Author ~ Cardeno C.
Narrator ~ Kevin Chandler
Publisher ~ The Romance Authors LLC
Release ~ 21st March 2017
Length ~ 1 hour, 52 minutes
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
Kyle has an unwelcome crush on his nemesis Brent. Brent has a welcome crush on his friend Kyle. As it turns out, the line between a friend and an enemy doesn’t have to be a line at all.
Born on the wrong side of the tracks to the wrong family, Kyle Potter has spent his life clawing his way toward a better future. When he gets the perfect job at the perfect firm in perfect Los Angeles, Kyle is sure there are only blue skies ahead. And then he meets perfect Brent Haralson.
Born with a silver spoon to a well-established family, Brent Haralson has never been interested in leveraging his connections. Friends, success, and dates come easily to Brent and rejection isn’t something he has to deal with in life. And then he meets perfect Kyle Potter.
Kyle despises his unwelcome crush on his lazy, arrogant nemesis. Brent welcomes his feelings for his stubborn, brilliant friend. As it turns out, the line between a friend and an enemy doesn’t have to be a line at all.
This is a 2nd edition without substantive changes from the 1st edition, which was part of the It Was Always You anthology.
This story was originally published as part of the It Was Always You charity anthology and has since been released separately and as an audiobook.
I enjoyed listening to this story although it took me a few chapters to warm to both the main characters. Rough Edges is an opposites attract romance and also a sort of one-sided enemies-to-lovers story because Brent isn’t as vicious in the exchanges between himself and Kyle.
Kyle had been attracted to Brent until he found out Brent was rich and didn’t work for a living. Ever since that day Kyle had made his dislike for Brent known through his snide comments and put downs. And this is where the story starts—with Kyle’s animosity and resentment towards Brent, shown mostly through dialogue. He has a massive chip on his shoulder and is downright rude. I didn’t like this attitude and wanted to tell Kyle to keep his thoughts to himself. I guessed things wouldn’t stay the same between them so I persevered. We later discover that Kyle had lost his job and was about to lose his accommodation, but even so, that was no excuse for being so mean to Brent. Kyle didn’t come across as a nice guy for much of the first half of the story.
Although Kyle didn’t really know Brent that well, we discover that Brent is a trust fund baby and, according to Kyle, he’s a waste of space. I liked Brent. He’s a kind and helpful guy with a big heart. Yes, he’s rich, but he didn’t rub the fact in people’s faces. In fact he turns out to be very generous in more ways than one. He offers Kyle a place to stay when he’s made homeless. I’m not sure why Brent was attracted to Kyle or why he persisted in trying to win his affections. It was partly a physical attraction, plus he’d caught a glimpse of his personality before Kyle had changed his attitude towards him. Some of Brent’s responses to Kyle’s snarky comments are amusing and he often dissipates the tension between them.
I preferred the second half of the story. It contains more action and there's less griping from Kyle. I liked how these guys get together and how Kyle’s perception and treatment of Brent changes. Kyle comes across in a better light here, so by the end of the story I’d grown to like him. We are treated to a few of CC’s trademark steamy scenes. Brent certainly knew how to relieve some of Kyle’s pent-up frustration!
The story is a novella and the audiobook is only one hour and fifty-two minutes long, but I was glad the plot wasn’t padded out too much. The ending was short but sweet and very CC, with a hint of HEA.
This is the first story I’ve heard Kevin Chandler narrate. It always takes me a while to adjust to a new narrator’s voice and style. I felt like his approach was more a monotone reading rather than a narration or of acting the character parts. His pacing and diction were fine, but there was only a very subtle distinction between the different character voices. It took me a time to warm to his style, but by the end I was starting to enjoy Kevin’s narration and will definitely try out more of his work.
Meet Cardeno C.
Cardeno C. - CC to friends - is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few "awwws" into a reader's day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno's stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever-after sunset.
Cardeno's Home, Family, and Mates series have received awards from Love Romances and More Golden Roses, Rainbow Awards, the Goodreads M/M Romance Group, and various reviewers. But even more special to CC are heartfelt reactions from readers, like, "You bring joy and love and make it part of the every day."