Mini Review: Tempting the Best Man by J Lynn

 

Title:  Tempting the Best Man

Author:  J Lynn

Publisher: Entangled Publisher

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Madison Daniels has worshipped her brother’s best friend since they were kids. Everyone thinks she and Chase Gamble would make the perfect couple, but there are two major flaws in their logic. 1) Chase has sworn off relationships of any kind, and 2) after blurring the line between friends and lovers for one night four years ago, they can’t stop bickering.

Forced together for her brother’s wedding getaway, Chase and Madison decide to call a truce for the happy couple. Except all bets are off when they’re forced to shack up in a tacky 70’s honeymoon suite and survive a multitude of "accidents" as the family tries to prove their "spark" can be used than for more than fighting. That is, if they don’t strangle each other first…

Review:

I didn’t realize that J Lynn is a pseudonym for Jennifer L Armentrout.  I would probably have read Tempting the Best Man sooner had I known.  I enjoyed Obsidian, though I thought it lost some stream near the end, but I didn’t find that to be the case here.  Tempting the Best Man clicks along at a rapid pace, taking place over the span of about a  week.  When a reservation snafu lands protagonists Chase and Madison together in the honeymoon cabin, Madison thinks she’s died and gone to hell.  She has been running away from her childhood crush on Chase, but no matter what she does, she just can’t get over her feelings for him.  Chase, on the other hand, treats her like a little sister, which drives Madison insane. 

While I found the setup improbable (Madison’s parents don’t blink an eye when the hotel’s management solves the room shortage issue by putting Madison and Chase in the same room),  I enjoyed the banter and conflict that kindled between the protagonists.  While Madison has always worn her heart on her sleeve, Chase has had to work hard at hiding his feelings for his best friend’s younger sister.   Chase is afraid of making any waves with Madison’s family; his parents’ relationship was so dysfunctional and his home life was so  awful that he found a much needed refuge at the Daniels’ house.  He is afraid of jeopardizing that, and so he rejects Madison at all turns, even when he knows that his actions will devastate her.  And they do.  Big time.

Tempting the Best Man is a quick, breezy read that’s perfect for an afternoon by the pool.   This is a very fast-paced story with one of my favorite romance tropes, and I zipped right through it. I enjoyed the conflict between the leads, and wondered why they were the only two who didn’t recognize the chemistry that zinged between them.

Grade: B/B-

Review copy provided by publisher

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Interview with Aleah Barley, Author of Too Hot To Handle and Giveaway!

Aleah Barley is the author of Too Hot to Handle, a smokin’ release from Entangled Publishing.  Aleah recently dropped by the virtual offices for a chat, so keep reading to see what she has to say about her new book. After the interview, enter for your chance to win a digital copy of Too Hot To Handle!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Aleah Barley] I’m a humorous (I hope) writer with a grumpy cat. I like cheese. :)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Too Hot To Handle?

[Aleah Barley] Too Hot to Handle is a quick paced book about a spunky woman, a studly guy, and some sexy cars. I think the tagline says it best: ‘He stole her heart, she stole his car.’

Oh, yeah, there’s also a decades old mystery, some car chases, and an arsonist to heat things up.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Aleah Barley] I wanted to write a noir mystery. That didn’t work, but it did start me thinking about a reserved, studly, detective hero and the woman who could match him step for step.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Honey?

[Aleah Barley] Smart, funny, and sarcastic. (‘and’ doesn’t count, right?)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Jack would never have in his bathroom?

[Aleah Barley] Soap shaped like seashells (I’ve never understood those), candles (unless Honey put them there), and a television (I’ve REALLY never understood that). Of course, there are a lot of other things he probably wouldn’t have either, including overpowering aftershave (he naturally smells like sweat, soap, and sex) and a pink elephant.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Honey’s single most prized possession?

