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After Oscar #3

BTW: By the Way

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My assignment is simple: go to the Cape and seal the real estate deal for my most important client. No problem. I’m good at my job, I know how to close a sale, and this time won’t be any different.

Until I meet Sawyer, the sexy young bartender I accidentally kiss in the broom closet. Turns out, he’s one of the owners I’m here to negotiate with.

Okay, so that complicates things. As does the fact that he doesn’t want to sell. Or that we can’t keep our hands off each other despite being on opposite sides. And most of all… that I might be falling for him even though I know better. I’ve made the mistake of falling for a younger man before and I won’t do it again.


For me, family is everything, and nothing represents ours more than the Sea Sprite, the motel that’s been in my family for eighty years. Sure, others (*cough*James*cough*) may describe it as rundown or derelict or in desperate need of a wrecking ball. But I call it our legacy.

I’ve got plans -- big plans to renovate the motel back to its vintage glory. The only thing standing in my way is James Allen, the fancy-schmancy lawyer from New York with his adorable smile, jaw-dropping assets, and his client’s millions of dollars.

James seems hellbent on destroying my future. But maybe there’s a way for us to build a new one together...

252 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 10, 2020

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About the author

Lucy Lennox

73 books3,525 followers
I write M/M romance with humor, heart, and heat. Check out my backlist here on GR for a selection of series and standalone or visit www.LucyLennox.com!

I only keep a small list of my very favorite books and series in my bookshelf here. I read A LOT and it's hard to keep the list updated!

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5 stars
801 (44%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 217 reviews
Profile Image for Snjez.
717 reviews353 followers
June 9, 2020
2.5 stars

I wasn't really feeling this story right from the start, so it's probably my fault for continuing anyway.

I found the story too predictable, which is not necessarily a bad thing - I usually enjoy the journey the characters take to find their HEA. However, this one was predictable in a way that made this journey not so interesting.

There's insta-love. I get insta-attraction, but I don't see how you can think about a future together after only a few days. There was also something about how James and Sawyer acted in certain situations and their sudden decisions that made the whole thing even less believable to me.

The characters are likable, it was cute at times, but overall it was too sweet and too unrealistic for my taste.
May 13, 2020
Three cheers for Sawyer and James!

I liked everything about this book: enemies to lovers, age gap, beach setting, great secondary character, romantic HEA.

This is very much an insta love kind of story. James and Sawyer have a connection from the moment they lay eyes on each other. Even after Sawyer realizes James is the lawyer representing the investment firm that wants to buy Sawyer's grandparents' resort, he can't stay away.

James treats Sawyer with such kindness, even helping him with the design plans for the resort's renovation. Sawyer's dream is to return the resort to its original glory. He loves small town life, while James is a NYC kind of guy. Or is he? James hasn't lived for himself in a long time.

I do wish the story had been sexier. There are a few sexy scenes, but they are mostly muted and fade to black, which is not something I've come to expect from Lucy Lennox. (Don't mind me, though; I'm a perv.)

I also think the Oscar tie-in is completely unnecessary. I know that's the concept behind the series, but I felt like the authors were grasping at straws here. James had a couple text conversations with Oscar that were a throwaway.

But these are minor complaints. I really did enjoy this story (it's definitely my favorite of the three books thus far). Thank goodness this one's nothing like book two, which I almost DNF.
Profile Image for Cadiva.
3,280 reviews299 followers
May 10, 2020
Another fabulous entry in this very sweet and funny series from Lucy and Molly.

Up this time is James, the lawyer from book one, and he finds love when he goes to close a deal on a rundown motel on the Cape.

What i really enjoy about this series, and especially in this book, is that there's no unnecessary dramedy.

The tensions are created from situations which feel completely natural to the narrative.

Here it's Sawyer feeling he wouldn't be good enough to fit into James' New York city life, while James is fearful he's killed all his chances because of his involvement in a deal to buy the inn Sawyer loves so much.

There's an easy pace to the story, it just flows beautifully from chapter to chapter and draws itself along to a deserved conclusion.

Thoroughly enjoyable and nicely steamy without ever going into overkill.

