Adult Contemporary Romance
Published August 5th 2014
Kindle format provided by publisher via Netgalley
It’s lust-at-first-sight when Brody Singer first sees Abby Dunn. Abby looks a lot like a woman he once knew, one who died years ago. But Abby’s definitely different—shyer but sexier. Abby’s still trying to put her last disastrous relationship behind her and overcome the flaws her ex wouldn’t let her forget. But somehow Brody isn’t getting the hint. It doesn’t help that when writing her steamy novels, she keeps casting Brody as the hero. Only Abby can write her own ending—will she choose her own happily-ever-after, or stay safe in her shell?
Yeah baby! How To Handle A Heartbreaker was the McCauley Bros book I was MOST looking forward to. After an entertaining debut into the series where The Troublemaker Next Door introduced me to Brody and Abby, I knew they would have a fun and and sexy story with a little bit of intrigue and a whole lot of passion.
A simmering attraction has boiled beneath the surface for Brody and Abby ever since the two came face to face in Troublemaker. With Abby bearing a striking resemblance to brother Mike's late wife Lea, I knew there would be some juicy goodness to be had. My initial thought was that Abby would somehow be hooked up with Mike because what better way to replace what's missing than with a replica, right? But I started to think "Where's the fun in that?" Harte answers the question by taking Abby, a successful erotic romance author and Brody, a charming playboy plumber and throwing them together repeatedly until the attraction can no longer be denied. A bad experience with an ex who has made her feel like her sexual cravings are deprived and unnatural has left Abby a little reserved and uneasy about her desires. That changes for her during a Halloween party where her Goddess of love costume and a little help from alcohol get her to loosen up and take charge of what she wants, mainly Brody (or in this case a PART of Brody) into her own hands. The sexy encounter between the two sparks the beginning of a mutual tryst that develops roots and grows deeper the farther they take their relationship. But with Mike's directive not to get involved with the neighbors and inner demons both have to work through the pair have a long way to go in order to make it work.
Because Abby writes erotic romance and Brody being the purely selfless individual he is (heavy sarcasm) the two agree upon a purely sexual relationship in the name of "Research" for Abby's characters. I loved that they disguised their mutual attraction behind something so silly. It was like "Oh yeah, I'm not into you at all but just for laughs let's have sex". Ugh! These two were adorable as hell together. My sweet Brody, "The Blond McCauley" who's not REALLY a brother, was the jokester of the group of boys. Always cheating at cards, teaching Colin, Mike's son, how to be just like him and quick to laugh off anything serious there was an abundance of good times when Brody was involved. The best part about him though was the depth once you got past his defense mechanism. He used his silliness to deter anyone from getting close and with good reason. His family life before meeting the McCauley's when he was a young boy was rough with an abusive older brother and an alcoholic father who both used him for their gain. I thought Brody would have an intense story but I didn't know it would be so hard to swallow. Here's another guy I found bits of myself in the way he used humor to deflect from what he was really feeling. It's always hard to see someone so lovable take such hard emotional hits and Brody was the ultimate lovable guy. Abby has had her fair share of troubles also with her ex Kevin degrading her and her sexual appetites as being disgusting and unattractive. These sorts of accusations have made Abby into an introverted loner always questioning herself and what she wants. It wreaked havoc on her self image with her being petite and curvy leaving her to think that guys don't want a strong woman who knows what they want in the bedroom. As if all that wasn't bad enough it's also made her hide what she loves and does for a living from her family thinking they would look down on her as well. The only people she trusts with her secret are her roommates Maggie and Vanessa.
Brody and Abby are just what the other needs as they dive deeper into the others personality and open each other up step by step. Brody helps Abby with her writing and helps her see that she doesn't need to hide behind her pen name and Abby allows Brody to share the issues with his family that nobody else knows. What started as sex only, became something deep and sweet between the two. Of course it's not easy for them by any means when Brody's past shows up and throws his world into chaos and he retreats into himself leaving Abby on the other side of heartbreak. Brody and Abby were a fun couple and I loved that they played and laughed together especially during their sexy times but I also enjoyed seeing them be serious with one another. Their heartfelt talks about the future and what they expected out of life just made their connection that much more personal feeling. Plus it didn't hurt that every single secondary character was meddling in their affair with their two cents.
Once again Harte brought together a big family feel incorporating everyone into the story and gave us little glimpses about Vanessa and the youngest McCauley Cameron throughout. The perfect son and the one who gets the most shit for being the sensitive guy he is, Cameron is sure to bring some insight into his personality that has only been playfully hinted at by the other guys. I'm very interested to see how straight laced Vanessa deals with everything and her story is sure to be a good one with her robotic parents and OCD behavior. One thing I'm worried about though, is the state of the relationship the patriarchs of the story is in. Mom and Pop McCauley seem to be in some troubled waters in this one and even though they are only secondary characters I feel like I know them already. I'm anxious to see what Harte has in store for the two people who are the glue of the clan.
How To Handle A Heartbreaker was funny, sweet, sexy and absolutely adorable so it's should come as no surprise that it's my favorite of the series. So far that is....because big bear Mike McCauley's story got a little bit interesting in Heartbreaker so of course I'm on pins and needles to see how the widower meets his match. We'll see if he can knock BROBBY (Brody and Abby) out of my top couple ranking with his mysterious tattooed lady love. Harte delivered on every aspect I had been anticipating in Heartbreaker with Brody and Abby's story. From their hot hookups to the adorable romance and seeing my favorite characters again there's no shortage of good times. If you love books with a big family feel, lots of humor and blue collar hero's that make you swoon with strong women you can relate to, then the McCauley brothers series is the perfect group of books for you.
"You didn't tell anyone?"
"Nope. I wanted to talk to you about it."
She blinked at him. "Why?"
"Well damn, Abby. I want to do it again.
But this time I get to do you first." eARC 23%
He'd pretty much dared her not to love him at their last meeting. And she'd all but told him she'd have him at her feet begging for more before she was through. Damn if she hadn't nailed it, because he wanted to roll over on his back and have her scratch his belly. He wanted her to laugh at his jokes, to hold his hand and invite him back to her place for multi-orgasmic sex. eARC 49%
"I can't believe she's be so stupid about some romance books. They're just stories."
"Sexy, hot, well-written stories. With great plots."
"And asshole heores, right?"
"Well, yeah. But we're working on that."
"I'm trying to show you what a real man is like. Like me. He has a great job, a big dick, and he's amazing in bed. That, and he never calls you snickerdoodle." She laughed.
"You make me feel better." eARC 82%
About The Author:
Marie Harte is an avid reader who loves all things paranormal and futuristic. Reading romances since she was twelve, she fell in love with romance and happy endings and knew writing was her calling. Years later after the Marine Corps, Information Technology, and 60 hour work weeks, her dream has finally come true. Marie lives in Oregon with her family and is constantly reading and writing