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Publisher's Summary

His life was never easy. Hers wasn't supposed to be this hard. They come from different worlds, but fate lures them together in a way neither expected in Cecy Robson's raw, steamy series debut - perfect for fans of Monica Murphy and J. Lynn.

Evelyn Preston's future once looked perfect - until her wealthy father was caught in an embezzlement scandal and took his own life. Alone and struggling to pay her college tuition and bills, Evelyn finds a job as a waitress at the ultra-hip nightclub Excess, where she used to have more in common with the privileged private-school clientele than her fellow staff members. But something attracts her to the sexy six-foot-four bouncer and ex-army MMA fighter Mateo Tres Santos. Although they've led different lives, their troubled pasts bonds them in both survival and love.

Mateo wound up in prison for assaulting the man who harmed his sister. Now he's feeling the same protective impulse for this petite blond waitress. When Evelyn experiences a panic attack at the club, Mateo comes to her rescue. And when Mateo is wounded shielding her from a brawl, Evelyn returns the favor and comes to his aid. As their attraction intensifies, Mateo is determined to find out what nightmares are lurking in Evelyn's past - even if that means tackling his own to save her.

©2014 Cecy Robson, LLC (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Mercedes Moreno's blend of serious and seductive tones brings out the complexities of the characters' lives in this spicy adult novel. Evelyn Preston is no longer one of those spoiled rich kids who party at the nightclub Excess. Nowadays, she's hanging onto whatever pride she has by working hard to pay her tuition bills and get through nursing school. Moreno portrays Evelyn in tones of tension and fear, which are caused by her ex-boyfriend and memories of her father, who committed suicide. In contrast to this angst, Moreno uses soft seductive tones whenever Evelyn is thinking of, or in the arms of, Matteo Tres Santos - the nightclub's handsome and commanding bouncer. In her portrayal of Matteo, Moreno provides another balance of tender and tough. His protectiveness of his sisters and Evelyn is contrasted effectively with the tough nature of his job and the demons of his past. Moreno fully succeeds at capturing the provocative moods of this racy novel." (AudioFile Magazine)

What listeners say about Once Perfect

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

False Narrative: Latino Families

I was okay with the story and was actually very proud as a Latina, but then all that crap with letting your parent violate and abuse you without defending themselves. As a Puerto Rican, I can tell you that my uncles would not have tolerated that show. Not all Latino families are barbaric.

14 people found this helpful

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A bigger story than it seems

Evelyn (Evie) Preston is a waitress at a hip nightclub while at the same time attending nursing school and struggling to pay bills. It’s a bit of a comedown from her earlier life as the privileged daughter of a wealthy businessman just three years ago. His suicide following an embezzlement scandal changed everything, let alone personal traumas even she hasn’t fully acknowledged. Mateo Tres Santos is a bouncer at the nightclub, an imposing figure at 6’4” compared to the petite Evie. Circumstances bring these two together despite the chasm of differences but one thing they share is a strong sense of self and personal fortitude.

This book was a slow but growing burn for me. Initially I feared I wouldn’t be able to connect with either character or their relationship not just because of their ages (early twenties) but also because of Mateo’s underground MMA fighting. That’s just not my cuppa and I’ve avoided those stories. However (and it’s a big one), that’s just background and the real story is of two people grappling with real life issues, trying to make the best of their lives and figuring out how to move forward. To say their experiences are reflective of most people’s reality is understating the value of this story. I loved how both just dealt with their circumstances, struggled to create a relationship when most of those around them aren’t betting on them and kept moving forward. Mateo’s family values and cultural norms are a strong part of his identity and I was pleased to see that honestly portrayed. Evie’s issues were tragic and what made her more authentic was how there wasn’t a neat end or solution provided.

It’s a tough story but I eventually came to admire and truly like Evie and Mateo. They’re not stereotypes in any sense of the word and their lives and relationship are not easy. I didn’t think I’d want to continue the series but now I’m too invested to stop here. The narrator did a really good job of giving voice to both characters as well as to the secondary ones. This one is a keeper.