I'm interested to see how book four goes, as it will focus on Richard, James's ex boyfriend, who seems superficial on the surface but who I suspect has much more to him.

#ARC kindly received from the authors in return for an honest and unbiased review.
Profile Image for *J* Too Many Books Too Little Time.
1,921 reviews3,437 followers
May 25, 2020
3.5 Stars!

I didn't read the other books in the series, some mixed reviews across my GRs friends. Lucy Lennox is hit or miss for me. I've loved some of hers but then gotten tired of some of the endless series' and OTT antics.

The blurb on this one appealed to me, so I thought I would give it a shot. And I enjoyed it. Didn't wow me but I really liked Sawyer and James. And I enjoyed the Cape setting.

It was an easy read that kept my attention. Moderate to low in the steam department which was a bit disappointing. But all in all a recommended read and I may check out Richard's book after meeting him in this one.
Profile Image for Lelyana's Reviews.
3,252 reviews380 followers
May 9, 2020

I took this book too seriously. It's an everyday story, yet the story made me cry. BTW is a wonderful story with a happy ending.
Highly recommended!

I was blown away. Sawyer and James are a dream couple. Their romance didn't go really smooth, it was full of ups and downs, mostly doubts.
This was an enemy to lovers served on silver plate.
One day Sawyer and James wanted to rip each other clothes, by the next morning they wanted to rip each other throats, literally.
But when love find us, it always find the way. I always believe it.
I liked how much love James and Sawyer showed each other. Yeah it's an insta-love affair between them, but it felt real, you know.
I can felt the frustration when they're realized that they're actually on the opposite to each other.
But like I said, love will find the way, this time, through Oscar! Oscar, the king of ex-boyfriends :)
I really love Sawyer, OMG Sawyer can make me cry! It's not everyday a main character make my cold heart melt! But Sawyer, he's the sweetheart, no wonder James falling head over heels for him.
Gave up everything just to be with Sawyer and built a new dream. Sigh.
Now I just cannot wait to read the next installment about Richard (James's ex), and mostly about Oscar!
Highly recommended!

Profile Image for Vanna  on semi hiatus.
564 reviews55 followers
May 30, 2020
4 Loved it Stars!!😍🤩 This book totally redeemed the series for me.. after "LOL" 😱 I wasn't sure if I was even interested in the rest of the stories of all those characters..🙄 Thankfully, James had been a supporting character in "IRL" and seemed like a likable person stuck in an blase` relationship.
When we catch him in this book, it has been a few months since he broke up from his then boyfriend and he seems ready to move on. He is in Cape Cod to close a deal to buy a sea-side hotel/inn for his rich client (who is incidentally the father of his ex). While out exploring the area he meets a young, sassy/flirty bartender and sparks fly immediately😍. But before anything can happen between the two, he realizes that the cute bartender is actually one of the owners of the hotel with whom he has to negotiate about the hotel buy-out. 😳
For his part, Sawyer (cute bartender) is instantly attracted to the handsome stranger in his Uncle's bar but when he finds out the next morning that the "stranger" is actually the lawyer who has come with an offer to buy his grand-father's hotel (which has been in his family for generations) to raze it to the ground and build a resort in its place; he is beyond mad😡. Not only does he feel betrayed, he also feels the pressure from his uncles who all are in a bind and would benefit from the sale. The only person holding up the sale, is him because he feels that he could revive the hotel to it's former glory with renovations.
Despite being adversaries, neither Sawyer nor James are able to resist their attraction to each other and soon find themselves steaming up James's hotel room💞🔥. However, with James's job being so dependent on this acquisition and with Sawyer being so opposed to the sale, can they find a happy medium? 💔Even if Sawyer relents and agrees to the sale, is he ready to leave the familial bonds of Cape Cod and move to New York to be with James?😢 And how long can James keep putting his job before his relationships? 💘
BTW is a great story which illustrates very clearly how two really good people, both with genuine reasons can be on opposing sides. It also highlights that one doesn't have to win to be a winner🏆 and sometimes one has to go all in to find true love💘. Highly recommended!! 👍👍
P.S. I'm curious about Oscar, but is he that important that we have the series named after him? 🤷‍♀️At this point in the series, he is not at all relevant or connected to the stories..🤔
Profile Image for Denise H..
2,913 reviews201 followers
June 12, 2020
Two men who have been waiting for the "one" !
* Sawyer, 26, with dirty blonde hair is running the Sea Sprite resort in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, but his renovation plans aren't cheap, and his three Uncles want to sell the 80 yr. old family legacy.
* James, 38, NYC, is a fancy Lawyer with salt n' pepper hair, who needs to land this resort deal to please his greedy boss and not lose his lonely, but lucrative job.
Each man has wanted the same thing in his core; someone to love, grow with and raise a family together. Neither has found that.