[Aleah Barley] Before or after the events of Too Hot to Handle? Before, it’s probably her auto shop. She’s worked hard to build her own business, fixing cars in a rough part of town. Afterwards… Well, that would be telling. Suffice it to say, that when Jack gives it to her it doesn’t just symbolize everything they’ve been through together it also represents the love they share. Sexy, classic, and unique.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Aleah Barley] Terry Pratchett, Robert B Parker, and Jennifer Crusie. I like anything fast paced and hilarious. I’m open to suggestions.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Aleah Barley] I need my computer (I couldn’t live without my computer), but occasionally I make do with yellow legal pads and fun pens (I’m always trying out new pens, if you know a type of pen I should try then put it in the comments section). I definitely need coffee. If you could hook me up an IV of French Roast then I’d be in heaven.

I also need my cat to get off my computer. He likes the heat the motor gives off, he likes sitting in front of me so I can pet him, and he loves YouTube videos. If you know a way to distract a giant, moody, Maine Coone mix than please let me know.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Aleah Barley] Middlemarch. I was packing up my bedroom to move to Detroit and my sister tossed it at me. Believe me, if you ever get hit by a hard cover copy of Middlemarch it’ll knock your socks off too.

But, seriously, I was re-reading Carl Hiaasen’s ‘Native Tongue’ (You have a dirty mind, it’s not about that!) the other night and I was like "wow, this is really good." Also Beth Ciotta’s ‘Into the Wild.’ I love jungle romances.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Aleah Barley] When I was in second grade my teacher made us keep a list of all the books we read, and my mother and Colin’s mother got into a little competition about whose kid was reading more. He cheated (his mother let him double count books he’d already read while my mother only let me count new books), but I still won. I’m not sure which of the hundreds of books I read that year it was (Nancy Drew mysteries, Redwall books, The Chronicles of Narnia, etc.) but I’m sure it was one of them.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Aleah Barley] I like to go to the beach. I love the beach. I adore sand. So–of course–I live in the midwest. I hear that there are good beaches in Michigan, but I haven’t been to any of them yet.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Aleah Barley] My blog is www.aleahbarley.blogspot.com, my facebook is www.facebook.com/aleahrbarley, my twitter is (looks it up) https://twitter.com/#!/AleahBarley.

I also answer to skywriting.

I always tell people about the skywriting thing, and no one ever does it. I’m looking forward to the day I glance out my window and see my name written in the clouds.

And, be sure to check out ‘Too Hot to Handle’ at http://www.entangledpublishing.com/too-hot-to-handle/

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Ready for a chance to win a digital copy of Too Hot To Handle?  Just fill out the widget for your chance to win! Extra entries for following!  Open Internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t win? You can purchase Too Hot To Handle from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below:

Synopsis:

She was playing with fire…

Honey Moore has made a pledge: no more stealing cars and no more lusting after Jack Ogden. But when an arsonist torches her house and chases her all over Los Angeles, she’s forced to throw herself on Jack’s mercy. No one will look for a convicted felon in an LAPD detective’s apartment, right?

Jack doesn’t need a woman like Honey in his life. She might be sexy, but trouble follows her everywhere. But it’s hard to walk away from someone who lives at full throttle—and even harder to keep her safe. Now he’ll have to sacrifice everything to protect Honey from the arsonist determined to kill her.

Interview with Rita Oberlies, Author of Second Chances and Giveaway

Today is Entangled Publishing day at the café!  I have some interviews, starting with Rita Oberlies, and a review of one of Entrangled’s romance offerings.  Let’s get things kicked off by asking Rita a few questions.

Rita Oberlies is the author of Second Chances, and it features one of my favorite romance tropes.  I never get tired of reunion/second chance stories.  There’s an added depth to the protagonists’ relationship, and so many issues to work through before they find their HEA.  Let’s see what Rita has to say about Second Chances, and after the interview, enter for a chance to win a digital copy!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Rita Oberlies] A snark loving chocoholic who is addicted to family, books, Cape Cod, NCIS, Castle, sports, drug store lipstick and diet Dr. Pepper.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Second Chances?

