August 17, 2018 04:58 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
For my Book of the Month choice this month, I have the final book of a contemporary romance series that is one of this author’s earlier works. Both the hero and heroine of this book were introduced in previous books of the series and have close ties to the other characters, but their book stands well on its own. In it, our heroine has decided to take control of her life along with her shares of the family-owned grocery store chain, but she’s going to have to face down her jerk of an older half-brother to make her case. She’ll be doing it over a long holiday weekend at the family estate, which she’s dreading. That’s why she asked a friend to come with her. When he can’t, he suggests another guy she’s had a crush on since meeting him to go in his place. Our hero isn’t too keen on accompanying her either at first, but he’s attracted to her, too, and eventually can’t resist the pull of being near her. So he ends up being her moral support, defender, and lover for the weekend. He would have liked to be a whole lot more if only her brother hadn’t interfered, casting a pall over their burgeoning relationship.
As a woman who is six feet tall, Madeline has found it difficult to date. Most men either find her intimidating, think she’s a lesbian, or simply see her as one of the guys. That’s a large part of why she’s been able to enjoy a successful sailing career as a woman, working with an entirely male crew. However, her love life has languished. The only two guys she was ever serious about both cheated on her with her half-sister, so Mad is still a virgin at twenty-five. She has a dysfunctional relationship with her two half-siblings and is basically estranged from them. If not for wanting to exert her independence by declaring her intent to start voting her own shares, she never would have attended the family weekend. Despite her physical size, Mad has a somewhat timid personality, so she knows it won’t be easy to stand up to her brother. That’s why Spike ends up accompanying her. Mad has been crazy attracted to Spike ever since she met him, but she doesn’t think he would ever give her a second glance. She harbors a lot of insecurities, so it takes her a while to accept that Spike really is into her. But when she misconstrues a moment she witnesses between her half-sister and Spike, she thinks history is repeating itself. I related to Mad quite well and admired her for finally taking control of her life. Although I’m not usually a fan of misunderstandings, in this case, I fully understood why she thought what she did when she saw Spike and Amelia together, and she gradually realizes that maybe she didn’t see what she thought she saw.
Spike is a celebrated French-trained chef who has worked hard to make it in the restaurant business. With his spiky hair, tats, large size, and motorcycle, he has bad boy written all over him. He’s definitely not from the world of the rich and famous, but given his line of work, he moves effortlessly among their ranks. His outgoing personality helps, along with his attitude of not really caring what anyone thinks of him. However, he’s haunted by the knowledge of something he did in the past, as well as the fact that he would do it all over again without hesitation. He tends to avoid relationships, because the only woman he ever got serious enough with to reveal the truth to turned her back on him afterward. He’s every bit as attracted to Madeline as she is to him, but he thinks he’s no good for her. He thought that he could indulge his fantasies with her and walk away at the end of the weekend, but it isn’t that easy. However, when Mad is the one who splits and her brother leads Spike to believe it’s because he revealed Spike’s past to her, he doesn’t have much choice in the matter. I love how Spike is there to support Mad, but he doesn’t simply take over like she’s a damsel in distress. He allows her to find her own independence, while simply backing her up. Despite his checkered past, he has a kind, gentle side and he’s devoted to his sister, as well as to Mad, once she let’s him in.
Overall, this book was a lovely, easy read that I greatly enjoyed. Spike and Mad were both wonderful characters, who were very likable and relatable. They each come into the relationship with baggage that creates some conflict, but it wasn’t too intense, and even while they’re working to get past all of that, I could tell that they were destined for one another. The story is well-written and nicely paced, and the love scenes have just the right amount of steam, while also expressing deep emotions. There was nothing I didn’t like, making this a perfect little read for me. That’s why I’m naming Jessica Bird’s (aka J. R. Ward’s) A Man in a Million aka The Rogue as my July Book of the Month. If you enjoy contemporary romance with a down-to-earth hero and heroine you can root for in an emotional story with a touch of dysfunctional family dynamics on the side, then you should definitely give this book a try. Keep reading to learn how you can win a copy for your own library.
Only one woman can get past his guard. The Moorehouse Legacy finale from New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward writing as Jessica Bird.
Madeline's been burned enough in the past to know better, but Spike is the only man that has caught her eye time and time again. For some reason, he's determined to avoid her, but when she desperately needs help to ward off her scheming family, Spike is the one at her side. And even though he says they can only be friends, his actions speak a very different story…
A reader-favorite story originally published as A Man in a Million.
Read my complete review of A Man in a Million aka The Rogue.
If you would like to win a copy of The Rogue to see how wonderful it is for yourself, just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Sorry, but the paperback version is OOP and I’m unable to find any new or like new copies for a reasonable price at this time. That being the case, one lucky winner will receive an eBook copy of the book, which I will gift to them via the eBook retailer of their choice (Amazon or B & N). Good luck!
International Entrants: You are welcome to enter my contest, but please note that not all eBooks are available in all countries due to copyright restrictions. If this is the case, Amazon does offer an option to trade for a gift card (I'm not sure about B & N).