Cover Image: Just Like This

Just Like This

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Member Reviews

Just Like This follows the art teacher Rian and the American football coach Damon as they fall in love while working together to discover what's troubling a student.

McCade has created some outstanding characters. Damon and Rian are men with depth, with passions, with good qualities as well as bad. I loved their backstory: Rian as the wealthy, privileged son who's trying to stand on his own two feet, and Damon as the Indigenous adoptee who feels alienated from his culture. Both men lost in their way and seeking somewhere to belong, both making Albin Academy their home. I enjoyed seeing them get to know each other, lose their preconceptions and find common ground. Their romance ends very sweetly. I also enjoyed the scenes with the students; I've taught teens and the secondary characters felt very realistic. The main plot question--what's troubling Chris, a good student that both men teach--is unusual, which is always a plus in my book.

All round a great job in terms of characters and plotting and I'd have rated the novel higher had it not been about the pacing and prose. I struggled to read through certain passages, I must admit. For someone who reads novels of this length in a day or two (and who's actually a fan of baroque prose), it took me weeks to get through the book. It's overly descriptive and not necessarily in terms of setting, but there is exhaustive description of every single emotion the men feel about each other, of every single body part they glance at every time, and of their every thought. The internal narration is very detailed, which slows down pacing a great deal. I can tell that McCade is talented in sketching vivid scenes, but I wish he'd pared down his descriptions to make the important details stand out bettter.

In short, I enjoyed spending time in Albin Academy and getting to know these two antagonists-turned-lovers, but at times it was a slog. However, if this kind of prose sounds like your thing, then chances are you'll love it.

Thank you NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Sometimes we miss what is right in front of us because of our own experiences and perceptions.  Rian and Damon were co-workers for a few years before the events in this book, but they don't really "see" each other until now. 

Due to our experiences, we get older, but we may never really grow up.  Most of us are probably still as insecure about life and relationships as we were in high school so we misread the situation. These guys are no exception.

This author is very descriptive so you understand the MCs feelings and actions.  You may not always agree with them, but you get why. 

Overall, this is a very nice story of family - real and found.

I think I saw maybe 3 proofreading issues in the ARC.
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Damon had a problem, his name was Rian, he just needed to be dealt with. Rian doesn’t like Damon. Busting into his studio (broom closet) sans shirt, all muscles and sweat and so irritating.

Thus starts a strange relationship. They don’t really talk to each other. Everything mostly happens internally. Silly issues that could be solved with a few words.

I liked the characters and the story was okay. Just not a favorite kind of storytelling.
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This review is for the NetGalley ARC: I liked this one better than the first one, particularly how all the moving parts fit together the way they only ever do in fiction. *sigh* The prose is typical Cole McCade. This school is in a pocket universe that I particularly appreciate in 2020, but it does connect with McCade's larger 'universe' -- you'll recognize a name if you've read Criminal Intentions. 

This is now my favorite enemies to lovers trope romance. 
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Dans ce deuxième tome, nous suivons cette fois Rian Falwell, le professeur d'art et Damon Louis le coach sportif. Les deux hommes ne s'apprécient pas des masses mais vont être réunis pour le bien d'un étudiant qui manque à leurs cours.

J'ai bien aimé cet opus ! Je m'attendais à la base à un autre personnage rencontré précédemment pour héro principal, mais je pense que ce sera pour la prochaine fois ^^

J'aime le thème des ennemies to lovers, ici on est dedans même si c'est plus subtil. J'aime le style de l'auteur, je pense qu'on accroche ou on accroche...beaucoup moins. J'aime ses introspections, c'est lent, parfois on a l'impression de tourner en rond, mais c'est ce que je préfère à chaque fois !

Rian est intrigué depuis longtemps par Damon, je pense qu'il ne l'aime pas vraiment car justement il lui fait ressentir certaines choses. Il faut dire que Damon a bien souvent le nombril à l'air et ça a le don d'agacer Rian ^^
Damon, c'est un peu la même chose, il n'a jamais pris le temps de discuter avec Rian, et se rend compte qu'il aime passer du temps en sa compagnie.

