And the next Thing You Know . . .

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 May 2018

Member Reviews

I had a difficult time connecting with the characters in this book. I think the humor was a bit over the top for my taste. There were no glaring issues with the story, but just not my cup of tea.
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So probably a 3.5. It wasn’t the best writing I’ve ever read. And it was almost unbearable for the first little bit. Both of the main characters weren’t the most likable at first. But the further you got into the story the more tolerable they got and the more you were rooting for them. So, not a terrible read, but not great either. I would love a book about Tommy and Swithin though, not gonna lie. I wish they had gotten more page time.
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Jeffrey Bornic has this vision of his idea partner.  He will be gorgeous, successful, fit, intelligent, socially adept, etc etc etc.   He was dumped by his musician boyfriend, Roger, months ago and he’s still working on the new partner thing.  Maybe because 
“Got up in a bad mood.  
It had been a stretch of bad moods lately.  Seriously.  Since like October. 
I suppose that means since Roger.  Old boyfriend.  Make of that what you will.” 

The thing is, Jeffrey is kind of an arrogant jerk.  He’s a lawyer and he puts a lot of time into that. He has one really good friend, Rebecca, who works at the same law firm, and that’s sort of it.  He works all the time and he can be so rude.  

When his apartment is under construction, this elaborate remodel, he turns to Rebecca for a spot on his couch. Problem is, Rebecca’s firebrand little brother, Theo, has already staked a claim on that spot on the couch.  The first time the two meet is a comedy of errors and Jeffrey comes off looking like an idiot.  Theo is a songwriter and is short, red-haired, snarky and homeless right now.  He will not, however, be jobless.  “As long as you’re sleeping on my couch, you’ll have a job.  Or it’s back to the farm.  This is not the Rebecca McPherson Unemployed Songwriters Retreat.”  Where does Rebecca find him a job?  At their law firm of course!  Jeffrey is facing not only the man who makes him crazy but finds out that Roger’s best friend, Tommy, is now working for the firm as well. 

The two of them end up having to share the couch for a while and they spend all their time insulting each other, something starts to change.  At least for Jeffrey it does.  Theo has a maybe-boyfriend named Madison who treats him pretty negligently but he’s got harassing Jeffrey to brighten his days.  I admit, there were a couple times, such as blindsiding Jeffrey at the party with Roger, showing up where Jeffrey was having dinner with parents or the aftermath of Hamilton, where I thought, Theo is too much.  He’s out to hurt people.  Maybe it was because Jeffrey seems to be really in love for the first time (Roger W. Prescott Memorial Project notwithstanding) that he appears the more vulnerable one here.  He’s the one doing the sweet things (the shoelaces, omg) and trying hard.  Of course, his past actions of being a douche come back to bite both of them and that was painful. 

Thank heaven for Tommy, who befriends Theo at work and is the voice of reason when Theo needs it.   We really, really need Tommy’s book.  

The story is told in alternating first person point of view and we also get Tommy’s thoughts.  I loved being able to connect with everyone like that.  Getting to see Jeffrey grow as a person, become stronger, was a glorious thing.  There were times I wanted to hug him, such as when he shows Theo his under-construction apartment, and times I wanted to hug Theo and times I wanted to shake them both.  They both do some growing up here and it was wonderful. 

I have to admit I read this before the first in this series and I am so glad I did.  The Jeffrey Bornic of this book is snarky, obnoxious and arrogant but he isn’t vile as I thought he was in the first book, Where Do I Start?  Had I read the series in order I wouldn’t have bothered with Jeffrey’s book and I’d have missed out.  The Jeffrey of this book was serious. 

Completely recommend this book, especially for those who love characters who redeem themselves and those who love the snark.  

The cover art was sort of middle of the road for me.  Headless torso in a long sleeved t-shirt was, I assume, Theo, with Jeffrey’s hands clasped around his middle.  While I liked the idea of the closeness, I was disappointed we didn’t get the red hair that Theo is so known for.
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I enjoyed the first book in this series, Where Do I Start?, a great deal, because the characters were so flawed. But man, I had a big storm coming, because the main characters in this book suck on every level possible, yet we fall completely in love with them as they fall in love with each other. It's nuts! Hackett writes such believably awful people and gives them the heart, vulnerability, sweetness, and depth we come to cherish in our absolute favorite romantic heroes. 

