Tuesday 29 March 2016

Blog Tour & Review ~ A Mess of a Man by AM Hargrove and Terri E Laine

A Mess of a Man by A.M. Hargrove and Terri E. Laine

Release Date: March 21, 2016

Book Description:

From USA TODAY BESTSELLING authors of Cruel and Beautiful, A.M. Hargrove and Terri E. Laine bring a new full-length standalone New Adult Contemporary Romance. This novel includes mature content, not suitable for younger readers. (Rated R) 

Womanizer, Man Whore, Player, Heartbreaker are all familiar names to Ben Rhoades. He prefers Money Man or Sex God, but he doesn’t let other people’s opinions rule him. And he’s only gotten worse without his compass, his best friend, whose devastating death at a young age has taught him a valuable lesson about not getting too close to anyone … ever. Until one smart and stubborn woman with eye-catching curves throws him for a loop and refuses to be tamed. 

Samantha Calhoun has her life on track even after the shattering break-up with the guy she’d thought she’d wanted to marry. With her chin held high, she focuses on her career, building her business and making a success of it all. Only a chance meeting has her lost in a set of alluring steel gray eyes that have her steps faltering and her heart leaping out of her chest. Forewarned by not-so-flattering rumors plus his no-holds-bar rules, she tries desperately to play his game while guarding her heart. 

Only they have no idea of the journey they’re about to undertake when their lives collide. Ultimately they’ll tackle the biggest test of their lives because she is his game changer. The one, who through the ensuing wreckage, can domesticate the mess of a man that he is. 

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There is finality to the sound of the door closing behind her. A sort of tormenting peace knowing the end has come. It’s not like I should have expected things to go on this way for long. How could they? 

I stare holes in the walls as if I can still see her, the one woman I let in. 

Sweeter than peach cobbler, she hardly has a bad thing to say about anybody—until now. Her parting description of me, beginning with ass and ending with hole, reverberates through my hollow heart, as I stand here rooted to my spot. I’m not even shocked, as this isn’t the first time I’ve been on the receiving end of that sentiment. I’m only surprised because I don’t think I’ve ever heard her so much as mutter a single curse word before. And the first time I do, it’s aimed squarely at me. 

My hands tighten around a tumbler filled with amber liquid before I toss back its contents hoping for oblivion or something close to it. This road is so familiar. Only this time is different. I never cared like I do now. She means more to me than a quick fuck. Hadn’t I been about to tell her just that? How could things have gone wrong so fast? 

Don’t be a dumbass. You can still fix this. 

Instead, I stubbornly stay embedded to my spot because nothing can change the outcome. It’s a truth she and I know will haunt me until my last breath. And it’s created a wall between us I’m unable to climb … even if you gave me a damn ladder. 

I’ve never been much of a risk-taker when it comes to matters of the heart. I can fill a bank account with a number having many zeros behind it from my astute choices in the market. But I can’t be a man a woman stays with. Hadn’t I warned her about that too? 

Unable to see past my own shitty existence, I long for her to come back. I want to believe it’s all been some kind of mistake and I can forget what I know to be true. As the seconds continue to tick by, the inevitability that things are really over sinks in. My window of opportunity quickly closes as fast as her car door slams and the engine fires to life. 

She’s so close, yet miles away. The longer I let the minutes expand between us I know distance won’t make the heart grow fonder. But maybe it’s for the best. Love, or whatever masquerades as it, just isn’t enough for the dirty, fucked up truth. Right when things were better than I ever expected, facts messed it up. 

Groaning, I launch the crystal glass worth a small fortune at the door I can’t seem to force myself towards. A beautiful show of light plays off the shards as they cascade down in an explosion of fireworks. Visually, it’s what I feel inside as desolation constricts and then obliterates my chest because the best thing I ever had is gone … leaving me with only the certainty I’m meant to be with her. 

I love you, I whisper for the first time and in place of goodbye. She left me and will never hear it. I can only pray we both survive what’s to come.

Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4 stars
***ARC received for an honest review***

“Sometimes, love isn’t enough.”

After reading Cruel and Beautiful by these two authors I fell in love with the way that these two write together and I was itching for this book. Although A Mess of a Man can be read as a standalone I do recommend you read Cruel and Beautiful first so that you can get an idea of the man that Ben Rhoades really is because the man in this book is quite frankly…a mess. While Cruel and Beautiful is not Ben’s story he does feature and you will get a greater understanding as to why Ben is the way he is for the majority of this book.

