For men like us, trust doesn’t come easy.
In this village, I’m an outcast: Griffin Everett, the scowling giant who prefers plants to people. Then I meet Keynes, a stranger from the city who’s everything I’m not: sharp-tongued, sophisticated, beautiful. Free. For a few precious moments in a dark alleyway, he’s also mine, hot and sweet under the stars… until he crushes me like dirt beneath his designer boot.
When the prettiest man I’ve ever hated shows up at my job the next day, I’m not sure if I want to strangle him or drag him into bed. Actually—I think I want both. But Keynes isn’t here for the likes of me: he makes that painfully clear. With everyone else at work, he’s all gorgeous, glittering charm—but when I get too close, he turns vicious.
And yet, I can’t stay away. Because there’s something about this ice king that sets me on fire, a secret vulnerability that makes my chest ache. I’ll do whatever it takes to sneak past his walls and see the real man again.
The last thing I expect is for that man to ruin me.
Work for It is 80,000 words of hot, angst-filled, M/M romance featuring a cynical city boy, a gruff, soft-hearted farmer, and a guaranteed happy-ever-after. No cheating, no cliff-hangers, just love. (Eventually.)
TWs from author: depression, anxiety, references to past sexual trauma and forced outing, references to a parent who died by suicide.
Buy from Amazon — out today!
Thank you very much to Talia Hibbert for providing an advance reading copy of her novel in exchange for an honest review.
I pretended you weren’t happening, but you are. You’re happening. To me.
Talia Hibbert’s first m/m novel is a stunning, angsty enemies to lovers romance with the UST turned up. I’ve read a couple of Hibbert’s books in the past and have always had a good time, so my expectations for this book were sky high … and she didn’t disappoint. How is it possible that I laughed, cried and swooned, all at the same time from one scene? Well, it probably has something to do with Hibbert’s impeccable prose.
From the moment Work for It begins, I was immediately drawn into the book and the vibrant, hyper-realistic characters. Griffin, a gentle giant, is quite the cinnamon roll who is treated absolutely terribly by his small, conservative town, so much so that you just want to draw him into a hug (even though he’s an entire foot and three inches taller than me). Griffin is queer and doesn’t feel a need to label himself further, which I thoroughly love, and hope we can see more of in LGBTQ+ fiction! He’s also described as a little ugly, which to be honest, was a breath of fresh air. In almost every romance book I’ve ever read, and I’ve read a lot, the love interests are almost always perfect, super beautiful and model-like — sometimes you just want to be able to read about someone you can relate to, someone who isn’t super attractive, but who becomes attractive to their love interest the more time the two spend together.
Even though I loved Griffin (and I’m series about that hug), I felt very strong connection with Olu, and the descriptions of his depression and anxiety made me feel so seen. I was in tears throughout a lot of his scenes. Olu comes from a very privileged world, where he’s been forced to stay in the closet his entire life. Before the novel begins, Olu is blackmailed and outed, and develops an aversion to sex which he tries to force himself to overcome. He then decides to take a holiday in a small English town where he meets Griffin, tries to bed the man, and insults him instead. Olu is quite unlikeable but that’s just a facade to protect himself. Because he hates himself, he has to make other people hate him too. But that didn’t work with me!
But he’s smiling again, that faint curve. I want to reach out and trace it with my fingers, which is such an unfamiliar feeling that it shocks me. And then, a second later, it excites me—because that feeling constitutes desire, and it’s been a long, long time since I experienced anything like it. My odd reaction to him sparks a reckless sort of hope, a wild taste of possibility in my chest.
The plot was very soft and lovely, just two men trying to heal and finding a way to do that together. This book doesn’t suggest that love can cure depression, if that’s what you’re worried about. But knowing that someone loves and adores you can help you try and take that first step towards loving yourself again, which I think is just a beautiful message. Olu and Griffin’s budding relationship is realistic, awkward interactions where one of the two men is apologising to the other, mixed in with moments of the two falling in love and some pretty erotic sex scenes.
(This is the most random thing ever but I had to mention: I love that it constantly rains in this book! I’ve read so many books set in England and in almost all of them its sunny and warm which is not realistic at all. Again, random, but I had to mention it 😅).
I absolutely adored Work for It and can’t wait to see more m/m (or, fingers crossed, f/f) from Talia Hibbert! The second I finished this book, I immediately went to buy the complete series of the Just For Him series, which a few characters make a cameo in this book, to find that Past Laura already bought it. Yay for Past Laura!
Don’t miss out on this book!