Review: Learned Reactions
Harlequin Carina Press
March 2021
Contemporary Romance
REVIEW: When Carlton and Deion are forced to enter into a charade in order for Carlton to gain custody and adopt his niece, Deion isn’t averse to the deception. In fact, he has been in love with his best friend, Carlton, forever, and anyone who knows them knows that they belong with each other. Well, except Carlton, who has an aversion to commitment and refuses to admit to loving someone.

Carlton is a caring family man and his willingness to take responsibility of raising his nephew when his sister passed away is admirable. When his nephew, Trey, goes off to college, he envisions a life where he can finally enjoy his single life. But getting his groove back on is delayed when his niece turns up at his door. Yeah, she wants to move in. What happens after is a series of plot twists that highlight the internal and external conflicts of the main characters.

No one is more in conflict than Deion. To me, he is the character whom I was most invested in. There are times when I wanted to tell him to grow a ‘pair’ and just move on. When he finally has the strength to do this, I applauded, knowing that the ball was now in Carlton’s court. In a relationship like this, the person who is always the one to compromise is the one who is hurt the most.

LEARNED REACTIONS is a worthy follow-up to last year’s LEARNED BEHAVIORS and is an enjoyable ‘friends to lovers’ story. I enjoyed LEARNED REACTIONS but Carlton’s resistance to Deion was a bit annoying, but maybe that is the reality of life and I wanted to see them together. However, Carlton does redeem himself and they find their happily-ever-after.

The journey there, however, is filled with must angst, drama, heartache, humor and intense sexual tension which are, to me, that hallmarks of a good read. Ms. Ellis writes hot love scenes, and they are definitely not for the ‘I-like-it-sweet’ reader. If you are looking for a great love story,
LEARNED REACTIONS is definitely the book for you.

18th March 2021 |