To Sawyer his family legacy is everything, his priority. James is trying to please his boss, and has been a slave to his work.
So, we see their attraction grow, the sexy times flow, and the complications mount.

We get to know our men's thoughts, and this story is fascinating, easy to follow, and meaningful.
Highly recommended. The epilogue is great !

Profile Image for haletostilinski.
1,166 reviews354 followers
June 4, 2020
This was good, I enjoyed it.

James is Conor from the first book's best friend, who we met in book one and who seemed to have...not the best boyfriend.

Well in this he and his boyfriend are now exes, but James is still working for his father, who is a reach realtor business man, and said man sends James to a small town near Boston to snatch up an old, run down motel so he can build a luxury hotel to compete with this other guy.

So James goes, and on his first night there before he's supposed to meet with the people who own the motel, James meets Sawyer, who works at the only bar in town and who also happens to be one of the four owners of the motel.

They hit it off before either know who the other is, though, and there is instant attraction and feelings between them.

But the next day when Sawyer finds out who James is, things sour, although a the same time Sawyer can't help but be attracted to and drawn to James.

I loved this third installment, I enjoyed these two together and I thought they were cute together. I did give this a star off because I felt their love happens very quickly and very rushed. It wasn't too rushed that I felt it was badly done or anything, but it's just that these two are ready to be together for the long haul after like...1 whole week or so, and that's just way too fast, in my opinion. They could have given it a few more weeks or months, at least.

Also, the sex was lacking in this. These two had chemistry and the romance was definitely there, but the sex in this was very glossed over, not very detailed, and just disappointing all around. Like no, we don't need a ton of sex scenes, but at least one or two detailed sex scenes would have been nice, especially for their first time - which was way too glossed over for my liking. If you include sex scenes, do better with them, please, be detailed, otherwise what's the point of having them?

Otherwise I really liked this, and it was enjoyable, I definitely recommend. I can't wait for the next book in this series too. Wonder who it will be about ;)
Profile Image for Bookreader87(Amanda).
933 reviews31 followers
June 4, 2020
S & J

3.25 stars

Cute story. Definitely better than the last.

Sawyer is trying to save his family's inn when a lawyer comes into town to strike a deal that can change everything.
Profile Image for Santy.
1,162 reviews62 followers
May 31, 2020
Why o why did I wait so long to review this? Its been like two weeks and many books later since I read this so this review is going to be vague.

What I do know is that I enjoyed reading this book as with the other books in the series. The chemistry between James and Sawyer was palpable; even when they were on opposite sides so to speak.

I liked the progression of their relationship and the characters that helped it along. Hell I even liked the annoying ex by the end of the day. Oscar, of course made an appearance(albeit virtually) but he was funny and impactful in his own special way all the same).

Their HEA was the perfect solution for their conundrum and I had a goofy smile by the end of the epilogue. I will definitely be reading the next in the series.
Profile Image for Jennie.
697 reviews22 followers
May 12, 2020
An easy, enjoyable, somewhat predictable love story about 2 men from different backgrounds and lives who compliment each other perfect if they could just overcome the obstacles in their way.
Profile Image for Kerish |  Wesmie.
159 reviews4 followers
July 1, 2020
3.5 stars!
Really liked James and Sawyer! Especially James! This can be considered as instant love but you would really see that they had more than just physical attraction.
A bit lacking on sexy times especially that there has been a lot of tension, teasing and staring so basically you'd expect more than fast sex parts, right?
And I felt that there were some things missing in the plot AND things that were there but unnecessary.
Like for example- I know that James was happy and he loved it there, but would have loved to see more of his thoughts about moving to McBride. It has been great nonetheless and I would love to see more of James and Sawyer 💙
31 reviews
May 13, 2020
I really struggled to get through this book, which surprised me, because I usually love a good Lucy Lennox book. Looking thru the reviews, I’m obviously in the minority here, so this may be a case of it’s not you, it’s me.

