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Absolutely, Almost, Perfect (Sucre Coeur) Paperback – August 3, 2017
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This is the continuation of the story of Craig and Alex (who met and fell in love in Definitely, Maybe, Yours) who are solid partners, who love each other through flaws and panic. I hate to say that someone with an anxiety disorder is funny, but Alex the former playboy can be. When the invitation for Craig’s estranged brother’s wedding comes, our story starts with Alex locked in the bathroom freaking out. Said panicking continues on the plane destined for England, in the airport and into Craig’s parent’s house. Alex has some self-esteem issues and they don’t help his nerves while he’s dealing with Craig’s parents, sisters, sister-in-law/best friend, jerk brother and former boyfriend.
I’m going to be honest, while we are on the subject of ex-boyfriend David, I hated how Craig was flirting and playing with David. I don’t know where that came from but it seemed very disrespectful, especially with Alex there doing everything to be a good boyfriend for him. Things work out in the end but that kept me from cheering Craig on as much as I would have.
Alex is adorable. He is easily bribed with going to see lambs, he gets on great with Craig’s surly teenaged sister “I’ve always been curious to know what I’d have been like as a teenage girl, and here we are”, he puts aside his own panic to be there for his boyfriend and he tries to keep things positive. He can’t help but think poorly of brother Duncan, because Duncan starts it off badly.
You know there is going to be a showdown eventually with Duncan and it takes an episode with Alex for that to happen. Really, Duncan has been the worst brother for most of their lives and he really doesn’t have a good excuse for it. You know there has to be something good about him because Craig’s best friend, Chloe, is the bride-to-be, but he just doesn’t show it around Alex or Craig.
I loved the twist with Craig and Alex (in the bathtub no less!) because that seemed so real and so them. The Robbie wall, too, made me laugh. I can only imagine what it’s like to sleep with that! There were so many times I thought, yes, that’s just what a loving partner would do and sometimes, I wanted to hug them. “Because when I have a panic attack, you’re my top ten reasons to grit my teeth and ride it out.” So true, Alex.
And Craig. “It’s everything he’s wanted and never known when to bring up. And no wonder. In the end, this question was never his to ask.”
This is a sweet, funny story of family and how much they can make you insane. Add in a wedding and things get crazy fast. I liked the characters so much and I felt it was realistic. It was absolutely, almost perfect.
Craig and Alex have been together for nearly two years and they are very much in love. Alex is a bit of an emotional mess, thanks to an abusive ex, but he and Craig are solid. Stable. And...freaking out about returning to England for Craig's brother's wedding to his dearest childhood friend, Chloe. Craig and his brother, Duncan, are estranged because Duncan was a horse's patoot of a sibling, who mercilessly bullied young Craig and never apologized for years of emotional and physical torment.
Alex doesn't want to go at all, but he's not going to let Craig go alone. They head off to Merry Olde for the festivities and it's...uh, I believe the correct British term is: unmentionable in decent company. O.o. Chloe is a bridezilla, hell-bent on getting Craig and Duncan to make up in time for the wedding. She's adamant that Duncan has changed his personality completely from when they were all kids, and Craig should give him the chance to make amends. Still, it's easy to see that she's a decent person, despite her many tantrums. Craig and Alex are reliant upon Craig's childhood boyfriend, David, a sweet man attractive to both of them, to navigate the parent-infested waters. And Duncan, well, if this would have been playing out in front of me, that man would have gotten a swift boot to his manparts.
I haven't read any of the earlier book in this series, but I had no trouble dropping into this rom-com. Alex's medications for anxiety make him loopy and he gets a hysterical fit in response to Duncan's shenanigans. Craig doesn't let the slights go, and Duncan--if Chloe doesn't ditch him--might turn up to his own wedding with a (well-deserved) shiner. Throughout, stalwart Craig is the hot mess and shaky Alex the voice of reason, which is quite the juxtaposition. I loved the folks, and the fun. Duncan and Craig's family is large and boisterous, and they love with abandon. There's just a little bit of steam to go along with all the zaniness.
Fans of the series will love the twists, and the sweet resolution, which brings along a super-sized HEA. I had a lot of fun with the Brit English bits, and watching Alex grow as a partner to Craig. I read a review copy provided by NetGalley.