Il n'y a rien d'original dans cette histoire, nous suivons le rapprochement des deux hommes dans leur objectif commun, à savoir trouver ce que cache Chris et venir en aide à cet étudiant.
Mais ce que j'ai préféré dans ce livre, c'est la forte connexion qu'il y a entre Damon et Rian. L'alchimie est bien là dès le départ, et franchement les suivre tout le long a été pour moi un vrai délice...

Pour ce qui est de l'intrigue principale dira-t-on, je trouve que l'auteur aurait du amener peut-être différemment les choses pour y croire vraiment. Là, ça donnait un peu l'impression qu'il fallait trouver un terrain pour que les deux prof bossent ensemble, même si bon, depuis le temps qu'ils se croisent dans les couloirs, il y aurait eu matière à lol
Le sujet abordé par Damon était intéressant, pas suffisamment exploité à mon sens (j'aurais adoré en avoir tellement plus !), ce qui est surprenant lorsqu'on lit les derniers mots de l'auteur et ce que ce sujet représente pour lui.

La fin maintenant... Bon, là tout va trop vite, pour moi c'était de trop vraiment, épilogue ou pas. Certes, l'auteur offre une jolie fin au couple, mais tout est trop vite expédié à mon goût.
Ceci dit, c'est vraiment une série que j'apprécie, j'aime la plume et le style de l'auteur et je serai au rendez-vous pour le prochain tome, c'est sûr et certain !
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Overall, I enjoyed this second installment in this series. 

This second installment focuses on Rian Falwell and Damon Louis, the art teacher and gym teacher/coach at Albin Academy respectively. 

What starts as a somewhat antagonistic relationship between the two at the start, when both are lied to by a student, Chris, and think he's in the other's classroom/football practice, and it takes awhile for that animosity to cool, even as they are attracted to each other and build a connection.

But the student, Chris, is hiding something, as he's not coming to practice and he skips out as fast as he can at the end of the day from Rian's art class, but when Rian and Damon go to Walden, the Assistant Principal about it, he isn't very helpful, and they're left with the only option, which is try to suss out what is going on from peers around Chris, because asking Chris right out what is going on might scare him off.

For me, I felt like the situation with Chris was a great way for these two to come together, but I'm not so sure that I liked that the storyline spanned basically the whole book. I liked Chris and all, so it wasn't that, and it was great seeing these two care so much for him as a student and all that, but ultimately I feel that after awhile it kinda took away from these two and their story. 

What I mean is, there wasn't much of a storyline outside of the Chris situation and I don't think it worked entirely well as an overall plot...

Now when it was just these two together, I loved it, I adored it, they had a great connection - even if at first it felt a tad out of nowhere. I mean they worked for three years together and barely talked and then one encounter and there's attraction? Maybe if it had been a more gradual thing, it would have felt a little more believable to me? - but either way, once we got into them and their feelings really started to grow, they were great together and I enjoyed them together. 

But when, aside from their growing relationship, the only thing that happened was about Chris the whole time? I dunno, I just didn't connect with that. It being this great mystery for them to solve by the end and all that. I think the Chris thing could have been solved by at least halfway through and then this could have focused on something else, something more to do with Damon and Rian themselves, not just a student they have.

I don't know, it wasn't bad, and I did like Chris, who was a sweet kid in over his head, but the story isn't about's about Damon and Rian, you know? So I would have just liked that storyline to have moved on. Not to say it was bad, because there were good moments that came out of it, I just don't think it warranted being the main storyline.

But overall, this was enjoyable and I do recommend it. These two were good together, even when they were snapping at each other, and I adored Rian, he was just a sweet guy. 

So I definitely recommend. McCade is an amazing author who writes beautiful and writes great relationships. I just think in some ways - i.e. the plot - this could have been better. But still a very good read. 

Two thumbs up from me! :)
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Lovely romance between a gym teacher/coach and an art teacher. On the surface they seem like polar opposites but when they unite towards a common goal of helping a student in a bit of trouble they connect in ways neither expected. Unique, engaging, and well-written story. 

