Ready the Pickles, Keane Morgan is finally here!
Meet Keane in this STANDALONE romantic comedy!
(No Prior reading required)
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2a5ezvc
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/29XGgau
Keane Morgan wouldn’t return any of my calls or texts, and I was pissed as hell about it. I didn’t want to drive from Seattle to L.A. with the guy any more than he wanted to drive with me, but I had no frickin’ choice in the matter–at least, not if I wanted to use his brother Dax’s coveted parking spot at UCLA.
Okay, so it turned out Keane was objectively gorgeous, and, fine, pretty funny, too. But did he have to be so damned in love with himself? I mean, jeez, the cocky way he flashed those dimples was just so orchestrated. And, honestly, what kind of guy uses the phrase “baby doll” with a straight face? Oh, that’s right: the kind of guy who’s a male stripper.
Yup, the cocky jerk turned out to be Seattle’s answer to Magic Mike, a stripper known as “Ball Peen Hammer”–which meant Keane Morgan was emphatically not the kind of guy I’d ever fall for.
Not. At. All.
No freakin’ way.
Well, until Keane convinced me to fall for him, that is.
Which I did.
As they exchange information, I make my way to the end of my aisle and loop into theirs, not taking my eyes off Baby Face the whole time. Shit. This dude’s hunting Maddy so hard, it’s making my blood boil. Jesus, he’s going full-throttle rifle on Maddy’s ass right now, completely foregoing his crossbow altogether.
When I reach the two of them in the middle of their aisle, I shuffle past the dude and stand next to Maddy, shoulder to shoulder, and then, on a sudden impulse, put my arm around her shoulders and squeeze her tight, making her wobble in place at the unexpected jolt to her balance. “Hey, sis,” I say, squeezing her like a rag doll. “You totally fell down on your candy-acquiring duties.”
“I know. I’m sorry.” She subtly wiggles out of my grasp. “Brian and I got into this hilarious argument about the best candy bar of all- time, and—”
“And I’m totally right,” Brian says, cutting her off, and they both chuckle at some inside joke.
“No, I’m totally right,” Maddy corrects.
Brian smiles at her. “I’ll actually be down in L.A. in a month. How ’bout I call you then?”
“Nice to meet you, man,” Brian says, looking at me. He nods but doesn’t put out his hand.
I nod back.
Brian strolls away, buys a Snickers bar and a can of Red Bull, and leaves with a little wave to Maddy.
The minute he’s out the door, Maddy takes a giant step away from me, her face etched with annoyance. “What was that?” she asks.
“That weird thing you just did?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Maddy puts on an exaggerated scowl, like she’s Hulk Hogan eying an opponent. “’Hey, Brian,’” she says in a low voice, clearly intending to imitate me but sounding more like Arnold Schwarzenegger imitating Maddy imitating me. “’I’m Maddy Milliken’s bodyguard and I’m going to beat you the hell up now,’” she adds.
“What are you talking about?” I say, chuckling.
Maddy pauses, assessing me, and finally shrugs. “Nothing. I guess I imagined it.”
“Your weird… I dunno… vibe.”
“Oh, well, yeah. I was worried about you.”
“Worried about me? I was standing in a minimart, buying candy. Pretty low-risk activity, I’d say.”
“Uh, you absolutely were not standing in a minimart, buying candy—you totally fell down on that job, dude. You were standing in a minimart, getting picked up by a douche. And second of all—”
Shit. What the fuck am I doing? I’ve got to stop this shit right now. “Don’t get riled up, baby doll,” I say in my most soothing voice. “All I’m saying is you took so damned long in here, I started thinking maybe the store was getting robbed or you’d fallen into the toilet or something.”
Maddy twists her mouth. “Brian didn’t seem the least bit douchey to me.”
I shrug. “What gave you the impression he’s a douche?”
“Just a figure of speech. So are you gonna do the job I hired you to do or not?” I motion to the candy rack. “‘Cause based on your performance thus far, you’re totally fired.”
“And I wasn’t getting ‘picked up,’” Maddy says, her tone full of indignation. “Brian’s brother goes to UCLA. Can’t I talk to a helpful, nice guy without it being some sort of a sleazy pick-up?”
