Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Are you ready for the next series from Kendall Ryan? Let’s be honest: that’s a resounding “yes.” Kendall Ryan has the capacity to consistently craft romance that engages you in new people and new stories. Like her recent Hot Jocks series, Ryan’s newest series, Frisky Business (the adult toy business of her next line-up heroes), promises more stories grounded in your favorite romance tropes while exploring the adult toy business. In her first book, The Boyfriend Effect, we are introduced to the crew: Hayes, Wolfie, Caleb, Connor, and Ever. With this story, we meet Hayes and Maren, her respective hero and heroine. Hayes’s best friend is Wolfie, a life-long friend, and Wolfie’s younger sister is Maren, the girl who followed Hayes and Wolfie around when they were younger. Unfortunately for Hayes, he struggles with hiding his interest in her. Unbeknownst to Hayes, Maren also contends with her own feelings for him, believing he would never be interested in her. Instead, these two date others in the hopes of ignoring their feelings, which, usually, ends in disaster. Hayes, believing he will never be someone’s long-term boyfriend, decides to forgo women. This leads to a lake trip and a night with Maren where they begin to explore their chemistry. After that night, all bets are off for these two, but, as Ryan loves to do, there is Wolfie to contend with. Will Maren and Hayes find a future together?
So…what did I love about this story?
For one, while it seems like Hayes is a playboy at the beginning of the story, that isn’t the case. This guy is a bit of a softie. He really does want a long-term relationship, but he can’t ever seem to find one because he self-sabotages his relationships without realizing it. There is a reason for it that Ryan eventually reveals, but you find out quickly that Hayes is a devoted, adorable, caregiving hero. I liked Ryan’s depiction of him.
Maren is a textbook heroine. She is the one who acts upon her interest in Hayes, showing that women don’t have to wait for the man to make the move, and I loved that Ryan crafted her as such. She isn’t overly strong as a female character; she’s pretty innocuous, to be honest, except when she’s dragging Hayes to acknowledge his attraction. Like Hayes, she’s pretty sweet which makes their coupling lovely.
I love that the guys own an adult toy company named Frisky Business. It’s a nice backdrop for this new series.
The larger crew of characters feels a lot like the Hot Jocks series. You’ll notice the easy pairings coming your way for future books, and it won’t be too surprising. Instead, you’ll receive the stories you love from Kendall Ryan. Also, Hayes’s grandmother in this story is the cutest of ancillary stories. It will make you sigh in happiness.
If I had any criticism for Ryan, it is the predictability of her stories. This does feel a bit like the Hot Jocks’ series in that the first book is a best friend’s sister story much like the first book of this current series. However, like your favorite pajamas, you know you want to read her stories because she writes cute couples with sweet stories. There are a trust and comfort built into her brand of romance.
The Boyfriend Effect is everything you love about Kendall Ryan’s romances: a hero and heroine working through their issues to find a happy ending together. There is a little bit of strife, but it’s all pretty easy and steamy. Maren and Hayes will make you continue to believe in love and Kendall Ryan’s ability to create it in her books by the time you finish this book.
In love and romance,