Book Review – Feinted Love by Elle Keaton

Crimes of the Heart #1
Publisher: Dirty Dog Press
Pages: 205
Characters: Arnie/Tobias
POV: 1st
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Series

A gambit for love, a half-baked revenge plot; one hot Seattle summer…


One minute I’m minding my own business enjoying the sunshine, next I’m wearing my iced coffee.

I’m going to teach Tobias Barrington a thing or two; first: you don’t always get what you want. I have no idea what the second is, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Falling in love with Tobias is not on the list.


I’ve never forgotten Arnie Ferguson, or the night we had together. When I find him again, I want to get to know him—as more than a friend.

I may come from a wealthy family; but I know better than most that money can’t buy happiness. But brash, socially awkward Arnie Ferguson makes me think happiness is possible when you let your heart choose.

Feinted Love is a first person, dual POV, following Arnie Ferguson and Tobias Barrington as they do their best to awkwardly fall in love. No cliff hanger, HEA guaranteed. Heat level, 3+.

Buy Link


I loved this sweet second chance romance. I loved both men, but Arnie with his zero brain to mouth filter and his tendency to make up his own – often totally wrong narrative – really resonated with me. He’s sweetly awkward, and I liked how his revenge plot derailed so quickly and completely. Tobias is a nice guy, and I loved how being with Arnie gives him the courage and push to finally do what he needs to take back control of his life.

Arnie and Tobias are so very sweetly awkward around each other. I cheered for them to get together as soon as they met up again, and had to keep reading for their HEA. I loved how the longer they know each other, the more their mutual trust grew, along with their falling in love.

I love this author. Whatever genres she writes, she never disappoints.

The supporting cast are wonderful and feel very three dimensional. I’m very happy that Duff is getting his own story, and I hope Charley does too. They both need their own HEAs. Tobias’ sister Sarah-Michelle (I kept thinking Buffy and wondering if she was named in part because of that show) and Arnie’s mother, Rita, totally rock, as does Gale who owns the coffee shop where Arnie works. I thought the author did a great job in showing how awful Tobias’ parents are, although I’m interested to see if his mother turns out to actually be redeemable. His father though is definitely not. He’s the opposite of supportive and the conclusion to his story made me very happy.

The HEA is perfect and fits these guys so well. I’m looking forward to getting glimpses of them further on in their relationship in the other books in the series.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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