Natural Enemies by Roan Parrish

natural enemies.jpgWhen opposites attract, love blooms in unexpected places.

Buttoned-up botanist Stefan Albemarle has felt like an outsider his whole life. As a result, he mostly keeps to himself—makes it easier not to notice that no matter how he tries, people think he’s a know-it-all and a snob.

Freewheeling urban gardener Milo Rios has worked hard to get where he is, and he’s passionate about his job at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. He can get along with almost anyone, but no one has ever made him care enough to stick around.

When Stefan and Milo meet on Milo’s tour of the Botanic Garden, it’s hatred at first clash. But hatred quickly turns to lust as Milo shows Stefan how exquisite it can feel to lose the control he’s clung to for so long. As Stefan’s mask begins to slip, Milo sees a deep vulnerability in the prim academic. Once he’s experienced Milo’s world, Stefan can admit that he wants more from life than professional success. If they can work together, Stefan and Milo just might be able to cultivate the future they both yearn for.

This novella was previously published in the Exposed collection.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

This was the first work by Roan Parrish I have read and even though I usually say that somewhere near the end but … I will definitely read more books by her and probably as soon as I get my hands on them! Okay, the actual review now. And I will try not to gush about the book too much.

I am not interested in…nature much. I’ve lived in a city for my entire life and well, flowers are pretty but that’s all I know about them. Also that they do not survive in my apartment. And the story is all about plants and people who love them. Okay so despite the Latin names, it was all very interesting. And I should probably stop talking about plants.

Stefan and Milo are two wonderful characters and so different. Stefan is a lonely overachiever who has never fit in anywhere, from his neighbourhood to grad school, to employment. Running from that loneliness by trying to be the best in everything is one of the thing that struck me so so sad. He got one of the best jobs in the city and yet he is still an outsider, spending all the time working. But well, he doesn’t know anything different.

That is, until he meets Milo. Milo is the opposite. He chose a less scientific job to have more opportunities to connect to people. He is the type of person who has rooftop garden and who pretty much converted his apartment to a garden. He gets Stefan out of his shell.

The art of the novella writing is putting all the events together and not make it seem too rushed. I think this was masterfully done in this one. Even when the complications occurred, they were not either skimmed over or overextended and end up taking too much space but it seemed just right.

It is a quite easy, charming read with a lot of plants, love and even finding oneself. It is also quite a quick read so it is perfect to squeeze it between must-do things, especially if you need a pick-me-up, nice and sweet story.


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