Novella Review: Mr Virile and the Girl Next Door by Gwen Hayes

Mr. Virile and the Girl Next Door (Entangled Indulgence)

Contain Spoilers


Mr Virile and the Girl Next Door is a fun read.  While I found the set up for the story weak and not very believable, I did enjoy the couple and the chemistry they created.  I have a hard time believing that their agents would put their livelihoods in danger by setting them up, though.  I would hope that both Holly and Dane would have more professional agents representing them!


A surprise meeting gets the sparks flying between Holly and Dane.  Dane is a blogger, and he’s about to have a book published.  His claim to fame is giving other guys advice about how to hook up with chicks.  Holly is a blogger, too, and her upcoming book is full of dating advice for women.  Dane is the very type of guy she tells her readers to steer clear of.  He’s only out for one thing, and he thinks long-terms relationships are overrated, and they are certainly not for him.  Holly has no intention of getting hung up on him, but after a journalist snaps a photo of them together, they are forced to pretend to a couple, at least for a few weeks.  Everyone is afraid that Dane’s book release won’t be successful if his readers think that Holly gave him the grand brush off.

As previously stated, I found the set-up a bit lame.  I did like the characters so much that I didn’t mind the paper-thin reason they were together.  Even though they are forced to see each other and be seen together, they quickly establish a camaraderie.  Holly has made Dane aware that under no circumstances will she sleep with him, and he’s just as determined to change her mind.  Even though Holly is driven to distraction by her attraction to him, she knows that he’ll just use her and move along, so she tells herself that he is firmly off limits.

After she discovers his deep, dark secret, Holly can’t help but fall for him.  In his younger days, Dane wasn’t much of a lady killer, and he’s worked hard to bury the memories of his younger self in the deepest part of his mind.  He doesn’t want to be that kid, and he’s devoted his life to being the man he is now.  When Holly treats him like he usually treats his women, he gets a taste of his own medicine – and discovers that maybe a long-term relationship isn’t such a bad thing.

I thought this was a cute read.  Both Dane and Holly are fighting a painful past, and neither of them wants to be hurt again.  Dane fights his inner demons with a single-minded intensity that is sad and admirable at the same time.  He is afraid of feeling helpless again, and he does everything in his power, including denying himself a loving, nurturing relationship, to ensure that he is never hurt again.  I could really sympathize with him, and it made his aversion to a committed relationship believable. 

Mr Virile and the Girl Next Door is an entertaining read, with likable characters. I would like to read a longer book by Gwen Hayes – can anyone recommend one?

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

Online dating columnist Dane Martin has no plans to give up his reign as bachelor extraordinaire. He has a reputation to uphold, especially with the upcoming release of his book Coming on Strong.

Holly Winters, everyone’s favorite girl next door, thanks to her blog of the same name, gives advice, but she doesn’t always take it. When she meets Dane Martin, every fiber of her being warns her to turn tail and run. Instead, she risks her future as an authority on relationships, jeopardizing her upcoming self-help book for women struggling to find commitment among the Virile sycophants.

Has the Girl Next Door tamed the most Virile man alive, or is she just another notch on the bedpost?