“Sure you can. However, in this instance, you were talking to a helpful, nice guy who was picking you up so he can bone the living fuck outta ya.”
“Keane.” Maddy’s cheeks burst with color. “Don’t say that. Oh my god. You’re insane. Brian was just being helpful, that’s all.”
“Yeah, so he can bone the living fuck outta ya.”
“Stop saying that. Please. It’s offensive and absolutely not true. This topic of conversation is officially over.”
Review (5 Stars)
***I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review!***
This book was chock full of laughter, sarcasm, witticisms, irreverent humor, swoon worthy men, salacious and scandalous sexy times, insane family texts and nicknames, love, drama and heartbreak waiting to happen. There were some parts that really frustrated and annoyed me, some that I didn’t care for (mainly some stuff to do with Keane’s past), and some that I just wanted to say WTF? In all of that though, there were some “quiet moments of magic” that stole my heart.
I’m not going to lie, when I first started reading this book I didn’t like Keane at all. When I read about him briefly in the Club Series, I was so ecstatic to read his story, and then when I got it and started to read it I worried I wouldn’t be able to connect to it. I was wrong. It did take me a bit, because there were certainly some points where I was scratching my head where Peen was concerned. I just couldn’t understand his POV, and there were times I felt like I was reading about a teenage boy rather than an adult male, but I finally got used to the way he communicated with others and he started to grow on me. Did I find some of his slang and phrases repetitive and annoying at times, yes, but I was able to overlook that because his character was well developed over the course of the story. I went from seeing him as an immature teenage boy to a man who had a lot of depth to him. Someone who had been heartbroken over the loss of a dream, someone afraid to take a chance on a future full of happiness lest he be let down again, and someone who used humor and his “ebullient charm” to keep others from seeing too deeply inside him. What I found at the end was a man who inspired others, who was loyal and caring, and who wasn’t afraid to go after what he wanted with both hands.
Now Maddy…I loved her from the very beginning. She was my hero. I saw so much of myself in her it was a bit frightening. It’s like she was written just for me. I loved that she was not afraid to speak her mind to Peen, and even though he was absolutely ridiculous at times, she was able to roll with the punches. She looked past the smirks, blue hair, hot bod and “pleasure induced comments” that Peen was slinging and saw the real man beneath. She found someone who she was comfortable with right from the beginning and could just be herself around. She was brave, brilliant and funny. I loved that she was sweet yet sassy. She was the perfect heroine.
This story worked for me overall. I loved the build up to the romance. This was definitely a rom-com story meant to make you laugh and roll your eyes (Maddy is the queen at this). Sometimes the humor was over the top and sometimes it was subtle, but the best part was the romance. Maddy brought out the best in Keane. She pushed him to delve deeper, to search for more, to truly understand and care about someone (other than his family and “wifey Z”). She allowed him to explore new aspects of himself, without judging him in the process, which made him a better person overall. He wasn’t just a male stripper all about the p*ssy, though at one point he embraced that role, but a man who was searching for something he couldn’t understand. Until Maddy.
This is another fantastic story from the author. She has her characters nailed, the writing always flows effortlessly, and the stories are always heartwarming, heartbreaking and hilarious. Which is a stunning combination in itself. Plus she always writes a story with a hidden meaning in it. Something that really gets you thinking. Don’t miss out on this story! I wholeheartedly recommend this book!!!
About The Author
USA Today and internationally bestselling author Lauren Rowe lives in San Diego, California, where, in addition to writing books, she performs with her dance/party band at events all over Southern California, writes songs, takes embarrassing snapshots of her ever-patient Boston terrier, Buster, spends time with her wonderful family, and narrates audiobooks. Much to Lauren’s thrill, her books have been translated all over the world in multiple languages and hit multiple domestic and international bestseller lists. With enticing characters, enthralling situations and a general love of romantic fiction, Lauren has created a world of her own, full of wit and sensual desire.
Signed Paperback of Ball Peen Hammer
a Rafflecopter giveaway