The good...proper grammar and punctuation. Which can go a long way to elevating an otherwise boring story.

The bad...this was a boring story. I had zero connection to the MC’s, I didn’t feel a connection between the MC’s, I hated the setting and how building up a broke down motel was the backbone, and I really hated how predictable this book was. Before finishing ch. 1 I knew exactly how this story would play out and how it would end. Which is likely why I found it so boring.

Hopefully the next book will be a better fit for me.
Profile Image for Anabela.M..
959 reviews15 followers
May 12, 2020
At one point of BTW I had this image in my head of James and Sawyer, guns out, one facing the other in a Wild West shootout. But somehow, the confrontation ended up inside the saloon, or the Sea Sprite Inn, as it were, with them making out and having sex.

Because that was pretty much how things worked between them for a part of the book, one moment fighting and the next all over each other. No doubt, they burned hot either way, and I had so much fun seeing them on opposite sides of a negotiating table over the Sea Sprite's fate, enemies yet incredibly attracted to each other.

And, although I expected a happy ending, I was excited to see how the authors would solve their differences. THAT, you'll have to discover by yourselves, because you don't want to miss this stunning, funny, hot, romantic story. I loved it!
Profile Image for Amanda.
1,322 reviews47 followers
May 23, 2022
This was still a good Lucy/Molly book but it was just lacking that extra something. An easy read, but overall probably forgettable.
Profile Image for Resch Reads.
1,051 reviews32 followers
May 18, 2020
I was delighted when I saw the next book in the After Oscar Series was recently released. I read the synopsis and thought that this might be just the book I was looking for, but yet it left me somewhat disappointed as I read the last page.

I liked both James and Sawyer as characters, they had an undeniable chemistry and it was fairly obvious, early on that these men were going to click. There were numerous giggle worthy moments in the first quarter of the story and they had me excited for the rest of the book. From their meet cute to their actual meeting...I was grinning like a fool. But as the story progresses, it loses some of this initial magic.

I think a big portion of this is that this book is an insta-love story. I mean, they knew each other for several days, had a few external encounters, and they both were willing to throw away their entire lives for each other. And this was just something I couldn't buy into. Throughout the rest of the story there was a voice in the back of my head constantly whispering how they hardly knew each other and had no foundation for a relationship. Which I mean, it wasn't wrong. There are some tender, heartfelt moments but at the end of the day, I don't really know what makes either of these men tick on a deeper level.

The ending was stupidly cute and I liked the Oscar tie in throughout the story. It was enough to pull Oscar into the story and shed more light on him but at the same time, he didn't control the story line. I loved that you got glimpses of the previous couples in the series but I have to say that the Author's Note mentions the next story is James' ex...and I really, really, really don't like that.
Profile Image for Joyfully Jay.
7,386 reviews419 followers
May 21, 2020
A Joyfully Jay review.

4 stars

BTW follows along with the After Oscar series, where the books are connected by one of the MCs being an ex of a character named Oscar. Sawyer and James’ story takes this series to a romance where city guy meets small town guy and, if you read a lot of romance, you already know from that description how it will end. However, it was enjoyable getting there.

The attraction between the men is instant and heated from the first glance and from the first meeting. The guys know they have found the one, but there is a lot standing in their way. The emotions of the relationship do move quickly, but I was okay with that here and, while there are a few small misunderstandings, they move on quickly as the guys want to be together. If you have been following this series, this book is also a lot less OTT than the previous ones, which worked much better for my tastes.

Read Michelle's review in its entirety here.
Profile Image for LauraSt.
1,264 reviews45 followers
May 17, 2020

I loved this so much! Sawyer and James were beautiful together. My favorite kind of insta-love with a mini enemies to lovers plot going on.
We also get to see Wells and Conor, which I adored!

