Series: Charity Case #1
Published by Amazon Digital Services, Amazon Publishing on 24th April 2018
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The perfect man for me is a charming, sexy, hot as hell lawyer who knows how to negotiate his way into my panties.
Been there.Done that.Burned the T-shirt.
I didn't swear off all men after my divorce, but I sure as hell swore off anyone remotely like my ex. On the top of that list? Attorneys. Everyone knows they can't be trusted.
Now that I've moved back into my childhood home in Chicago, my focus is my daughter, my mom and me. I haven't given up on finding my happily-ever-after, it's just on hold-indefinitely. Yup, life is in a real upswing.
Then I see Reed Warner again, and I'm reminded of all my mistakes. I push him away, but somehow he weasels his way into every part of my life, not willing to take no for an answer.
In spite of my better judgment I can't stop thinking about the way his designer suits fit his muscular frame, or the way his blue eyes seem to eat me up with every glance.
You know when you're on a diet and even hummus seems irresistible? Reed is like the equivalent of chocolate éclair and my willpower is fading fast.
The problem? Not only is he a lawyer…
He was the best man at my wedding.
‘Manic Monday’ is a book that’s been on my reader for a while but had unfairly been passed along for other reads, which I immediately sought to remedy the moment I had a free slot. The once-bitten-twice-shy thing runs practically in all romance books after all, the only difference being the extent to which this has shaped characters’ behaviour and subsequently, the entire course of the novel.
I can well understand a woman’s uncertainty in stepping back into the dating world with a particular man—a lawyer and the ex-best man whom she hasn’t seen in a long time—and her newfound determination to not sacrifice anything of hers (dreams, future and hopes) in the meantime. The problem was, it all felt after a while, like this was about Victoria’s needs, her wants, her insecurities and damn anyone else who suggests that relationships are about compromise and since she’d gone through this tough period of losing herself, the world now apparently owed her something.
Being badly burnt in the past isn’t a sure ticket to behaving badly or rudely, not least towards the person only peripherally associated with the nasty ex-husband of hers. I just felt that Victoria was given too much ‘authorial’ leeway, so to speak, to behave like a very prickly hedgehog as possible simply because her awful past supposedly entitled her to do so. More so when she kept pushing a perfectly nice guy away and unfairly expected Reed to make every leap for her while she stood and waited for him to jump over hurdle after hurdle in an effort to prove himself unlike her ex.
Which brings me to the idea of the ‘chase’ in romance—it’s a thrilling aspect of this genre, I’ll admit, though too rarely do I find couples fighting for each other nonetheless (and the book that actually has this tends to get my wholehearted attention). Often, it’s taken too far, when one party—mostly the male protagonist—does all the work while the other taps her foot and expects him to hit milestone after milestone while positioning herself as the ultimate prize to be won and just not doing her part of the compromise.
And that was how I found myself detesting Victoria’s own brand of selfishness, to the extent where Reed had to make the sacrifice of his career for her without her actively trying to fight for their relationship at all.
I loved Reed in contrast who was a good guy all around and adorably (and acceptably) imperfect—his confidence in his own identity, his stalwart determination in giving back to society as a mentor and his insinuations into every part of Victoria’s life—as a male protagonist who just wasn’t fazed by Victoria’s issues at all, but gladly jumped into this challenge from the beginning.
‘Manic Monday’ in short, was a bit of a mixed bag for me, mostly because I liked one protagonist way more than the other, the latter of which I felt didn’t exactly deserve the former. Piper Rayne’s set up of 3 friends and the books to come did look promising however, though it did get a little too emotionally dramatic for me in parts, and it has made me wonder how this series is going to progress.