First of all, the author is my hero, because he took the contemptible milquetoast bastard ex-boyfriend from the first book and made him the main character of this book. He could've taken the easy route--why not go with Tommy, the sharp-tongued, flamboyant BFF character with endless romantic story options? No way. There's no meat there. Instead, we get Jeffrey Bornic, a hardworking lawyer with the charisma of a dishtowel, a perfectly acceptable gym body, and a chip on his shoulder the size of NYC after he got dumped by sweetheart Roger for heartthrob Fletch. 

Also, Jeffrey hates dogs, so it's an immediate uphill battle.

And then we meet Theo. Theo is...not a nice person. Not a sweetie, not a heart-breaker, not a stone-cold fox or smooth-talking playboy. He's a shrimpy ginger with terrible fashion sense, no steady income, and a consistently exhausting FIGHT ME attitude that makes him seem like a snapping chihuahua every time Jeffrey so much as breathes near him. His goal is to embarrass Jeffrey as often as possible in the most public settings possible, and he's awesome at it.

And of course, they fall in love.

Just read this book. It makes the first book, already rife with richly flawed characters, look like a Harlequin paperback. These two characters should not work together, but they do, and when they really do, sparks fly. There's a scene towards the end on a boat that had me fairly swooning, and they barely even touched each other. This is such a pitch-perfect, excellent romance that never takes the easy, sparkly route to a HEA. It's funny and heartbreaking. 

It's one of the best M/M romances of 2018, that's for sure.
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I got off to a bad start with the MC's of this book. I didn't care for either of them for the first third of the book. While Jeffrey was probably the bigger jerk, Theo got on my last nerve. I was actually thinking about dnf'ing the book when things started to pick up for me. I'm not sure what happened, I just found myself interested in what was going to happen and how they would ever get past their issues and get together.

Overall I ended up enjoying this but the two MC's were too abrasive and mean to each other for me to love it. The do get over all that and express their true love was a rocky road getting there. I liked it enough that I'll try something else by this author.

**ARC provided through Netgalley**
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*An ARC of this title was kindly given by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

I just couldn't deal with the bratty, immature MC's. it was unbearable.
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I loved this book. Charming, funny, and so well written. The banter...oh the banter...

I really adored how well drawn Theo and Jeffery are. They are both unlikable in many ways and likable.

The chemistry between them is amazing. I am not a fan of love hate tropes but this one is the very best. 

Watching them wrestle into love with each other and become vulnerable to each other was so good.

The snappy pacing, wonderful delight and character driven romance of difficult lovable characters is a joy from start to finish.

You don't need to read the first book in the series. I went backwards and liked it that way.

All the sex is off stage. I wish it wasn't because I think good sex scenes that forward the narrative and show the physically intimate relationship between Jeffrey and Theo would have deepen the romantic love story for me. The writer disagrees and has discussed why all the sexy times are off page. However, the chemistry in this book is no way lacking. 

Very good book! 

I was given this book for my honest review. So, there you have it!
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~ 3.5 Stars ~ 

Enemies-to-lovers is one of my favorite angsty tropes. Something about reading a story with two individuals who have such intense dislike for each other that then blossoms into a romance just gets me right in the feels. And the Next Thing You Know… revolves around Jeffrey (not Jeff, thank you very much) and Theo (do not call him little). It alternates between each of their perspectives, with an occasional secondary character POV. Each change was clearly identified at the beginning of the chapter, which I really appreciated. The characters were all fully dimensional and fleshed out, so it was easy to know whose viewpoint I was reading from. The author created such individuality, with quirks and ways of thinking and processing being so vastly different that it made the characters more realistic and easily identifiable, which is definitely a huge plus.

Jeffrey and Theo meet each other, and it’s hate at first sight. Theo is Jeffrey’s best friend’s little brother, and they are thrown into each other’s orbits. Their relationship gradually develops while they are busy yelling and fighting, purposely trying to annoy the other, being outright mean, and just generally disagreeing with each other. There is a lot of back and forth and banter as they circle around one another.

