Title: High Test
Series: Dreamspun Desires 47
Author: Elizabeth Noble
Length: Novel (202 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (1st December 2017)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts
Blurb: The coffee is rich. Hayden isn’t. But Neal doesn’t need to know that – yet.
Hayden Owens is just your typical graduate student working his way through school as a barista for the Owens Coffee Company – no relation. But he keeps the “no relation” part to himself when he meets dashing architect Neal Kirchner, a successful older man from an old-money family. Hayden doesn’t exactly lie, but he figures it can’t hurt for Neal to believe he’s a rich kid. After all, Hayden doesn’t want Neal thinking he’s a gold digger.
The closer they become, the harder it gets for Hayden to come clean. Something always seems to get in the way. When a company bankruptcy and a jilted, vindictive woman threatens to expose his charade, Hayden thinks it’s all gone down the drain. Luckily, Neal is ready with some innocent trickery of his own.
Review: Elizabeth Noble is relatively new author to me, I think other than listening to the audio for this book some couple months ago, I’m not aware of any other of the author’s works. At least on the Dreamspinner Press website there are only three works available and one of them won’t be out until December. Regardless, first off I’m going to say that this is one of those books which I found more enjoyable as an ebook as opposed to listening to the audio. I can’t put a finger on the reason why, but there you have it.
Admittedly, the plot rather simple and predictable. It’s one of those types of books that I recommend for people who want something easy and relaxing but don’t expect too much in terms of literary excellence. It’s a great book to just relax and escape with. I read a very intense book last night which I absolutely adored, even though the emotions were high I found this to be the perfect come down book after that experience.
High Test is a Cinderella – Cinderfella? – tale. Hayden Owens is struggling to get himself through college where he is a graduate student trying to complete his PhD. All he wants to do is graduate and design cars that are engineering works of art. When he is forced to attend college function, schmoozing with movers and shakers ready to donate Hayden meeting Neal Kirchner. Neal is older than Hayden but their connection is instant. When Hayden leaves at the end of the night so that he can get the last bus, he realizes too late that he forgot to get Neal’s number. This first night was the start of confusion that Hayden finds too hard to get the courage to admit to Neal that he doesn’t come from a rich family. This is the main plot of the book and while there is some angst and drama, it’s a mild and simple book.
As a side note one thing that I really liked here was that Hayden was a PhD candidate (only directly referenced once or twice) and despite this his intelligence was put right to the background of the whole story. From experience, I know that we do tend to be completely obsessed with our work, but the whole antisocial nerd is a tired stereotype. The other thing that I really liked that while this would be classed as a May-December plot, the whole age difference is only referred to a couple times. I also find the whole age gap thing a bit tiresome, especially when a big is made about age gaps few than ten years. Admittedly this is a larger age gap, but I was all for the romance.
This is a simple, fun and sweet romance, as I said before, it’s a bit of a Cinderella story and if that’s your thing, go for it.