My thanks to Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer for providing me a complimentary copy.

10 people found this helpful

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Inspiring ending

I was not sure I would like this book. I have had it in my wish list for a while. I am so glad I finally listened to it. It was a great story of loving and staying together and true friendship.

6 people found this helpful

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LATINOS ARE NOT LIKE THIS SHIT!!! Also Shitty ending

Horrible representation of a culture! I could get past the HORRIBLE accents and name pronunciation, the machismo personality of the father and even the “don’t disrespect their parents” but NO latinos I know (my 20 ants and uncles and all my cousins) would stand by and watch a grown ass man attacking his family and just stand by. HORRIBLE HORRIBLE READ AND WAY TO SHOW OTHER RACES WHY THEY SHOULD HATE ON OUR CUSTOMS AND Families coming to the states!!!

4 people found this helpful

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Had potential to be good but…

First, I feel like this book blatantly misrepresents the Latino community. I understand the importance of tradition, being Latino myself, but to use that as justification for violence is ridiculous and insulting.
Second, I like the narrator’s voice but her constant miss pronunciation of several characters names was really annoying and could have been an easy fix.
Overall I feel like the story had the potential to be better. I do not recommend.

3 people found this helpful

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Stop recommending

I don't want to read this book and I wish audible would stop recommending it to me.

2 people found this helpful

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Entertaining

This was a great read. I laughed at parts and the innocents of Evenlyn and Mateo was handed some crappy cards. He defends his sister and he lands in prison. I laughed so hard at the cookie part. Loved it.

2 people found this helpful

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Just ok

This book was ok. The narrator was ok. The story was ehh. I was waiting for it really to go somewhere and then it ended 😂😂.

If it’s free go for it but definitely don’t waste a credit.

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really liked it :)

Her voice ia so cute and fits this very very well. Really cute love story with some heavy past stuff for then to get through.... it was everything I expected from the title but also a lot more too!

I laughed a lot. I cried happy and sad tears. I fell in love with the characters. I'll definitely be moving on to the next in the series :)

1 person found this helpful

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don’t waist your precious time

indeed, don’t waist any second! it is dull, boring, repetitive..I’ve skipped chapters at random. nothing paramount has been lost.

1 person found this helpful

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  • FBooks
  • 12-20-21

Gripping

I do not understand what kind of custom it that in the Latino family. I cannot imagine why it is ok for a father to be allowed to beat on his children without consequences. Evelyn, s dad is even worse for what he did to her, both she and Mateo have a lot of trauma to overcome from the past and Mateo is still dealing with his father's current abuse. Being there for each other helps them to get through their pain and chance to find love and some happiness in their lives . This story has emotional anguish that will get you straight in the gut.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs Barbara J Gibb
  • 01-29-22

Love Cecy Robson

Originally read this on kindle and got the audio made the characters so much more believable narrator did a great job. opposites attract on a big scale loved matteo and evie together.

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  • DameHelen
  • 01-23-22

really enjoyable

really nice read. kept the story bubbling all they way.
will definitely check out more from this author

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  • Zdibido
  • 01-22-22

enjoyable

this was an enjoyable book. loved how the love between these two grew. although got to admit Evy irritated ne a little.

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  • tee123
  • 01-19-22

Good story

not a bad story with alot of sensitive lines. kept me listening from start to end

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  • Babs
  • 01-10-22

Ending could of been better

I loved the characters and the chemistry. This story definitely touches on some sensitive topics which should come with a warning…. Abuse. However the story does have a happy ending. I just wish the last two chapters were better and I would of liked more focus on the two main characters and maybe even some success.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-09-22

Trigger warning needed

Far too many instances of men giving pet names like 'baby' to women in this story, long before their relationships warrant. The overly descriptive prose feels like filler on the word count.

Warning - Story involves rape and child abuse (sexual and other) and violence.

Good performance from Moreno, I'd listen to her again

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  • Tigger
  • 08-07-19

amazing book loved every bit of it

amazing read felt all the emotions even got angry on a few bits lol but best story so far can't wait for next book