When I first began reading, I was extremely unsure if this was my cuppa. It wasn’t connecting with me at all, and I was really worried how I was going to continue on since I was struggling hard to get through each page. Why? My best guess is the hectic nature of the thoughts and the overall narration. The inner monologue gave me a bit of whiplash. Adding into the equation the periodic instances where they were essentially speaking directly to the reader, it was not looking good. Also, I had an immediate and intense dislike, bordering on hate, for both Jeffrey and Theo. For reasons…. BUT!!!!! Something happened. I’m not positive when, exactly, but at some point my complete and utter contempt for Jeffrey and Theo turned into…well, not adoration for them, and I can’t say I began to really like them, but they became interesting, and I started finding humor in their interactions. I found myself cracking up at their complete obliviousness to their feelings. Seriously, they were two of the most clueless characters I had ever read. Instead of them being frustrating, they became amusing. Instead of not understanding how the two of them could ever end up together, I started seeing exactly why they should be together.

Jeffrey was a pompous, egotistical jerk the majority of the book. Theo was brash and immature, with a temper that straddled—and sometimes crossed—the line of physical and emotional abuse when he lashed out. When they were in the same room, they were explosive. At first, I didn’t get their slowly building romance; then I began to comprehend how they challenged each other in a way no one ever had before. They pushed each other’s buttons and pushed boundaries, and then I realized (much like they did, eventually) that they were sort of perfect together. Rebecca, Theo’s sister, sums it up pretty nicely:

“You’re both really smart and at the same time total idiots. And you both occasionally feel compelled to be mind-boggling a**holes. Match made in heaven.”

This book has the ‘enemies’ part down pat. Oh boy, the two of them were a whole other level of adversary than I have ever read. The ‘to’ part of the trope is expressed via their slowly emerging feelings, since despite their criticism of each another, and their meanness, they find themselves constantly wanting to be near each other, even if it is just to yell and fight. What you won’t find is much of a focus is the ‘lovers’ part. Though we know they get up to some sexy times, none of it is on page. Nada. None. Zip. There are kisses, there are cuddles, and even holding hands. But that is about all the reader gets, and the rest is alluded to. I don’t mind that one little bit, but that may be a make-or-break requirement for some readers.

Despite this being the second book in a series, I took a couple reviewers’ word for it that this book could be read as a standalone, and I would have to agree. It seems Jeffrey’s backstory involving his broken heart can be found in Where Do I Start?, but there was enough information given that I don’t feel I really missed out on anything.

And the Next Thing You Know… is a different style of enemies-to-lovers story which focuses on the enemies more so than the lovers part of the equation. Despite its flaws and that it took a little while for me to get invested in the story, I ended up enjoying it. I say give it a shot and stick with it. Even if at first you find yourself unsure, you may just be surprised.
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And the next Thing You Know...(Why You?) by Chase Taylor Hackett.  This is Jeffrey Bornic and Theo McPherson’s story.

At times I laughed so much.  You just never knew what Theo was going to say or do.  You would never put Jeffrey and Theo together.  They go together like oil and water but for some reason they work.

The story was a little too long for me but the banter between Jeffrey and Theo kept me interested in the story.  The ending pulled everything together for me.

This is a MM romance.  I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
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"And the next thing you know…" est le second roman de Chase Taylor Hackett et le deuxième tome de la série "Why not ?". Et si je ne savais pas à quoi m’attendre avec ce livre, j’ai plutôt été agréablement surprise ! La couv’ est toute mignonne et le résumé fort prometteur, je me suis donc dit : pouquoi pas le tenter ? Et le fait de ne pas avoir lu le premier opus ne m'a absolument pas gênée.

Inutile de décrire l'intrigue, deux hommes que tout oppose et qui déteste tout ce que représente l'autre vont bien être obligés de se côtoyer pour leur plus grand désespoir.
Nous avons donc là un véritable enemies-to-lovers car les deux héros ne peuvent pas s’empêcher de se comporter comme chien et chat, ils ont bien du mal à se supporter sans s’écharper  pendant une très grande partie du roman.

