Books · Contemporary · diverse characters · MM romance · neurodiversity · sexually explicit

REVIEW: Teddy Spenser Isn’t Looking For Love by Kim Fielding

The Official Description: Some people search their whole lives to find love. He just wants to avoid it.

Teddy Spenser spends his days selling design ideas to higher-ups, living or dying on each new pitch. Stodgy engineer types like Romeo Blue, his nemesis—if you can call someone who barely talks to you a nemesis—are a necessary evil. A cute necessary evil.

Working together is bad enough, but when their boss puts them both on a new high-stakes project, “working together” suddenly means:

¥ sitting uncomfortably close on the same plane

¥ staying in the same hotel room—with only one bed

¥ spending every waking minute together.

Turns out Mr. Starched Shirt has some hidden depths, and it’s getting harder to ignore the spark Teddy feels with every brush of their hands, with every knowing glance. He might not have been looking for this connection with Romeo, but will he ever be ready to let him go?

Just the facts: M/M romance, quirky character, fun plot

Teddy and Romeo work together – but have very little to do with one another. When they’re thrown together in a bizarre work assignment – things heat up. – Kinzie Things

My thoughts bit: This is my first book of Kim Fielding’s. She has an extensive collection of books so if you’re looking for an author that will give you some good reading material for a long time then Fielding may be a good choice for you!

Teddy and Romeo work at the same company. While working on a digital vase they combine their different talents. Romeo is a buttoned-down programmer with a stark office and a brusk attitude. Teddy is dynamic and unapologetically himself. he’s the kind of guy who would buy a unicorn pen and won’t ever be caught in an outfit that wasn’t worthy of a photoshoot.

As these two men work on a project that needs both their talents, they finally get to know each other. When they are dispatched to another city to try and convince an investor to come on board – things get peculiar and amusing.

The fashion icon they’ve been sent to sets up a really strange set of tests before them – that seem to have very little to do with their work – but the two men commit to doing their best. Turns out, their best is quite hilarious. There are a series of lovely failures that really bring out the quirkiness of these two characters and, in a way, bring them together. Even though I wasn’t sure what the challenges had to do with designing a vase, I was amused by their antics.

I really wish that the challenges had made more sense in terms of the business nature of the relationship. It was a bit out of left field and I got a bit sidetracked for a while, wondering why some rich person was able to treat two men as experiments. I feel as though it was an odd choice.

Teddy’s challenge is that he’s convinced he’s not interested in a relationship and at the beginning of the book he’s dead set against being serious about anyone. shortly after he begins the challenges with Romeo though – that all falls by the wayside. I was a bit surprised at how quickly these two moved past their challenges to become enamoured with one another. We’re talking days here! I’m not a fan of instalove so that aspect of this novel didn’t work for me – but I know that a lot of readers really enjoy it!

This novel is touted as a novel with a diverse character. Romeo is black and while he is a great character in some ways, I was uncomfortable with the way that his life was represented. The fact that he is a character of colour really only comes up when he talks about how poor he was growing up and how his mom’s cooking was great and soulful. That was problematic for me. I didn’t get an authentic feel for this representation. This book could definitely benefit from sensitivity reading. I have no idea how the author identifies so I can’t speak to whether this is an “own voices” book.

There were a couple of over-used tropes in this book but the author has a great writing style. The characters were original and well-developed. I enjoyed the interaction between the two characters despite the quick progression of their relationship.

Links: Goodreads // The Author // The Publisher

I received an ARC of Teddy Spenser Isn’t Looking For Love by Kim Fielding from Carina Press via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

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