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‘Cameron said kisses were unspoken promises, and so he kissed me until I understood his.’

We’ve just been wooed by ‘The King of Woo’ and bewitched by his ‘Witchy Woman‘ in Kate Stewart’s first adult standalone, easily becoming swept up in her sweet, swoony slow burn romance. The Real coasted along gently and beautifully as we were introduced to 34 year old Cameron Bledsoe and 31 year old Abbie Gorman as they struck up their friendship in an unorthodox manner of communicating via their MacBooks over their coffee cups at a local coffee shop. However, they soon realise there is more than just flirty banter unfolding. Strong feelings were also developing.

‘Love in all its splendour is a damned nightmare if kept secluded to a timeline. You don’t just stumble upon the love of your life and expect things to work out in your favour.
Love by its definition is a lie, its true definition is work and fuck lot of it. 
…….. Love is meant for the brave.’

We’ve been on the hunt for stories featuring mature characters with life experience so we thank Kate Stewart for bringing this element into The Real, it was a pleasant surprise in a story that delivered an angsty twist that shocked us! We were enjoying the endearing romance and sizzling passion between Abbie and Cameron, but couldn’t help the feeling of dread for the inevitable uncovering of secrets and knowing the fallout was going to give our hearts a pounding. And it certainly did that!

“Someone told me once to picture something I can’t live without and then decide what trumps that, so I know the truth of what matters to me the most.”
“What trumps me?”
I asked.
“The only thing that could trump you today, Abbie, is you tomorrow. And I don’t want to be without you tomorrow.”

Abbie and Cameron went into their relationship with a misplaced naivety believing they could enjoy an uncomplicated relationship by blindly avoiding their pasts by not discussing their previous relationships. But what happens when the past invades the present and brings with it a mountain of pain and confusion? Will love be enough to see them through?

Well ready your hearts readers because when the angst hits, your hearts will go into overdrive as Kate Stewart tackles a subject that all too often is sadly swept under the carpet. And as important as Abbie’s story was, and we most certainly empathised with her, for us this was Cameron’s story. His was the pain that brought us to our knees, his was the pain that had us so emotionally invested.

“What are you doing to me?” he whispered. “Strike that, I know what’s happening here.”
I let myself ask the question. I had to know. “Do you want it to happen?”
“More than anything……”

Kate Stewart is a masterful storyteller and there’s a reason we love picking up her books. She always makes us feel as though she leaves a piece of herself on the page. Her first adult romance brought with it a man at the mercy of his loyalty and sensitivity and she delivered The Real with raw emotion and honesty.

The only small issue we had was that we felt too much time was spent on the ‘technical’ banter in the first half of the story which then consequently took it away from the latter ‘crux of story line’. We would’ve preferred this time to have been invested in the latter part due to the importance of what is often ‘swept under the carpet’.

There’s no doubt however that Kate Stewart has delivered a real story, about real love, about real struggles, about real issues, with real characters who had experienced real life, and in the process she has penned a brave, passionate and highly emotional slow burn romance that will surprise you with its provocative honesty.

“What do you want, Abbie Gorman? Ask me for anything.”




They say it happens when you least expect it.

It did for me.

It started the moment I saw the simple message pop up on my computer screen:

Cameron’s Mac: Hi.

And when I met the eyes of the gorgeous man messaging me from across the coffee shop, I never thought my reply would lead to the most intense, sexual, and passionate relationship of my life.

We both agreed to check our bags at the door and put our future hopes and aspirations on the table.

It worked.

I fell in love with his no holds barred attitude, sexy smirk, and undeniably good heart . . . and for a while we forgot about our baggage. We happily tripped over it to get to the other, neither of us willing to show the contents of our pasts in the off chance it could ruin us.

We built our love on a foundation of gray.

It was life in black and white that threatened to tear us apart.

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