Jeffrey et Theo sont deux anti-héros, ils ne sont pas forcément attachants, ne sont pas beaux comme des dieux  et sont loin d’être parfaits, mais finalement c’est assez rafraîchissant. Theo est un artiste qui écrit des chansons, un vrai chat sauvage celui-là, alors que Jeff est un avocat condescendant et arrogant qui ne vit que pour son boulot. Je me suis régalée de leurs prises de bec et de ce petit côté puéril que chacun a l’art de faire ressortir chez  l’autre. Leurs manières de sales gosses m’ont parfois exaspérée et certains de leurs propos m’ont fait lever les yeux au  ciel. Et oui ! à plusieurs reprises, j’avais envie de leur botter le derrière tant certaines de leurs remarques ou actes sont juste horripilantes (non mais sérieux les gars ???) . Malgré tout, ils m’ont fait rire avec leur excès, leurs introspection et j’ai jubilé de les observer recevoir  la meilleure des punitions : celle de tomber imperceptiblement amoureux, bien malgré eux.
Le récit nous offre plusieurs narrateurs à la 1ère personne, Theo et Jeff évidemment mais pas que, et j’avoue que j’ai bien aimé cet aspect. D’ailleurs, les personnages secondaires sont sympathiques, j’ai adoré Tommy et la sœur de Theo a suscité ma plus grande admiration (supporter les deux zigotos sous son toit est un véritable exploit).

Ce livre ne contient aucune scène olé-olé, nos deux petits sont de grands timides qui s’ébattent loin de nos yeux pervers. Plus sérieusement, cela ne me pose absolument aucun problème même si je n’aurais pas été contre un beau baiser de cinéma, les bisous sur la joue ou le front c'est très chou mais avec la langue c'est pas mal non plus ! D’autant plus que j’ai raffolé de ces quelques moments partagés plus tendres, où ils oublient qu’ils sont censés se détester. Les petites attentions et gestes d’affection n’en sont que plus marquants, Jeff m’a fait fondre à plusieurs reprises tant cela contraste avec les airs qu’il se donne !

Bref un roman MM différent  et qui tranche avec ce que j’ai l’habitude de lire tant par la dynamique du couple que par la tonalité du récit ! Le 1er tome m’attend sagement dans ma liseuse et je suis très curieuse de découvrir l’histoire de  Robert,  l’ex de Jeff.
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Jeffrey, in his suit and moving up the corporate ladder doesn't like his best friend's brother Theo, who is artsy and down on his luck.  They constantly bump heads and now not only do they work in the same office, they are both camped out on the same sofa. Lots of fun.
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We meet a very different Jeffery here than the one in Book 1 and I loved it. He began as his usual ass self and all but I always knew there was more to him than just being an arrogant, overbearing character and I'm so glad this book showed it. It also showed that he had a good heart hidden underneath all of that and also that he deserved his HEA. Even if it was to be paired with the crazy Tasmanian devil hellcat that was Theo.

Theo,Theo,Theo. Where do I even presume to begin with Theo? I will say this much first: though he made me laugh with his snark, wit and saucy comebacks(his texts with Madison anyone?🤣), I never truly really warmed up to him like I did Jeff.

Why you may ask? Well its quite simple really. Theo was immature. I mean really, REALLY immature.He was such a rude, chaos-inducing, unrepentant, self-absorbed brat in my humble opinion.He always had to get his way. And who throws a real life ear-splitting, foot-kicking tantrum at age 24? Theo that's who.

Whenever he didn't get his way, or things went contrary to how he wanted them to, cue the mean petty actions and vicious verbal attacks. I don't know whether those actions were as a result of the weird complex he had concerning his stature or if was simply the immaturity I mentioned earlier. 

I WILL admit that in the last big standoff with Jeff, Theo was 100% justified. However, I couldn't help but notice that it wasn't as dramatic as any of his earlier fits in the book. My conclusion therefore was that, our dear Theo loved to be the center of attention earlier and it was only that time that he was genuinely understandably heartbroken. 

As you may have inferred from the blurb, from the get go these two were at each other's throats poking, pinching, kicking(Theo), teasing, humiliating(also Theo) just to come out on top. The banter from these clashes? Golden. Trés Golden. I could't stop laughing/sniggering/smirking all throughout.

To best describe the relationship these two had, I would like to call upon the wise words of Theo's sister Rebecca who summed it up perfectly:
"..."You're both really smart and at the same time total idiots. And you both occasionally feel compelled to be mind-boggling assholes. Match made in heaven." " 

Now I cannot possibly finish this review without mentioning the light in my darkness, the water in my desert, the apple of my eye, the sugar in my tea... TOMMY. 

