At Your Most Beautiful by Harper Bliss

Rach – If she keeps writing the age gap romances I’ll keep showing up to read them!

What was the book about?
Her son is away for the summer and Maya is trying not to feel sad and lonely. When her neighbours’ daughter shows up, Maya is happy for the company. Quinn is young and fun and bold, and Maya really doesn’t mind the attention. A weekend of seemingly innocent flirting leads to an incredibly hot and unexpectedly memorable night. At the time, that’s all Maya is ready for. When they meet again ten years later, the attraction is still as strong and Quinn still as irresistible. But is Maya finally ready?

Featured Tropes:
Age Gap, Family, Artist, Forbidden Love, Second Chance

Book Strengths:

Jude
I have a complicated history with Harper Bliss’s books. My first one was Seasons of Love. I thought the writing – first person, present tense – was interesting but the story made me very uncomfortable, I don’t remember why. I read a few more books, enjoyed some more than others, then translated The Road to You for a French publisher and that was it for me, until now. I didn’t care for the characters. It’s not just that I didn’t care what happened to them, I actively disliked them. I found them both terribly unpleasant, which wouldn’t have mattered much if I had simply been reading the book but since I was working on it, I spent several months with them. After that, I decided Bliss wasn’t an author for me. But after years of seeing my friends praise to the skies each new Bliss book, when Rach asked if I wanted to review this one, I felt the time had come to try again.

Unlike the characters from those books I read years ago, I really liked Maya and Quinn. I liked them so much that I’m willing to forget Quinn’s ridiculous tattoos that made me think of slogan t-shirts or pseudo-philosophical social media memes. Quinn is self-assured, cocky (which Maya loves), and unapologetic about her attraction to older women, despite her family’s misgivings. She’s a lot more aware of her vulnerability at thirty-four than she was at twenty-four. She’s been hurt more and when she meets Maya again, she’s just out of a very unbalanced relationship and feels heartbroken. While she may appear to get over her broken heart very quickly, I think she mistook a bruised ego for a broken heart or – and I find this theory more romantic – Maya is the one and every other woman, including the ones she thought she loved, was a way for Quinn to pass time until Maya came back into her life. Maya is more complex, more scared too and one of the best things in the book was watching her get over her fears.

I don’t know how Bliss did it, I found the connection between Maya and Quinn completely believable, from the start, even though we don’t get to see them do much more together than dance and have sex. Somehow, the author manages to make it feel like more than lust even as she insists on all the physical details and reactions, to convey an emotional link through what is not said rather than what is described.

Rach

I am a massive Harper Bliss fan. She writes some of the sexiest and exciting books I have ever read. When I heard Harper had a new book coming out, I was beyond excited.

At Your Most Beautiful is an age-gap romance trope, and that in itself was very exciting because if anyone can write an age gap romance, it’s Bliss. I could rattle off a multitude of her age-gap romances that are all excellent. This one was exciting because we got the sexual chemistry right off the bat. Maya and Quinn fall into bed almost instantly, and then start their journey to discovering themselves and ultimately to each other again and happiness. This is a romance novel, after all.

I usually love the older character in these books, but I loved Quinn in this book. She was sassy, edging on cocky with a kind heart and the ability to love big with no restrictions. She stood up for herself and her romantic proclivities of loving older women. And has tried on many occasions to be enough for her romantic partner only to be foiled time and time again. So I had all my hope resting on Maya to be the women that Quinn deserved finally.

I’m a little different from Jude on the tattoos. I loved that aspect of mapping your body with one-liners that mean something to you. This might be because I am a tattoo enthusiast with a few of my own… But I also know she has a few tattoos, so I am eye-rolling right back as we are friends. Love you, buddy! #allinjest

Book Weaknesses

Rach
I would have liked a little happier ever after for Maya and Quinn. Don’t get me wrong; you get the happy vibe from them; however, I just felt there might have been more story to tell.

Jude
Even though I enjoyed reading this book a lot, once I tried to write about it, I struggled to remember more than “the sex was good” and “I liked the characters”. It does the job but it didn’t touch me deeply.

Character Chemistry

Jude
If there’s one thing Bliss writes exceedingly well, it’s sex. Lust. Chemistry. Maybe the other way round and, okay, that’s three things but you get the gist.

Rach
The chemistry in this book was undeniable. Maya and Quinn have sexual chemistry before they have anything else. It was sexy and fun initially until they released their connection is something a lot more. But the Sexy was very very hot!

Heat Rating
🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥 

Wrap up
We both really enjoyed reading this one and it’s evident that Harper Bliss really knows how to write this trope and deliver it with skill.

Looking forward to our next journey into Bliss’ world of words. 

 

4/5

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