I’m actually looking forward to Richard’s story, and cannot wait for our Oscar’s story!
Profile Image for Caipi.
958 reviews33 followers
May 12, 2021
I really was unsure of how this could end. The chemistry between James and Sawyer was awesome but how could the author give them their hea with Sawyer's family's legacy on the line? I was afraid that I would dislike James in the end.....
But yeah, James found a way and I was happy. 😊

4.5 stars
Profile Image for ConM.
789 reviews9 followers
May 14, 2020
Sweet. A romance trope I dislike reared its ugly head at the end, but otherwise a nice, fluffy romance.
Profile Image for Sarah.
491 reviews7 followers
June 10, 2020
Band 1 war suuuper, Band 2 hatte keine Handlung, mit Band 3 ist das Autorinnenduo wieder back to form. Hat mir gut gefallen, will jetzt dann aber auch mal ein Happy End für Oscar!
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
992 reviews26 followers
May 19, 2020
What a charming book. I love Sawyer and James. Feelings develop fast here which is usually a turn off but, it woks here. The chemistry is amazing and the relationship really works.
Profile Image for Pingmg.
489 reviews18 followers
November 18, 2020
Finally, James' story and it was so good. He and Sawyer were just perfect together. Low angst, sweet moments together, all the conflicts were settled nicely and the story was wrapped up with cameo from Conor and Wells, even citing Roman and Scotty. They were really cute as a couple. Waiting for the fourth book on Richard's story and hopefully, the end (5th book) wraps up with Oscar's story.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Gabbi Grey.
Author 21 books200 followers
July 13, 2020
Enemies to lovers with all the feels (an audio review)

I’m a huge Lucy Lennox/Molly Maddox fan and when I found out this book was coming to audio, I was ecstatic. Enemies to Lovers in one of my favorite tropes – when it’s done well. In this case, it’s done very well.

Sawyer owns a family caravan park by the ocean. It’s been in his family for eighty years and despite its desperate need for renovation, he’s dedicated to keeping it going. He lost his parents tragically when he was in high school and has, very recently, lost both grandparents. He’s a quarter owner of the property with his three uncles and where he sees potential, they see dollar signs.

James is a big shot New York lawyer. He works for a ruthless man who decides he wants property and will do anything to acquire it. Often at the point he loses interest – for him it’s all about the chase, the hunt. James lives on adrenaline, and securing the property in this little itty bitty town on Cape Cod is a no-brainer. He just has to see how little he can pay for the valuable property.

So there’s the conflict – James wants to buy and Sawyer doesn’t want to sell. And it’s all about the arguments and debates and, eventually, the reality. That each finds the other sexy. That there’s good within each of them. That they might even fall in love. With a conflict so strong and defined, and with no way out, I did wonder how I was going to get my happy ending – one would have to yield, right? Give up everything he’s wanted?

Ah, but I wasn’t creative enough – which is why I’m the reader and Maddox/Lennox are the authors. I got my happy ending with all the wonderful feels without feeling cheated. Man, Sawyer and James had to work hard for their happily ever after, but I think that made it all the more special.

Okay, time to mention Michael Dean. I’ve said so many good things about him, but it bears repeating that he’s talented and did a great job with this audio. There are two more books in the series and I can’t wait.
Profile Image for Amy Dufera - Amy's MM Romance Reviews.
2,683 reviews119 followers
May 11, 2020
BTW (By The Way) by Lucy Lennox and Molly Maddox is a feel-good, enemies to loves romance. This book grabbed onto me immediately and kept me riveted throughout. Part of the After Oscars series, it is easily read as a standalone.

Sawyer and James are complete opposites who end up finding their real passion with each other. They are full of intense want for one another, as well as intense hate. Sawyer is a small town boy trying to restore his family's inn. When James, a lawyer comes to town to work on buying the inn for his clients, the two naturally butt heads.

