Title: Real Men Will
Author: Victoria Dahl
Series: Donovan Brothers Brewery, book 3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Review copy from publisher
“It was meant to be a one-night stand. One night of passion. Scorching-hot. Then Beth Cantrell and Eric Donovan were supposed to go their separate ways. That's the only reason he lied about his name, telling her he was really his wild younger brother. Hiding his identity as the conservative Donovan. The "good one." But passion has its own logic, and Eric finds he can't forget the sable-haired beauty with whom he shared a night of love. When Beth discovers that Eric has lied, however, she knows he can't be trusted. Her mind tells her to forget the blue-eyed charmer. If only every fiber of her being didn't burn to call him back.”
Real Men Will is third and last book in the Donovan Brothers Brewery trilogy by Victoria Dahl.
Since the death of his parents, thirteen years ago, Eric Donovan took the reins of the family and the family business. At twenty-four he became the guardian/parent of his two little siblings. Jamie was sixteen and Tessa fourteen at the time.
Eric had to put his life in standby and quit his dreams to be able to raise his brother and sister and manage the family brewery. He has been successful in both accounts. Now his siblings are grownups; they work at the brewery with him, but everyday there is conflict between them. Eric is feeling out place now that Jamie and Tessa want to have more responsibilities at work and don’t need him as much as before. Also they are moving on with their lives. Tessa has a living-in boyfriend (Good Girls Don’t) and for the first time in his life Jamie is in a serious and stable relationship (Bad Boys Do), and Eric has nothing, just the memory of a steamy night that happened six months ago, a night in which he lied and pretended to be his brother Jamie.
Beth Cantrell is the manager of White Orchid, a high-end erotic boutique. She has a love-hate relationship with her work and a frustrating sex life. Because of her work every man she meets thinks she is a sex goddess who should be into kinky stuff. They couldn’t be more wrong, Beth is completely vanilla or at least she used to be until one night six months ago when she had a one night stand that rocked her world. She hasn’t been able to forget that night with “Jamie”.
Circumstances take her one day to Donovan Brothers Brewery where she discovers that the man she has been dreaming about for months had lied to her. His name wasn’t Jamie, he was Eric; he pretended to be his brother to get her in bed. If she had trust issues before, now…
Eric didn’t want to lie to Beth when he met her. There was a misunderstanding, she thought he was Jamie and he didn’t correct her at the time, he wanted a night without complications where he didn’t have to be the responsible one for the first time in his life. And now that they have seen each other again, hurt feelings or not, they can’t keep their distance.
I had a love/love-not-much relationship with this book. There were things I really like and others I couldn’t digest. One of those is coming from previous books of this series and it’s the siblings’ squabble. I thought many of the family conflicts had been resolved in Bad Boys Do, but boy was I wrong. The fighting between them was a never-ending one, so much that I wanted to skip those parts. We learned the whys of many of Eric reactions but still it was too much, same with Jamie and Tessa. Tessa and her “don’t leave me” issues just grinded my nerves the wrong way.
I liked that we discover the real Eric and what is behind the façade of responsible and composed man. He felt more real thanks to his insecurities and personal issues.
I liked/didn’t liked Beth. I couldn’t connect with her and understand her completely. I know she has demons from her past that haven’t let her be the person she wants to be, but still… I found her a bit weak and confusing.
Eric and Beth relationship was super steamy. And here is where I have another problem with the story; their relationship was based on sex and nothing else, I didn’t feel any other real connection between them apart from the sizzling physical attraction. I wish I could have seen them sharing as a regular couple a bit more than just having sex all the time. I not complaining about the sex scenes because they were great, I just wanted to finish the book having the feeling that they will work as a couple out of the bed too.
I love Jamie, I was happy for him and the development of his new (dream) part of the business, I was also happy that Eric screwed up and now Jamie was not the only one who made mistakes in his family.
I didn’t like Tessa controlling and manipulative ways in previous books nor did I like her in Real Men Will. I know she just wants her family to be together but she was just too much.
This book wasn’t perfect but overall it was a fun and a very steamy read. I could say that Real Men Will have the sexiest scenes I have ever read by Mrs. Dahl.
If you like sexy, witty contemporary romance this book is for you. Real Men Will can be read as a stand-alone but I would recommend you to read before the prequel novella to this series Just One Taste in The Guy Next Door anthology. In Just One Taste it’s where Eric and Beth met for the first time.
My Verdict: 4 Paws
Other books in the series
Just One Taste (novella)
Good Girls Don’t
Bad Boys Do
Real Men Will
Other reviews Goodreads