Tommy was a scene-stealer anytime he came on page. With the perfect balance of intellect, sass and fabulosity all rolled into one twinky package, Tommy further cemented his place as my favourite character in this series.

PSA: I need that Tommy book and I need it yesterday Mr. Chase Taylor Hackett! I believe in you!! *makes grabby hands*
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It wasn't awful, but I also feel like it didn't live up to it's potential. It could have been so great, but the writing style leans toward telling more than showing and the characters are all a bit over dramatic.
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This was a fun opposite attract story, while I liked Theo a lot, I'm kinda have some issues with Jeff.
I liked the whole story, but some 'physical jokes' was kinda too much. I wish the author reconsider the physical jokes about fat, bald, ugly whatever, it's just wasn't right.
I really wanted to give this one more stars, but I don't know, it was funny and hilarious even, but there's something's missing.
Sure I liked Theo and Jeff's relationship ended well, and Jeff finally realized that Theo is all he needed in his life. This was somehow, enjoyable, I laugh a lot, and I was entertained. By Theo. And Tommy. The twink united. Jeff, well, he's at least redeemable in the end.
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So obviously, I’m the odd one out here. 😁 5 of my friends loved this, raved about it and savored every part of it. Sadly, not me. 😭 I gave this book everything I have and I had to DNF at 70%. 😕 If you know me and you’ve been following me for long, you must know that I *never* DNF books. I’m the kind of gal who marks the books in “to-read” section again for later if I have trouble reading them. This is the very first book in my two years of oath to never DNF books again that I had to give up. 😬

It actually started out fun and great … until 20%. Theo is obviously bitchy but seems to be fun and has some twisted sense of humor … or so I thought. And then it came. 😂 Both MCs are not nice people .. no scratch that. It’s just the comparison of who’s the bigger arsehole between the two. But I find Jeff tolerable while Theo is one of the most vile, selfish, inconsiderate, clingy, hateful, pathetic, mean, inhumane and pessimistic people I’ve unfortunately ever had the pleasure to read. Lol 🤤

From 20% of the book, I was just constantly grimacing and my forehead is having serious frowns while reading. And I had to take breaks every 30 mins because I’d end up throwing away my kindle or smashing it to pieces. 😁 This book was provided as an ARC from netgalley and one thing I hate more than DNFing books is DNFing ARCs. 😭 I owe the authors that much to read the book until the end to write a coherent review with unbiased opinions. 😐 But when I get to 70% of this book, in order to be able to continue to read it, I decided to take a break for a while and I ended up bingewatching an anime *which I didn’t even like* on Netflix for 4 hours because I was afraid to continue to read. 😂 Let’s just say, it was the last straw on the camel’s back. 😬 I just can’t handle how negative and pathetic Theo is. ☹️ If I were the other MC in this novel, this would have turned out as a crime novel and not a romance one. 😁 And obviously, I don’t have enough sense of humor to enjoy Theo’s thoughts and banters, but hey, you might. 🙂

That being said, was this book just full of awful things? No, it’s not. 😌 One thing that seriously impressed me was the author’s style of writing. I saw reviews that it was confusing and difficult to read. But for me, I think it was a refreshing and unique style of writing. The entire book is written by first person narratives and opinions. How cool is that! 😱❤️😱 But the author has published two books so far and all MCs in both books seem to be arseholes. 😁 At least, the ones in this novel definitely are. Will I ever pick up any of the author’s book again in the future? Nah .. I don’t think so. Unless, he ventures into some other characteristics of MCs, I don’t think I’ll be able to read the books. 😌 I’m actually ok with arseholes because I love kidnappers, murderers, psychotic MCs. But obviously Theo is worse than an Ahole. 😁 There’s being bitchy and there’s being bitchy. You get my point. 😏

But by all means, if you are intrigued in this book, give it a go! 😁 You’d either give it one star and hate it to death or you’d give it 5 stars and you’d love it. Hopefully! 😌 And remember that reading books are like choosing skincare. Lol 😂 What works for my skin might not work for you and vice versa. Obviously, this book is not for me and I don’t have tolerance for such MCs. Actually, I want more people to read this book because I’m dying to know about other people’s opinions. 😁 I’ll keep track on reviews on this book. ☺️

Some characteristics of Theo from the novel: 😬

Jeff didn’t even like me. Did he? He certainly didn’t act like he liked me. So why would he take me out on a date? And even so, it wasn’t my fault if he thought it was a date. I didn’t say that it was. He didn’t say that it was. If he had said it was a date, I’d have straightened him out. I’d have told him to forget about it. I’d have told him to kiss my flying buttress. I’d have told him—I wasn’t the answer to anybody’s midlife crisis.