Some sweet details are included, like the author writing about their personal experiences and mentioning another romance novel, A Princess in Theory! I feel like when other romances novels are mentioned in romances novels it’s usually the book that shall not be named. 

Thank you Carina Press and NetGalley for the ARC!
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The story truly is amazing. The story of deep profound love and belonging.
This author truly has a beautiful gift with his ability to write romance that just grabs you deep in your soul. It surprises me that he has this ability as a guy. Not that men cannot write romance, but this, this is something different! Honestly. You can tell this story is right from his soul and he is laying out his feelings in this book.

It’s not just a romance. This is a story of a deeply passionate connection that one cannot comprehend.

The story is about two people who are as opposite as you could imagine and the way the author is able to bring this fiery connection together is pretty amazing. The characters think this connection is gonna rip their guts out and blow up in their face so the push and pull are evident throughout the story.

Rian is not the normal type of character I would care for and he has many attributes that just annoyed me. He was always protecting himself and shielding his heart to a fault.

Damon is the hunky football coach with muscles galore and one that just overwhelms room but yet he can be gentle and delicate once you realize that he too is protecting in his heart.

Once these two come together, steamy and beautiful things start to happen that make the heart sing. We get an amazing epilogue that is just so story-worthy. It’s rare in a book like this to get a decent epilogue. It makes me happy to see how they blossomed and grew together.

The story is an emotionally deep and intense look at people who protect themselves and their hearts so much it’s like taking a chisel to try to find who they really are.

With passion, fire, and sizzling, passionate scenes unlike any you’ve read before, this is an author and a story that you will not forget. Book one is just as amazing. Don’t miss it!
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My thoughts

Rating: 4

Series: Albin Academy #2

Genre: LGTBQ+ romance

Would I recommend it ? Yes

Would I read more of this series ? Yes

Would I read more by this author? Yes

First off I want to say thanks to Carina Press (Carina Adores)-HARLEQUIN - Carina Press for the invite to read and review it as well as the invite to join their blog tour and also to say thanks to Netgalley for letting me read it as well. Now on to my thoughts about the story : A sexy, sweet and just all around lovely MM romance that brings to live the characters as well as the setting, and I loved how this was an enemies to lovers trope between the art teacher Rian Falwell and football coach Damon Louis, and what made it work was how the characters was written in a way that the author shows she's not afraid to show that both have insecurities about relationships and love in general, as well as family issues and to make it work they have to break down each other’s walls and no matter how hard it is their strong enough to fight for each other.
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"Just Like This" by Cole McCade is the second book in the Albin Academy series. This series is so well-written that it's an absolute joy to read. I find myself hoping that the author is going to continue this series for a while!

In this second installment, Rian Falwell is an art instructor at Albin Academy. He is minding his own business one day when Damon Louis, the school coach comes to find him. It turns out that Rian and Damon have a student in common and that student  - Christopher Northcote - has been lying to both of them.

Rather than just ignoring the issue, Rian and Damon try to work together to figure out what is going on for Chris. He seems on the surface to be a good guy, a good student... he has friends and a roommate who likes him. But he's lying about where he is going and looking exhausting.

As Rian and Damon attempt to work together to solve the mystery of their mutual student, they begin to realize that they have a distinct push and pull with one another. These two are like magnets... get the right poles aligned and things spark to life but if the wrong poles are aligned they seem to be able to hurt one another without even trying.

The battle that these two instructors are going through to try and redeem their student mirrors the battles they are having within themselves. Damon is "looking for home". McCade touches on the issues that can come with being an adopted child and does so with an empathetic hand. Damon is indigenous but knows nothing about his parents or the nation that he descends from. This leaves him in a strange world of "not knowing" and feeling disconnected from his heritage.

On the other hand, Rian is from a wealthy family. His art has been promoted and shown in galleries and he has never wanted for anything. Well, he has wanted for a feeling of "worth" that doesn't come from simply having a padded bank account. When Rian took his job he basically cut himself off from his family and is attempting to create a life that he is able to support simply by working. The fact that his family name and wealth eased his path into the art world has left him wondering if he is even talented at all.