The differences between these two men is well established. Sawyer is a man with a vision for restoring his family's legacy. He's a man who's set on keeping his inn intact, all while improving it and proving to his family that he can do so. James is a total workaholic. I adore the way he and Sawyer start to bond despite their conflict and differences. His character growth is fabulous, with him needing to redefine his priorities.

The authors have created a memorable atmospheric read, with amazing descriptions of the land and scenery. Cap Cod's atmosphere is easily felt throughout, with the nostalgia jumping off the pages.

I enjoy the family issues and especially Sawyer's cousin, who adds a whole lot of fun to the story. The way Sawyer and his uncles relate to each other takes this story to another level. They certainly aren't just all about the money, as they have layers that make them likable as well. Personally, I can definitely relate to Sawyer's sentimental side and enjoy it throughout.

Written in alternating first person pov, the characters are well developed and easy to understand. The writing style is wonderfully soothing, with these two authors forming a stellar writing duo.

BTW (By The Way) is a sentimental tale of two men with conflicting life goals. This Lucy Lennox and Molly Maddox story is sweet and compelling. It's a fabulous mix of enemies to lovers and opposites attract, combining plenty of heart, humor, and heat. I love it all and couldn't put it down.
Profile Image for Amy B..
307 reviews
May 16, 2020
4 Stars

The blurb does a good job of telling you what this is about, but here we have 38 year old corporate attorney James, who is sent by his most important client to purchase a dilapidated seaside hotel owned by the same family for 80 years. On his first night he meets an intriguing 26 year old bartender and they share a kiss before James realizes his hot bartender is actually one of the hotel owners. Sawyer has had an incredible amount of loss in his young life, and his dream is to revitalize his family’s legacy. So how can he fall for the guy who is tearing away his dream?

What I liked:
- Both characters are well fleshed out. They’re complicated and a bit frustrating and pretty real.
- Supporting characters were appealing and featured the exact right amount
- The fact that James’ ex-boyfriend Richard wasn’t a villain (read what I didn’t like for the other side of this)
- The sexual dynamic was not what I expected, which was a welcome surprise

What I didn’t like:
- This all happened VERY fast (like a week?). The characters spend a decent amount of time together and have some good conversations, but they really don’t know each other that well. I’m finding that I am definitely a fan of the slow burn more.
- The resolution to the big conflict was a bit too perfect (though this is romance, so criticizing the HEA for being too perfect is probably not fair)
- In a previous book (IRL), Richard was a total jerk. Here, Richard is pretty sympathetically portrayed. I had a bit of whiplash because IRL made me eager to see James kick Richard to the curb, and here Richard isn’t actually that bad. He’s the MC of the next book, and I’m all for redeeming a jerk character in his own book, but I’m still not sure which version/impression of Richard is the true one...

But overall I really enjoyed it!
Profile Image for Mari  Cardenas.
2,028 reviews24 followers
May 11, 2020
4.5 Stars!

While BTW can be read as a standalone, I really suggest reading the other books in the series at some point, they are really good. 

I really liked James and Sawyer, who found themselves on opposite sides of a deal that will mean Sawyer will lose his grandparents' inn, which he'd hoped to be able to fix and restore to its former glory. 

For one part, James is struggling between doing his work, his growing attraction to Sawyer and the realization that maybe the right thing to do is not what he thought it would be at first. And for the other, Sawyer is torn between wanting to make his lifelong dream a reality and realizing he might want James just as much, even if the reality of them being together, with James being a NYC hotshot lawyer and Sawyer being, well, himself, is not as easy as he would've liked. They were both good men, though, and they fit together perfectly. Sawyer was younger than James's ex, but he had a good head on his shoulders, he was hardworking and knew what he wanted. And James, he was sweet and supportive, trying to do the right thing even if he wasn't sure he was on the right side of the fight. They had a lot of chemistry and were very hot together. 

I loved learning more about the elusive Oscar and I really hope we'll find out more about him in the next installment. 

Overall, this was a great read. Fun and hot and romantic with some angst thrown in for good measure and the quality writing that characterizes Ms. Lennox and Ms. Maddox. I have no trouble recommending BTW or any of the books in the series and I'm already looking forward to the next one! 

*** Copy provided for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***
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