Wedding fever has hit the little town of Marietta…
As the whole town goes crazy over the celebrity wedding event of the century, Melanie Richards decides she’s tired of blending in. It’s time go after what she wants. Her to do list:
Get a sexy dress
A little liquid courage
Lose that pesky virginity
Luke Shuller can’t believe his eyes when he walks into Grey’s and sees his best friend trying to pick up some drunk cowboy. Melanie wants to start hooking up? She can practice on him. At least he’ll keep her safe. And as a bonus, their pretend relationship will help him deal with a family crisis.
But when pretend gets real, Melanie can’t tell where the charade ends and reality begins. When the dust settles, will she get thrown back into the friend zone, or will she finally get the man of her dreams?
Source: ARC from Tule Publishing via NetGalley
Unusually for a Tule multi-author series, this latest offering from the Montana Born Brides series really does follow on from the last book (Bride By Mistake). Luke is the older brother to the previous heroine and spends much of this book growling and gnashing his teeth over the fact that his sister has been made pregnant by his ex-best friend and that is a Terrible Thing! Truthfully, Luke is a bossy, pig-headed, stubborn fool who should spend less time telling everyone else what to do and sort out himself first.
Luckily for him, his other closest friend, Melanie, is on hand to divert his attention. Melanie has been attracted to Luke for years, but childhood issues and the risk of losing his friendship have always held her back. Those same issues have also held her back from relationships, and now, at twenty-eight, she’s finally decided it’s time to stop holding back and get out there. After all, she doesn’t want to be a virgin forever and it’s clear Luke will never notice her. Until he does, of course, and things take a steamy turn for the… well, hopefully better.
This is a sweet friends-to-lovers tale dealing with a stubborn man and an awakening woman. Both of them are riddled with fear, but only one of them has the clarity of mind to realise it. I liked Melanie, she’s nice and straightforward and bakes cakes for a living (why is everything I’m reading lately to do with food? It’s a good job I don’t really like cakes or I’d be the shape of a balloon by now). She’s also not afraid to call Luke out on his unreasonable behaviour. In fact, it’s only thanks to her that Luke has a hope of appearing human at all.
She also says one of my favourite lines during a romantic declaration ever: “If you’re throwing around the love word, but you’re not going to apply it to me, I’m pretty sure I’m well within my rights to punch you in the face.” Aw, she says the sweetest things.
As for Luke. Well, since I adored Bennett from the last book so much, he was unlikely to ever fully win me over, so I’m not surprised that he didn’t. He really is just too bossy and take-charge, while remaining blind to his own troubles and faults. His double-standards with regards to sex were so irritating, but Mel doesn’t let him get away with it – actually she doesn’t let him get away with much of his idiot-behaviour, though he still manages to pull some dumb stunts (garlic bread springs to mind). However, there is hope for him and he does have his good points. It’s clear that he does genuinely care about his sister and Mel, and his insecurities relating to his dyslexia definitely made me sympathise with him. When I wasn’t shaking my head and tutting.
In all this is another good tale from both Marietta and the Montana Born Brides series. There’s some delicious chemistry here, some steamy scenes, a lot of psychoanalysing, a few blunt home truths and plenty of enjoyable romance. Another great addition to the series – can’t wait for the next one!
Finally His Bride is out May 25th!
Visit Maisey Yates for more details.