But when Max keeps coming back to the club and puts on the charm, she decides do give him a chance, because it's just dinner. But like Finn and Natalie, Amber and Max's new relationship becomes one mega complication.
Neck & Neck is more on the lighter side of romance. The story is very fluffy and full of funny moments. There's also some zaniness, mainly with Finn and Natalie, who fall into bed too fast, especially because of Finn and his suspicions with Natalie. Max and Amber are more believable, but their romance has a fairy tale element to it I really did enjoy.
As like most Bevarly endings, everyone gets their HEA, which is very pat and precious. An overall fell good romance that will leave you smiling.