I mean, Theo was thoroughly irritating, a pebble in the shoe. And the way he looked up at me—like he was always making fun of me—just made me want to deck him. And he was way too little to punch. Excuse me, too short, not too little.

“What have you got against football?” “You’re right! Professional football—what’s not to love? Let’s see, you have a bunch of wife-beating, dog-baiting, homophobic rapists who get paid gazillions to play a game.”

“Noooooo…it’s not—” “Ye-ah, it…sort of is. I understand the new b.f. is here too.” “Fletch?” “Ye-ah. That guy.” “You knew this before, and you weren’t going to tell me. You were just going to blindside me with it.” “That was pretty much the original plan, yeah—you know, catch you off-guard, watch you squirm uncomfortably, that sort of thing.” “You really are a little shit, aren’t you?”

2 a unique, refreshing style writing but the worst MC ever star

*A review copy was provided by the author via Netgalley for an honest and unbiased review* 😌
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I haven't cringed or crackled so hard reading a book as I did for this title. At first glance, Jeffery and Theo seem like oil and water, but as time passes (and hi-jinks occur) you realize that sometimes opposites really do attract. If you're looking for sexy times you'll be disappointed--it's only alluded too. Overall a very solid read!
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My Review:
This book is totally different than most romance out there. I'll admit that for a long time, I wasn't sure that I liked it and then suddenly (about half way through the book) I settled into the characters and began to really enjoy both the characters and the romance. (And honestly up until that point, the two main characters were pretty sure that they didn't like one there was a lot of conflict in the book up until that point.)

Okay, so the premise...Jeffrey has a set way to go about his life. He's a, enough said. He doesn't like chaos at home or at work. 

Theo thrives on chaos. In fact, he's a really odd character. He truly sets out to cause chaos in the world. He's the antithesis to EVERYTHING Jeffrey is attracted to.

But these two have one single, solitary thing in common...Rebecca who is Theo's sister and Jeffrey's best friend. In a weird set of circumstance, they both end up couch-surfing in her living room at the same time. Two full grown men, sharing an uncomfortable fold out couch, who truly drive one another mad with how much they annoy one another. It sounds like a romance made in heaven, doesn't it? And they totally do NOT work all...until suddenly they do. 

In the end I enjoyed the book. I found myself enchanted by the two main characters and watching them fall for one another. I'm so glad I stuck it out on reading this one when I doubted whether I should. I honestly don't think the book will work for everyone. There is so much antagonistic emotions between the two guys at first, a lot of people won't be able to get past that. But for ME, it worked and I did fall in love with them. 

It was a fun book and story.
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Entertaining, passionate, and laugh-out-loud funny!

And The Next Thing You Know … is a charming enemies-to-more romance featuring the quirky, fun-loving Theo who’s determined not to fall for any slick, pompous lawyers, and Jeffery the sexy, arrogant suit who may just find everything he wants and needs in the one man he least expected.

The characters are bold, amusing, and supportive. The writing style is a unique mixture of inner monologues and narration. And the plot sweeps you away into a push-pull storyline filled with tension, humor, witty banter, shameless flirting, friendship, heartbreak, and love.

And The Next Thing You Know … is a lighthearted, enjoyable read, and even though there are no sex scenes at all in this novel, which I usually love, I have to admit that in this case less is more and the palpable chemistry and attraction is more than enough.

And The Next Thing You Know … is the first novel I’ve read by Hackett and even though it’s the second novel in the Why You? Series and can be read as a standalone I would suggest you check out Where Do I Start? (Book #1) first.
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This was freaking AWESOME!!!!

I didn't like Jeffrey (don't call him Jeff) in the first book in this series, because he came across as a pompous ass, and I don't usually have time for the arrogant, cocky, snobby, hot-shot attorney kind of person. 

But this book was delicious fun - I had a blast watching Jeffrey get cut to size by Theo. 

Let me set the stage, okay?

