Book Review: Closer by Aria Hawthorne

On a personal note, I finished National Novel Writing Month having written one full novel and most of a second. I didn’t think about it because in my head, the main character of my second one was a nerdy nice guy, but I also made him a billionaire, even though his money and wealth didn’t figure into it as much you would think.

Speaking of billionaires, this book that I’m about to review features one. A blind one at that. And the minute I read that he was blind, I was all up in this book’s grill.

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I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A single mother is hired by a Swedish billionaire to act as his guide for 5 nights so he can keep the secret of his blindness from his family, colleagues, and society in general. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Sassy Pants
Inez is super sassy, and I loved her from the start. Her sass and snark comes from a place of needing to protect herself, but she’s still funny. She’s a single mother who’s ex cheated on her with women (plural) and now wants to be part of her life again (yes, he was as sleazy as he sounds).

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Leading the Blind
Sven is kind of a dick, but going blind has changed his outlook on things. He hires Inez to guide him at social events and keep his secret because he works with some shady people and doesn’t want them to know he can’t see. He also has his pride. The arrangement with Inez is only supposed to be temporary, though I don’t know what Sven planned on doing after that. Either way, I really liked him and wanted to give him a hug. Also, he wears an eye patch. Eye patches are cool (and obviously sexy).

Delicious Angst
Sven was the one who brought the feels in this one. It doesn’t take him long to fall for Inez, yet she’s the one who holds out, afraid to get involved.  The fact that she’s a single mother who’s also trying take care of her grandmother makes things more complicated.

Bebehs
I’m not always a fan of babies in books, but this one was okay. Inez being a single mother added an extra dimension of conflict and secrecy between her and Sven (it wasn’t actually a point of conflict other than that the baby was part of the reason Inez had put up protective walls and couldn’t stay the night with him).

Funny Grandmas Are the Best
Another great part of the book? Inez’s grandmother, who was hilarious and just as sassy as Inez but also a little raunchy. She heckles Inez endlessly and doesn’t hold back her opinions. The whole story was infused with humor, but most of it definitely came from this character.

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The Romance Factor
Trust was the major theme in this book, and the way it played into the romance between Sven and Inez was seamless. Sven has to put his trust in Inez to guide him, and she eventually has to put hers in him not to hurt her. Between the sensual way these two interacted and the heavy dose of foreplay, their romance had a slow build that just got more intense. 4/5

The Steam Factor
This was considered an erotic romance, but as far as erotica goes, the sex wasn’t frequent. In fact, there was no actual sex until much later in the book. Most of the eroticism came in the form of dreams or fantasies. Having said that, those scenes were hot and the whole book was written with so much sensuality that even the dialogue between Sven and Inez was titillating. 4/5

Final Thoughts
I loved this book. Sven was endearing, Inez was funny, and I loved their romance. I laughed, I cried, I got all sorts of heart feels. Not only did I like the story, but I enjoyed the author’s style and so ended up buying another book related to this one.

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