Review: Not a Game by Cardeno C.

Title: Not a Game by Cardeno C.
Friends Series Book One
Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Erotic, Romance
Word Count: 55,866
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by the Author


An accidental meeting and a misunderstanding lead to a life-altering connection.

A new job, a new city, and hopefully a new life. When chubby gamer Oliver Barnaby receives a job offer from the best boutique game developer in the country, he leaves his family and his less than spectacular existence in Oklahoma without a second’s hesitation. Determined to change more than his career and his geography, Oliver implements a plan to finally land a boyfriend. Step one is improving his skills in the bedroom.

A life that looks perfect on paper, but feels empty in reality. Attractive, successful, charismatic Jaime Snow has a life other people envy. His already booming business is growing. He isn’t lacking in friends. And he has no trouble finding a date. But there’s an emptiness in Jaime’s heart and a hole in his life that only the right man can fill.

An accidental meeting, a misunderstanding, and falling in love. When Oliver and Jaime end up at the same bar at the same time, they each see something they want in the other. Going to bed together that first night is easy. Building the lifetime relationship they both desperately crave will require trust, time, and a little misunderstanding.


Not a Game by Cardeno C. is a scorching hot, conflict-free erotic romance.

Having recently moved from OK to WA for a new job, Oliver Barnaby is determined to make some much needed changes to his life.  With plenty of insecurities and not much confidence due to some unkind remarks by his ex-boyfriend, he makes a surprising decision that he hopes will provide him the experience and confidence he needs to jump start his non-existent love life.  He also plans to make an effort to make friends but he is uncomfortable around people he does not know so he focuses on improving his sex life first.  Oliver is quite smitten with the new man in his life, Jaime Snow, but due to the circumstances in which they first meet, he finds it difficult to believe Jaime is truly interested in him.

Jaime is pretty much everything Oliver is not.  He is in great shape and he is quite self-assured.  He has been in a long term relationship and although he and his ex split up several years earlier, he has not met the right man to spend the rest of his life with.  He is instantly attracted to Oliver and he is quite patient with his new lover as he helps him overcome his self-doubts.  Jaime is quick to assure him that his interest is sincere and Jaime bides his time as he waits for the right time to clear up Oliver’s misconception about his true identity.

Initially, Jaime and Oliver’s relationship is mostly physical so there are plenty of explicit sex scenes between them.  But there is also little doubt that they genuinely like each other and there are a host of feelings simmering beneath their passionate encoutners.  Although Oliver does become much more comfortable with his appearance, he remains uncertain that Jaime’s interest in him is real.  Jaime does not help the situation by continuing to keep important information to himself even though his reasons for remaining silent are understandable.  Once Oliver finally figures out the truth, his reaction is a tiny bit unrealistic but refreshingly free of unnecessary drama.

Not a Game by Cardeno C. is a sinfully sexy erotic gay romance.  The characters are wonderfully developed, delightfully imperfect and infinitely appealing.  The storyline is engaging and provides a positive message about body image.  A fast-paced and enjoyable love story that will leave readers impatiently awaiting the next installment in the Friends series.

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Filed under Cardeno C, Contemporary, Erotic, Friends Series, M/M, Not a Game, Rated B, Review, Romance, The Romance Authors

3 Responses to Review: Not a Game by Cardeno C.

  1. Timitra

    Thanks Kathy for the review

  2. Katherine

    Your review is appealing for two things “conflict-free” and “positive message about body image.” I have added this to my to-read list.

    • Book Reviews & More by Kathy

      It’s nice to see story that embraces different body types. No conflict or unnecessary drama is always a plus for me 🙂