Jeffrey is best friends and co-workers with Rebecca who is Theo's older sister. This is important information. Theo is currently occupying his sister's fold-out couch, because his douchey sort of boyfriend has maybe found greener pastures. 

First scene, Jeffrey, still smarting from the break-up (how dare Roger leave him for Fletcher, the reformed cheater), is supposed to meet Rebecca in a restaurant for lunch and instead finds Theo at the table. Presuming that Rebecca is trying to set him up, Jeffrey informs Theo that, sadly, he's not interested in dating right now, because *sniffles* that break-up is still hurting him, but please don't take it personally, Theo, because surely you're fabulous, really. 

Theo, having no idea what Jeffrey is going on about, immediately makes mince-meat of the self-important prick who presumes to know anything about anything. 

And thus, their hate-ship is born.

The book is chockful of snark and sarcasm, and the witty back and forth between Jeffrey and Theo had me in stitches. And yet, even through my giggles, I could see a vulnerability in both of them, something they would categorically deny if asked, but simmering just beneath the surface. For all his pompousness, Jeffrey was really hurt by Roger choosing Fletcher, and for all his bravado at 5'6" and skinny, Theo was just hiding behind a mask constructed of his cutting remarks. Jeffrey is also not as cold and calculating as he likes to portray himself, even if Theo doesn't quite see it right away. That thing with the red shoelaces though - total win. And that was only icing on the Jeffrey-is-really-a-marshmallow cake. Because, see, Jeffrey doesn't even realize it himself for a long time - the super cool and collected at all times go-getter lawyer - that's a mask too. 

Shenanigans - this book had them. Snappy dialogue, self-deprecating humor, a brilliant use of the enemies-to-lovers trope, this was everything I had hoped for and more. 

Still, it's not all snark and banter aka foreplay here. Jeffrey does a crappy thing, and he knows it's a crappy thing, and he doesn't say anything about that crappy thing, even when he should have, and then it comes back to bite him in the ass. Hard. And it's the end of the Theo and Jeffrey comedy of errors. 

Well, no, not really, of course, since this is a romance, after all. When Jeffrey realizes the crappy thing was really super crappy and had some really crappy consequences, he actually for once in his life puts someone else first, no matter the consequences to himself. And Jeffrey, spoiled, rich, arrogant little boy Jeffrey grows up and becomes a real man. 

Theo too has some growing up to do. He has to learn that being short isn't the same as being helpless, but that sometimes it's okay to lean on others and let them help you. It doesn't make you a lesser person. 

I will warn you though - this book isn't politically correct or sensitive to unkind language. The author didn't pull any punches, but also succeeded in making the characters feel more realistic this way. Because, let's face it, we all have unkind thoughts towards others on occasion, that's just human nature. 

Additionally, and this is not an issue for me but may be for other readers, there is no on-page steam. While Jeffrey and Theo get it on eventually, those scenes are completely fade-to-black and mentioned only in transition to the next scene. There is plenty of chemistry though, and I had no difficulty believing that their bedroom exploits were as explosive as their hate-ship in the beginning. 

The old adage is true after all - there is but a thin line between love and hate, and the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. Neither MC, despite their protestations, was indifferent to the other, and they went easily from hate to love, without meaning to, without realizing it at first, and without having planned for it. And in the process found in each other exactly that which they never knew they always wanted. 


I LOVED this book. Highly recommended.
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Profuse Gushing Alert!

I loved this story so freaking hard. Period.

Once "Jeffrey" (not Jeff) met Theo for lunch with Jeffrey's best friend, Rebecca, Theo's sister, then immediately proceeded to nip any of Theo's thoughts of future "dates" in the bud, I was sold. That shit was pure comic genius.

    “... I’ve just come off a pretty bad break-up,” I said with a touch of melancholy in my voice, a carefully practiced sadness in the eyes, “and I’m simply not ready to jump into a relationship or dating or anything right now, okay? I know, I’m probably just too sensitive.” There was a noise from the other side of the table—it was almost, not quite, a snort. “But please, no hard feelings, all right, Theo?”

    “I’m sorry?”

    “Don’t take this the wrong way! You’re clearly a great guy—fabulous really—and honestly, it’s just a question of lousy timing. It’s totally my loss.”

Fabulous really! 
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