Ben Rhoades is going through the five stages of grief, except he hasn’t really moved on from stage one. Although it has been over a year Ben cannot move on from losing his best friend, a best friend he has had since child hood, he still goes to call him when he needs advice, he still talks to thin air in the vague hope that his best friend can hear and give him the impartial advice that he was renowned for, he feels him all around, yet he isn’t and Ben just isn’t coping very well.

His grief manifests itself in an intense work load and a manwhore type attitude. He daren’t get close to anyone just in case. He’s a heart breaker but he goes into liaisons letting the women know exactly what they are getting…nothing…just his dick. He is extremely closed off, extremely lost and flailing from day to day just trying to get through without losing his mind and trying his hardest to prove his self-worth to his Dad. His grief is deep and debilitating, as far as he is concerned there is no end in sight, he just desperately misses his best friend. As another “relationship” hits the skids because of their insensitivity towards his grief the last thing that is on his mind is another…but he hadn’t met Samantha…yet!

“He plows through women like a John Deere tractor.”

Samantha was beautiful on the inside and out, she is a hard worker, has her own business and is finding her way in the corporate world as an event planner and she is damn good at it. A random meet in the produce isle of the grocery store has Ben and Samantha crossing paths and while I would call this a bit of insta-lust, these authors make you wait for the real deal.  Samantha is unlucky in love and the broken and damaged Ben Rhoades is probably the last thing she needs but there is something about him that has her coming back for more and more.

Trust is the biggest issue between these two and they are making each other earn it, which is no bad thing but sometimes being upfront about certain things is the safest option, even if you think the end result could hurt. These two have a lot of ups and downs and yes I am being vague but you need to experience their journey first hand. It is hard, it is heart-breaking at times but most of all you feel that these two need each other. These two were so well suited, Samantha is compassionate and Ben has finally found his soul mate, someone that understands him, settles and centres him and most of all loves him. He has a hard transition, he makes his mistakes, but he makes up for them.

“I love you so much that your happiness means the world to me, even if I’m not the one giving it to you.”

This is a book about grief and compassion, about finally “adulting,” a voyage of self-discovery and recognising and facing your demons head on. A story about loving wholly and completely and recognising it for the blessing that it truly is. A story about sacrifices for those you love and putting yourself second and being their through thick and thin. But most of all about a friendship that meant the world and even though they may be around in body they will always be there in spirit, ever present with their words of wisdom.

“My heartbeat slows and echoes from the other side of the chasm created between us when she unknowingly ripped my heart out of my chest and left with it.”

While this was a slow starter for me by the end I was totally invested. Another great read from these two authors.

“You make me less of a mess of a man.”

About the Authors:

A.M. Hargrove: 

One day, on her way home from work as a sales manager, USA Today bestselling author, A. M. Hargrove, realized her life was on fast forward and if she didn't do something soon, it would be too late to write that work of fiction she had been dreaming of her whole life. So she made a quick decision to quit her job and reinvented herself as a Naughty and Nice Romance Author. 

She fancies herself all of the following: Reader, Writer, Dark Chocolate Lover, Ice Cream Worshipper, Coffee Drinker (swears the coffee, chocolate, and ice cream should be added as part of the USDA food groups), Lover of Grey Goose (and an extra dirty martini), #WalterThePuppy Lover, and if you’re ever around her for more than five minutes, you’ll find out she’s a non-stop talker. 

Terri E. Laine: 

Terri E. Laine, USA Today bestselling author, left a lucrative career as a CPA to pursue her love for writing. Outside of her roles as a wife and mother of three, she’s always been a dreamer and as such became an avid reader at a young age. 

In her early years, she and her best friend would tell each other stories over the phone when they were bored. They called them their "soap operas" and generally revolved around whatever boy they liked at the time. 

Many years later, she got a crazy idea to write a novel and set out to try to publish it. With over a dozen titles published under various pen names, the rest is history. Her journey has been a blessing, and a dream realized. She looks forward to many more memories to come. 

Connect with A.M. Hargrove: 

Connect with Terri: 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for loving Ben and Sam and sharing the book love! xx