By: Heather Dowell
Title: Marking the Date
Series: Bennu Firebirds, #3.5
Author: Cait Marie
Making the Play
Meeting the Star
Missing the Beat
Marking the Date
Warning: Marking the Date is a follow-up short story to Missing the Beat, the third book in the Bennu Firebirds series which focuses on a group of girl friends who attend the same university and find love. Each book is a standalone, but the series is best read in order and without reading blurbs if you want absolutely no spoilers as to who the couples will be. If you don’t want to know anything about the previous book Missing the Beat, do not read this review as it will spoil how their relationship evolved.
Maya is living the life of her dreams. She’s starred in three movies, gone to premieres, and done press releases around the world. Not to mention she landed the dreamy rock star boyfriend she’s loved since he was nothing more than a friend at summer camp.
But she hates how much their busy schedules keep them apart.
Being a rock star has its perks, and Xander Lewis plans on taking full advantage of them to give his girlfriend the most perfect Valentine’s Day ever. Especially since they missed their first two, and by some miracle, the stars have aligned, allowing them an entire week together.
Except… the universe has other plans.
Between a potential breakup in their friend group and a loved one on the verge of relapsing, one thing after another threatens to pull them apart.
Will Xander and Maya get their perfect moment together? Find out in this Bennu Firebirds short story!
Marking the Date centers around Maya and Xander. Seeing as this is a companion story taking place after the events in Missing the Beat, there will be relationship spoilers. Read at your own risk.
Okay, so in this follow-up, Maya and Xander are desperate to have some alone time together. Xander has been touring with his band, and Maya has been acting. Their schedules have never aligned for them to share Valentine’s Day together, but that’s about to change. Maya flies to Xander’s with an exciting secret and a plan to make this meetup their best yet.
I absolutely love this new adult romance story. It’s written in 3rd person dual pov, so I got to watch the story unfold through both Xander and Maya’s perspective. I love how, though this is a romance, it’s not straight-up fluff. Xander still carries emotional baggage from when he was abused as a teen. And now that he’s reconnected with his mother, who’s a recovering alcoholic, he has the added the responsibility of looking after her and making sure she doesn’t go back to his deadbeat father. This takes a toll on him and his relationship with Maya, but love prevails. They are stronger together, and she loves him enough to be his shoulder to cry on.
There is nothing sexier than a vulnerable man looking out for those he loves, and Xander is just that. He may be stressed and overworked, but that’s not going to keep him from showing Maya how much she means to him. First, in the bedroom then on the kitchen table, granted you’re not going to see it all in this story. It’s that rare combination of spicy clean. You know what’s happening, but the nitty gritty is hidden in the fade to black. Even so, I think steamy romance readers will still enjoy this for its continued character depth, witty banner, laugh out loud moments, and intense emotional resonance.
There are as many light scenes as there are dark ones, which makes it balanced and worthwhile. There’s diversity in a natural way and grand gestures for our main characters and side characters. I laughed, felt sad, and gasped at times.
If you’re looking for a story that will punch you in the gut then make you blush with giddy anticipation of what will happen next, look no further; Marking the Date is for you.
You can buy the book here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09RVRPXJZ/
*This review was originally posted here: https://heatherdowell.wordpress.com/2022/03/07/marking-the-date-by-cait-marie-review/