[Rita Oberlies] Second Chances is about a young couple, Brenna and Luke, who connect on many different levels when they meet for the first time in college. Although they develop a loving relationship there are trust issues that prevent them from ever really seeing the ‘whole’ person. Ultimately they fall apart when one feels betrayed and the other feels blindsided by a family scandal. Six years later they’re back together in the same city. Luke wants a second chance and Brenna wants to avoid another crushing blow to her heart.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Rita Oberlies] I’m drawn to second chance at love stories. I think part of that stems from the constant barrage of high profile breakups we hear about in the news. It’s depressing to see couples fall apart. I always wonder what if they’re making a mistake. What if they just need time apart? If circumstances put them in the path of each other again, would they find a way to make it work?

This story is about giving a couple another opportunity to get it right with the person they belong with.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Brenna?

[Rita Oberlies] Independent, intelligent, kind

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Luke would never have in his bedroom?

[Rita Oberlies] Playboy magazine, a live plant, satin sheets

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Brenna’s single most prized possession?

[Rita Oberlies] Oh, that’s a tough question because she doesn’t really own many things. Can I cheat and say her grandmother? Wait there is something that I included that was just a subtle reference in the story. She kept a pair of Luke’s sweatpants from college in her bureau. This piece of clothing went with her when she moved to Florida and came back when she returned to Boston. It was one small sign that she hadn’t really let go of Luke or their past together.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Rita Oberlies] I grew up in a family where reading was considered the best hobby in the world. Every room in our house was stuffed with books and newspapers. By the time I was in the fourth grade I was already reading over a hundred books a year. My desire to write stems directly from my admiration for what other authors have created. I’m inspired and influenced every time I pick up a book.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Rita Oberlies] I need my laptop, a room with a window, and candy bars – oodles of candy bars.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Rita Oberlies] This will probably sound ridiculous but a lot of books knock my socks off. I’ve read three books this week that I absolutely loved.

· Easy by Tammara Webber

· Her Best Worst Mistake by Sarah Mayberry

· Butterfly Tattoo by Deidre Knight (I reread this every so often because it’s an amazing story)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Rita Oberlies] Back in fifth grade my teacher let me borrow her copy of “From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” by E.L. Konigsburg and I devoured it in one afternoon. Last year I reread it when my son was doing a school writing project and I fell in love with it all over again.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Rita Oberlies] My boys are still at an age where they like to do things with their parents (thank goodness) so we spend a lot of family time playing sports, watching movies, and hanging out at the Apple store. During the school year I also spend quite a bit of time volunteering at their school library or assisting with extracurricular academic programs. If I have alone time I almost always spend it with my Kindle.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Rita Oberlies] Readers can visit my website where they’ll find links to my blog, email and Twitter accounts. Reader feedback is just about the coolest part of getting published. I still send emails to my favorite authors – although now I try to pretend that I’m a mature reader and not a raving fangirl.

http://ritaoberlies.com

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!


GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Ready for a chance to win a digital copy of Second Chances?  Just fill out the widget for your chance to win! Extra entries for following!  Open Internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t win? You can order Second Chances from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the widget below.

Brief Bio:

Rita Oberlies grew up in the Boston area, the youngest in a family of six children.  At an early age she developed an addiction to books, baseball and the beaches of Cape Cod.

After graduating from Villanova University with a degree in English, Rita spent almost a decade pursuing a professional career in Employee Development.  With the arrival of two children, Rita began writing stories during those brief periods of time when her young sons were sleeping.

Today Rita resides in Western New York with her husband, their young boys, and a pair of adopted shelter dogs. Despite her best efforts, she remains addicted to books, baseball and the beaches of Cape Cod. Her novel, Second Chances, is her third published book.

Barnes and Noble Link:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/second-chances-rita-oberlies/1110853312?ean=2940014440202

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