3.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Cinderella/Cinderfella College/University Contemporary Dee Dreamspinner Gay Gay Heat Index Little to no angst m/m May/December May/December Mild/low level heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Secret Identity Standalone

High Test by Elizabeth Noble

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents


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 threaten to expose his charade, Hayden thinks it’s all gone down the drain. Luckily Neal is ready with some innocent trickery of his own.

This is a cute May/December, cinderfella romance! Neal, older, wealthy guy meets Hayden, a struggling (car) engineering student. They meet and bond over a love of cars at a school function – where Hayden has to leave (without getting Neal’s contact info) to catch the last bus. They meet again and begin a slow romance.
It’s a cute story. They go out on a series of dates, getting to know each other before getting intimate. As Hayden falls for Neal, he needs to clear up the misunderstanding of who he really is, but before he can do so, it blows up in his face. Lucky for Hayden, Neal showed his maturity by making it a non-issue.
The supporting cast, including Steffie, Rick, Nathan and the dogs, round out the story nicely.
There were a few issues (for me) that did not make me love the story: 1. why would Neal, an astute businessman, assume that Hayden was related to the owners of the coffee company that owns the place Hayden worked at? 2. While the romance progressed slowly, it was still a bit surprising that they were already thinking marriage – Hayden had just graduated!

Other than that, it’s a sweet, pretty angst-free, cozy read.

3.75 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review


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