Unexpected sparks fly when a shy, straight, nerdy sweetheart meets a flirtatious, sexy, older Frenchman. Is Zio brave enough to take a chance on Armand?
Fabrizio “Zio” Revello
I embrace the philosophy that nobody is perfect by studying the art of imperfection. But then I meet Armand, forcing me to completely reevaluate my world view. From his gorgeous face, teasing sense of humor, and a French accent to die for, everything about him makes me forget one very important detail: I’ve never been attracted to a man until him. I shouldn’t let him tempt me, but the glimpse of the real Armand behind his playful flirtations makes him impossible to resist.
I’ve never been the adventurous type, but Armand makes me want to be brave and daring. Isn’t a lifetime of happiness with a person who understands me worth the risk?
I approach Zio in search of a no-strings-attached evening of fun to kick off my business trip to Hawaii. But I get way more than I bargained for when I discover a shy, nerdy sweetheart who finds beauty in my flaws. He even accepts the parts of my heart that I hide from the world. It makes me want to make him mine—not just for one night but for every night of the rest of our lives.
He says he’s straight, but when have I ever let that stop me from getting what I want?
Flawsome Explorations is the second book in the Suite Dreams series and part of the Sunnyside universe. This novel features a bisexual awakening, shy/flirt, age gap, instalove, opposites attract romance. If you love cute sweetness, sexy fun, and no angst stories that will make you laugh and swoon, you’ll enjoy this satisfying HEA without cliffhangers. Each book can be read as a standalone or as part of the series in order.
Suite Dreams, Book 2
Chapter 5: Armand Bellamy
“You’re very confusing.” Zio’s eyebrows furrowed as he studied me. “Like, really confusing.”
I tilted my head as I regarded him. “In what way?”
“You’re impossible, but you’re real. You act as if you want me, but there’s no way in hell that’s true.” He scoffed as if it were the most ridiculous notion he had ever heard before.
The confirmation that he was at least aware I wanted him helped me judge where I stood with him. “Why not?”
“People like you don’t want guys like me.” After hearing about how his parents rejected him, his disbelief was more understandable. I was about to speak when he continued. “And guys like me aren’t supposed to want people like you.”
He bit his lower lip as he hesitated. “Because you make me want things I shouldn’t, which is so damn confusing.”
He gave me a pointed look. “You. I’m not supposed to want you. But you keep making me want you, and it’s fucking with my head, not gonna lie.”
“What if I want you to want me?” My question made him flush bright red. “What if I desired that very much?”
He touched the back of his fingers against his cheeks to check if they were as flushed as they felt. “It’s against the rules.”
“The ones that say I play for the other team,” he mumbled without looking at me. “But you cause me to question the ethics of switching teams, which is scary. It’s not worth it for one game, but…”
Hearing he was straight explained a lot about his scared reactions to being attracted to me. “But you still want to?”
Hiding his face in his hands, he groaned. “But what if it’s not just for one game? What if I end up wanting to sign on for a permanent transfer?”
“Wouldn’t that be a good thing?”
“Only if you were playing for keeps. But that’s not what this is about.” He sighed heavily, avoiding my eyes. “I’m not even sure that’s what I’m hoping for. I’m so confused, I’m using sports metaphors, for fuck’s sake. I don’t know anything about sports.”
“Zio, look at me.” I waited until he obeyed before I continued speaking. “I’m not interested in playing a game with your heart.”
He fidgeted under my gaze. “I’d disappoint you by being an awkward virgin with a man.”
“There would be nothing disappointing about that,” I reassured him. “I’d take very good care of you.”
My words sent a visible shiver through him that made my ego purr. “I’m not saying no. But I need a little more time to sort my thoughts out about this before I can say yes.”
His comment gave me hope I still had a chance with him. “Take all the time you need. I have no intention of pressuring you into something you’re not comfortable doing.”
“Which is a huge tick in the column of why I should give in to you.” His wry grin was adorable. “For what it’s worth, the voice in the back of my mind is very vocal about letting you introduce me to a whole new world of pleasure. You don’t make it easy to tell it no.”
“Whatever it’s promising you, reality will be better than you can fathom.”
I could see the chills on his skin my words inspired. “That’s an awfully big promise.”
“Non, it is a guarantee.”
I’ve enjoyed a few of this author’s books now, for their sweetness, hotness, and the characters that are varied in their lives and loves. This book had themes about learning to love yourself, as well as being open to love when you had no idea that was ever on your radar.
This book was pure sweet insta-love, from page 1. Zio didn’t quite understand where it was going, since he’d always thought of himself as straight. Meanwhile Armand, surprisingly, didn’t seem to have any issues, despite having always felt that he was just going to be a playboy, unable or unwilling to find one love.
Zio’s work passion was so intriguing that I had to look it up myself. It’s beautiful. I loved that Zio received such fantastic support from Armand, but also from his brother with regards to not just his sexuality, but his schooling and work as well.
This book was just gooey, sweet, adorable as well as a visual feast of the land around them.
Very enjoyable, with characters that steal your heart.
4 pieces of eye candy
Ariella Zoelle adores steamy, funny, swoony romances where couples are allowed to just be happy. That means she writes low angst stories full of heat, humor, and heart. But sometimes she’s in the mood for something with a bit more angst and drama. And if you are too, check out her A.F. Zoelle books.
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