Book Reviews

Future Ex Enemy by Kate Hawthorne and E.M. Denning

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 05-November-2019

Book Blurb

If there's one thing David Cranston hates, it's Luis Montgomery.

When he finds out they've both been invited to participate in a floral contest that could make or break both of their careers, David dives in, ready to win.

But there's only one problem, and there's only one bed.

David and Luis are forced together and tension isn't the only thing running hot between the two of them. David realizes he wants to come out on more ways than one.

A drunken night and a hungover morning leave both men regretting actions that found them a little bit too close. Unfortunately, they keep getting closer, and closer, until the lines between hate and desire blur into something far more complicated than either of them bargained for.

Back home, Luis and David struggle to make sense of their feelings, and Luis has to face some hard truths. He thought he hated David and his roses and his baby's breath and his lemon verbena lotion, but he was so wrong.

Because if there's one thing Luis Montgomery loves, it's David Cranston.

Book Review

“There’s a thin line between love and hate. Maybe you’re confusing your emotions.” ~Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry)

From the first time they meet David Cranston and Luis Montgomery, of ‘Future Ex Enemy’, by Kate Hawthorn and E.M. Denning, feel animosity toward each other that neither can fathom. They don’t get off to a good start since David did not hire Luis for a job with his flower shop because of his radical ideas and insults about David’s design style, but that alone isn’t enough to explain their visceral feelings of dislike for each other.

Shortly after their first encounter, David is called to come to a winery, for whom he has provided flower arrangements for years. To his dismay, he finds that Luis is now their in-house florist. David burns with anger while Luis gloats. They have been asked to do arrangements for the family of one of David’s repeat customers. David is to do the wedding floral arrangements and Luis those for the reception. Technically, Luis is David’s boss and does not hesitate to remind him of that fact, which naturally irks David. Obviously, working together is a challenge, but David refuses to let Luis know how much his needling gets to him.

Luis and David manage to work together well enough to get through the wedding, but their animosity keeps growing. David thinks that Luis is impertinent and cocky; Luis thinks David is old and dated. Yet, despite their seeming displeasure, they can’t seem to get the other out of their heads. This makes them even more angry than hating each other does. All they talk about to their respective best friends is how intolerable the other is and how much they hate each other. Their friends listen to their complaints, but, as Shakespeare said: “Methinks he doth protest too much”. When they point out the obvious both men adamantly disagree.

After the wedding, there is an announcement that may change both David and Luis’s lives. A floral magazine is sponsoring a contest at the winery. The finalists, who move on, will be competing for a large cash prize. Both men end up as finalists and are on their way to the next level. Winning will be great for Luis’s reputation, but for David, it will mean keeping his shop. Both men end up qualifying. When they arrive in Denver, they find that their hotel room only has one bed! It’s a “complication” they don’t need. So much for keeping their distance, which they both swear is what they want. Since they are stuck in the same room, the negativity that has been building explodes into passion, but it happens in a regrettable way. They don’t know where to go from here, but they can’t go back either.

I liked David from the start and liked him even more when he bests’ Luis in almost every way. It was much harder to like Luis because he was so obnoxious, especially when it seemed not to be called for. The thing that softened my opinion of Luis was his relationship with his niece. It helped me realize that he wasn’t a mean person, he was just mean to David, although anyone else could see that what was between them wasn’t hate at all. Thanks, Kate and E.M., for helping David and Luis “see the light”.





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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 210 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 08-August-2019
Price $3.99 ebook, $12.99 paperback
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