Monday, April 28, 2014

Hootie's Review: Tanya by Rebecca Rogers Maher

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult
Publication Date: April 30th 2014
Series: Companion to Hurricane Lily/The Bridge
Pages: 88
Format: Mobi
Source: Provided by author for review

Tanya—a recovering alcoholic—meets Jack at a roadside stop on the way to her sister’s wedding. Hoping to drown her sorrows in the company of a stranger, she brings him back to her motel room. The next day, shaken by the intensity of the experience, Tanya joins her sister’s bridal party at an upscale mountain lodge. There, she meets the groom’s family for the first time, including his brother, Jack—just home from the Peace Corps and reeling from his night with the bold, beautiful woman he thought he’d never see again. Both at a crossroads in their lives, Tanya and Jack collide for one explosive weekend. Will they choose the safety of past regrets, or will they be brave enough to embrace the present—together?

My Review:

Tanya is a book that was everything I hoped for and not at all what I expected. After reading Hurricane Lily and The Bridge, the latter of the two remains one of my favorite love stories, I have become a fan of Rogers Maher. I had no idea that all these books were connected until a dear friend brought it to my attention. Tanya was a character I learned about while reading The Bridge. The story of her sister Christa was macabre and beautiful in her attempt to kill herself but one day she meets the love of her life who ends up saving it. I found myself hoping against all hope that I would get a story about the alcoholic sister who was never there for her when she needed her most and blessedly my wish was fulfilled. Alcoholism is something I'm all too familiar with. How it takes over a life and consumes whatever is in it's path leaving nothing but heartache in it's wake. My father's absence in my own life can be blamed on this very subject. But this wasn't the main reason why I connected with Tanya's story.

 Tanya was a force of nature. She was fierce and consumed everything in her wake and I loved her for it. Yes she grew up with a mother who struggled to raise two kids while being trashed on pills and booze but her inner demons of self loathing and low self esteem grabbed me by the heart strings. You always read about the damaged broken guys but it's rare to meet a woman who is equally as damaged and runs the same parallel as the men in certain stories. She was introduced to the drink at a young age thanks to her first boyfriend and hadn't slowed down until everything happened with Christa. (Wanna know what happens? Then you HAVE TO read The Bridge!) Tanya has struggled to stay sober for two years but she still fights against the turmoil that rages inside her. As a child Christa cared for her no matter what and was always there for her with no questions asked but Tanya couldn't handle the kindness. She tries to be what she thinks everyone wants her to be and punishes herself constantly for her failures and embraces the shame with one night stands that leave her raw on the inside.

Thankfully Jack comes along when he's needed most. Fresh off a stint with the Peace Corps, Jack is floundering back in the states not really sure of what to do with himself. He's struggling to find his purpose in life as well and being back home with all the creature comforts and wealth he didn't see while in Guyana serving, blows his mind. Being in a place where there are no choices but you take what you can get has really changed his entire outlook. Attending his brother Henry's wedding is causing him to analyze their relationship which hasn't always been the best. While Henry was struggling with a crippling depression Jack was off in another country doing what he thought would distract from the fact that Henry was miserable. Jack was one of those guys that I would actually want to end up with in real life. He was incredibly sweet, understanding and passionate. His thirst for something more in life made me take stock of my own but his growing attraction to the hot mess that is Tanya was so fantastic. His character was a wonderful anchor point for someone like Tanya who was drowning.

It's funny how someone who grows up with all the wealth and privilege that Jack had could be struggling with the same types of issues and feelings as a woman like Tanya who grew up without those things. But that's what makes them work so well together. After their electric one night stand turned awkward meeting at the wedding they discover they aren't that much different from each other. Maher has a way of bringing her flawed and tortured characters around full circle that leaves me a complete weepy mess. Tanya had an amazing support group and her connection with Joe, her AA sponsor was a nice touch in showcasing her recovery process even two years later. Jack having Henry to lean on after all he's been through and bringing the two brothers closer together melted my heart into S'mores goo. 

Not to mention how freaking HOT these two were together. The intense chemistry they had was something I felt from my head to my toes. From one hot encounter to the next I couldn't catch my breath with them. It was like two horny teenagers and I loved every second. As I said I had no idea all three books were connected but seeing how all the characters were involved was exciting for me. Each story is unique to that specific couple and draws you into their world flawlessly. Henry and Christa will probably always be my favorite couple but Jack and Tanya are a close second. Poor Cliff and Lily are probably still trapped in her Cape Cod home, LOL. (It's an inside joke, just go with it...or read Hurricane Lily!)

Tanya was not just a story about fighting addiction but finding your way back from your own self doubts and self imposed obstacles. Tanya was flawed and selfish and self centered but her journey to finding herself in such a short time was a miracle. Jack being the strong sweet and sexy guy he is was the perfect match for someone like Tanya. They both needed the other person in different ways that opened them up to new experiences. By the time I finished absorbing every word in this book I was a teary eyed mess with a heart full of laughter and joy. That's the kind feeling you should get when you read a good book. One that leaves you with a brand on your heart that you never forget, even ten years down the road. Tanya will remain in my heart for a long time to come. If you love to experience an array of emotions during a book but ultimately leaves you satisfied then you have to give Mahers books a try. All of them possess a heartfelt quality with amazing characters you can relate to and fall in love with.


He brings a scent into the room that I wish I could find words for. It's like coffee, but sweeter. I want to lick that scent from his throat. I want to swallow it whole. Mobi 37%

I can't regret it. I can't. I don't want to feel ashamed of something that felt so goddamn, fucking good. But the shame floods in anyway. He pulls out, and the shame -- it rushes right in. Mobi 40%

"You're full of flying glass - so funny and sharp and terrifying. And here you are, trying to be some kind of calm little meadow because you think that's what people want. Maybe it is - hell, I don't know. But it's not who you are. You can say no to a drink, and you should. But don't say no to this person that you really are." Mobi 77%

Maybe I've lived a vanilla life compared to some, but this is the filthiest and most beautiful thing I've ever done. I've never felt more goddamn elated. Mobi 84%

{Click the pictures for Goodreads descriptions}

Hootie's Reviews:

About The Author:
Rebecca Rogers Maher writes bold contemporary romance novels with strong, flawed heroines. She’s a Vassar graduate, a former community organizer and Brooklyn public school teacher, and a mother to two insanely sweet boys. She believes messed-up ladies deserve happy endings too, as well as lots of hot sex with genuinely kind men. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her hot, kind husband and their children. RT Book Reviews describes Rebecca’s writing as “beautiful, heart-wrenching, and heart-warming,” Library Journal calls it “dark, electrically charged…gut-wrenching…” and Dear Author says it “resonate(s) with depth.” In a ridiculously embarrassing article, New York Daily News called her novels “steamy.



  1. "Tanya is a book that was everything I hoped for and not at all what I expected." YES.

    You always sell yourself short. You really just made me tear up and fall in love with Tanya all over again.

  2. This book has a lot of depth to it and I don't think either of the characters will annoy me. That's important.

  3. This sounds different. Thanks for sharing.


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