I don't think I've read anything before that manages so succinctly to capture the way that two people can be drawn together yet still have friction between them. McCade is such a poetic writer that his prose is the most descriptive. There are times when I re-read descriptions just because they "feel" beautiful.

McCade's Albin Academy is a school filled with diverse characters and I feel as though I'm going to enjoy every novel that is set in this world. I loved the fact that there were some subtle updates in this second installment about Fox and Summer who headed up the cast of the first novel.

Looking forward to more!
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I enjoyed this second book set at Albin Academy featuring two very different heroes, with seemingly nothing in common, who unite in their quest to discover why a good high school student appears to be in jeopardy. Both Rian and Damon have issues in their past to overcome, and neither at first understands or trusts the attraction between them, but the art teacher and the football coach eventually realize how well they complement each other in all respects. I look forward to what comes next in this series.
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This is book 2 in the Albin Academy and can be read as a standalone.
I am always excited to read Cole Mccade's work. This author has recently become one of my favorites and their writing style is simply fabulous.

This was a sweet, opposites attract, enemies to lovers romance between an art teacher and a football coach.
This is quite a light and engaging read and low on the angst.

The characters are real, relatable and well sketched out. This sweet and adorable romance was right up my alley and I was thoroughly entertained.
I definitely recommend this if you like a well written enemies to lovers
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Just Like This is about an art teacher, Rian and a gym teacher, Damon who work a private boarding school. They have a mutual student who seems to be hiding something and the two teachers have to work together to find out what's plaguing this student and how to help while also clashing with each other over any and every little thing. 

To me this story was a bit overwrought, i understand that flowery language is simply a staple of Cole Mccade's writing but I really did feel like the excessive descriptions and metaphors for the characters every little emotion was really frustrating and it made this story quite difficult to get into initially. Additionally I think that while the story was almost overly descriptive in the angsty emotional aspect, it was not at all descriptive in terms of the setting which in my opinion was a little bit disappointing because I was looking forward to the atmospheric prestigious private school setting. One more negative to the intense angsty and introspective nature of the story is that I felt like the two leads honestly didn't have that much chemistry really. The story took a long time to sell me on the supposed fiery spark between the two because most of the first 30 or so percent is intensely interior and the interactions between the characters didn't feel that interesting or substantial for them to be having all these big emotions about one another.

On a more positive note, the writing is quite beautiful if a bit distracting at times so if intense description and angst are your thing this really might work for you. I did enjoy some of the more lighthearted scenes between these teachers and their students, it was sweet to see how much they cared for them, and I enjoyed the brief look into Damon's backstory as an Indigenous adoptee who feels disconnected from his people and his culture due to being raised by his white family. I think this was the first time I've read about an indigenous hero in a romance so I definitely appreciated that alot. As the story went on I did begin to enjoy the couple more and I think the book excelled when the writing stopped being so intentionally purple prosey and focused more on character interaction. Damon and Rian were quite sweet together. Also the epilogue was so adorable and I loved it. On the whole I enjoyed it well enough in the end but it's definitely not a new favorite Cole McCade for me

3.5 stars
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Cole Mccade is one of my absolute favorite romance authors and Just Like This was a sexy, sweet and just all around lovely MM romance. We return to Albin Academy but this time we’re focusing on the enemies to lovers trope between art teacher Rian Falwell and football coach Damon Louis. They have a mutual student who may loose his scholarship and the two team up to figure out what’s going on with him and fall for each other in the process. They both have insecurities about relationships and love in general, as well as family issues and the two have to break down each other’s walls to get through to each other. I don’t often comment on epilogues but this one was so adorably sweet that I had to give it a shout out. Can’t wait for more romances by MCcade in the future!
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This book was everything I'd hoped for. Although it started out kind of slow for me it quickly sucked me in. I was thrilled to spend a quiet afternoon relaxing with this book.
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