ARC Review – The Last by Tawna Fenske

Posted February 11, 2019 by smutmatters in ARC, Contemporary, Reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review – The Last by Tawna FenskeThe Last by Tawna Fenske
Series: The List #3
Series Rating: four-stars
Published by Scorched on February 4, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 178
Format: eARC
Source: Entangled Publishing
Barnes & Noble
Apple Books

Sarah Keating was sure she’d be married by 30. Husband, kids, the kick-ass career helping adults with Down Syndrome—she assumed she’d have it all, and there’d be no need to fall back on the marriage pact she made with her best pal from college.

But a tipsy message she sends from her birthday party brings Ian Nolan to her door ready to rock her world, and not just with mind-blowing sex. He’s up for tying the knot, and has a million pragmatic reasons it makes perfectly good sense.

As Sarah and Ian test drive their marriage-of-convenience, they navigate awkward business dinners, a slippery steam room hookup, and a costume party gone awry. Their friendship is stronger than ever, and the sexual chemistry is off the charts.

But is that enough to make a marriage work, or will one of them fall hard and end up brokenhearted?

Each book in the The List series is STANDALONE.

There are a few authors who are able to balance a lighthearted, rom-com feel with a real depth of feeling and emotion, and do it well. Tawna Fenske is one of those authors.

Sarah Keating and Ian Nolan made that pact in college. You know the one – if you’re not married by the ripe old age of 30, you’ll marry each other. They haven’t spoken in years, other than random, shallow text messages, but they’re still connected via Facebook so they’re both aware of each other’s still-single status. On Sarah’s 30th birthday, she remembers the pact and reaches out to Ian, expecting to exchange their yearly “Happy Birthday!” “You, too” text message and nothing else, but a girl’s night involving several glasses of wine sees her taking the text conversation a little further.

Ian wants to do it; he wants to get married. He sees no reason they shouldn’t. They know each other well, they’re very fond of each other, they have great sex, and there’s no reason to expect they wouldn’t have a lasting, mutually beneficial marriage built on mutual affection and respect, not explosive passion that will burn out and lead to hurt feelings and eventual divorce.

Sarah takes some convincing, but she eventually comes around. I was a little concerned about how this would go. Sarah has always seen herself in a more traditional marriage that followed a more traditional courtship, but she can’t say she doesn’t see the appeal of being married to Ian Nolan. They’d been best friends in college, and based on their recent interactions, they still can be. Plus, the sex is off-the-charts fantastic.

Ian comes across as a bit of a cold fish at first. He’s determined not to fall in love, and his determination makes him seem almost cruel at times. He seems almost oblivious to how his actions and the things he says affect Sarah. But finding out his back story made him easier to understand. His parents’ divorce really did a number on him, and the death of his beloved younger brother cemented his belief that loving anyone brings about nothing about heartache and disappointment. He has decided that the type of marriage he’s proposing to Sarah is the best way to avoid it. So there’s more to his feelings than the usual “Women can’t be trusted!” nonsense we see so often in romance.

Ian may have come across as an emotional cold fish, but there was nothing cold about him in the bedroom. Or couch. Or steam room. Or car. The chemistry between Sarah and Ian was scorching hot. Based on that alone, I was sure they were going to be able to figure out their relationship, though not without some ups and downs in the middle.

The Last was a fun read. With the world in the shape it’s in, romantic comedy is a genre I’m trying to read more of. Fortunately for me, Tawna Fenske has an extensive backlist I can dive into.