Saturday, September 24, 2022

Review: The Rivals of Casper Road by Roan Parrish

The Rivals of Casper Road by Roan Parrish
Series: Garnet Run, Book 4
Publisher: Harlequin Special Edition
Genre: Male/Male Contemporary Romance 
The Rivals of Casper Road cover
ISBN: 9781335724205
Release Date: September 27, 2022
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Harlequin

He’s in it to win it

Until he falls under his neighbor’s spell.

Bram Larkspur’s rugged, sexy looks belie his fear of all things horrifying. But as Casper Road’s newest resident, he’s excited to join the annual Halloween decorating contest. The competition is keen, especially from six-time champion, architect Zachary Glass. But when enigmatic Zachary sparks a prank war, it’s game on—until one sizzling kiss turns these rivals into allies. Now only one thing scares Bram: how quickly he’s losing his heart to Zachary.

A prank war between two neighbors turns out to be something special The Rivals of Casper Road. Roan Parrish returns to Garnet Run in this sweet Halloween-time romance of finding your heart and home.

Bram is a sweetheart who sees the best in people. After having his heart broken, he made his way far from everything and everyone he ever knew and finds himself in Garnet Run. He quickly fits into his new neighborhood, but the one person who isn’t immediately won over is his neighbor, Zachary Glass. Zachary is a man who likes routine, order, and everything as he thinks it should be. He’s the six-time winner of the Casper Road Halloween decorating contest and there’s no way this newcomer is going to break his streak. Though Parrish never explicitly states it, Zachary appears to be neurodivergent and is stressed when things don’t go how he plans. He’s also a man who is very alone and convinced no one will stay with him. His wounds broke my heart and even though he makes mistakes with Bram, I was looking forward to seeing him get his happily ever after. Bram’s gentleness and understanding help Zachary branch out and Zachary’s straightforward honesty makes Bram feel safe. Their romance is engaging and the happily ever after heartwarming.

The Rivals of Casper Road is the fourth book in Parrish’s Garnet Run series but it can easily be read as a standalone. Fans of the first three books will delight in revisiting their favorite characters and seeing what they’ve been up to since their happily ever afters. I liked the friendly residents of Garnet Run and how they filled out the world Parrish created. There are some campy moments in this story (and some flaws in the more adorable moments of creating shelters for feral cats), but overall I found it a comfortable read with imperfect characters whose flaws make them all the more interesting. I finished Zachary and Bram’s story a satisfied reader and I’m looking forward to catching up on the Garnet Run books I’ve missed.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.