Author: Sarah Mayberry

Temporary by Sarina Bowen & Sarah Mayberry

Temporary by Sarina Bowen & Sarah MayberryTemporary by Sarah Mayberry, Sarina Bowen
Published by Rennie Road Books on September 12th 2017
Pages: 260
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three-stars

The most beautiful man I've ever seen is the one who can ruin everything...

The first time I lay eyes on Callan Walker, I know he’ll be trouble. With his smug grin, hot Aussie accent and thousand dollar shoes, he’s just the kind of rich guy who always gets what he wants.

And he wants two things: a night of sin, and my cooperation as he outmaneuvers his powerful mother to take control of his uncle’s estate.

I can’t afford either one. I’m the only thing standing between my little sister and the foster care system. He may have money and charm on his side, but I have something even more powerful -- pure desperation. This temp job at his mother’s company can become a full time job for me. It has to.

But when Callan’s eyes rake over my body, sometimes I forget my obligations. His piercing gaze finds the fun, optimistic girl I used to be and not the tired person I’ve become.

And it works--if only for a moment. Our night together was a mistake. I can't afford to get sucked into his high-powered family’s treachery. But the closer I get to Callan, the more layers I find beneath those expensive clothes. Though I can’t forget this is temporary. He’s temporary. I have too much to lose.

Too bad my foolish heart didn’t get the memo...

Sarin Bowen and Sarah Mayberry, separately, are already fabulously writers; together, they’re quite the writing powerhouse that makes ‘Temporary’ a stellar romance. As a result, there’s still a fairty-tale sheen to it all and a little of a rags-to-riches tale in a world where the fabulously wealthy tussle over money, estate and pride, leaving so much collateral damage in their wake.

‘Temporary’ happens in the wake of tragedy, which interrupts the deliberately-superficial lifestyle of billionaire tycoon Callan Walker, who sorts out his uncle’s estate with the help of a temp worker struggling to provide for her family. And like every Bowen and Mayberry book, it’s hard to put down, drama-worthy and compelling enough that you want to know just how the obstacles are laid out and overcome, ignoring the call for bed.

It’s also a predictable journey however, with several eye-rolling moments that the characters get into, especially when there’s a very strong element of ‘cannot help oneself but fall into bed with the hot guy’ knowing full well that there are consequences to such impulsiveness. Grace is fully guilty of the above, though it’s easy to relate to and sympathise with the lack of options she’s been given and with the way she fights to provide for her sister every step of the way.

I did however, have a problem with Callan, whom I found spent a fair bit of the book being a selfish, arrogant and entitled arse, which made him hard to like as a ‘worthy hero’ when he had her and only his own goals in his sight for a majority of it. He manipulated Grace through seduction, capitalised on her attraction to him and their sexual chemistry to do whatever he wanted at her expense—using grief as a justifying reason and knowing it will leave him unscathed in the end—only to spend the rest of the story realising the extent of the damage he’d caused and then grovelling towards the end (the authors do recognise this unforgivable bit at least). I did think that came too little too late—the grovelling doesn’t surpass the ‘crime’ so to speak—so that probably affected my ability to fully get behind this pairing.

And that’s obviously my black, cynical self talking. It isn’t to say I wasn’t entertained overall though and the abrupt end sort of suggests that there might be a sequel in store, which I already can’t wait for.

three-stars

Tanner by Sarah Mayberry

Tanner by Sarah MayberryTanner by Sarah Mayberry
Series: American Extreme Bull Riders Tour #1
Published by Tule Publishing on May 9th 2017
Pages: 178
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two-stars

After flying half-way around the world to surprise her boyfriend, Evie Forrester finds herself heartbroken and stranded in a strange city. What could be a total disaster becomes something else when a tall, dark bull rider turns out to be a white knight in disguise. Evie isn’t sure she needs saving, but Tanner Harding is a difficult man to deny. He’s even harder to resist…
Tanner Harding can tame a monster bull with ease, but he never expected to be floored by someone like Evie. Sparks fly between them until injury threatens to end Tanner’s career –and suddenly he’s the one in need of a rescue.
Evie can’t turn her back on her wounded hero and, as Tanner struggles with his recovery, she’s not sure she can guard her heart against him either. Tanner knows Evie has slipped under his skin, but she lives in Australia and his future is under a cloud. Can two people with too many reasons to walk away make the bold decision to stay?

Unknowingly setting herself up for heartbreak when she empties her savings and hops on a flight on the off-chance that the one-night stand with a man she’d known all her life wants her as badly as she wants him, Evie Forrester’s trip to America suddenly seems like a wasted one when it’s clear that Troy Jensen has moved on fully and wholly from her. Her only saving grace is Tanner Harding, another bull rider whose white knight complex insists on taking her in.

Unfortunately, Tanner and Evie weren’t exactly a couple that worked for me, perhaps because the start of this pairing felt too much like an accidental slip into a ‘relationship’ when Tanner was actually a rebound for Evie—for a woman who was hurting for her unrequited love—and Evie was simply someone whom he couldn’t resist. I couldn’t see the draw that brought them together apart from the very obvious physical attraction and Evie’s impulsive naïveté was off-putting at times, particularly with the more worldly Tanner who preferred women like him. It also seemed too easy for Evie, despite all the years of being in love with someone else, to shrug off the heartbreak and fall for Tanner in a matter of days because he’d been good to her, so she did seem emotionally flaky, and well, too needy for my liking.

I do like Sarah Mayberry’s writing however and that’s primarily the reason I requested for this book. Normally I expect heart-wrenching moments with every Mayberry book, but in this case oddly enough, the bull-riding scenes provided me more wide-eyed-wonder moments that had scarce little to do with the romance. From the looks of it, I probably wouldn’t continue with this series and that has more to do with the series not being one I could see myself getting into rather than Mayberry’s assured writing.

two-stars

His Christmas Gift by Sarah Mayberry

His Christmas Gift by Sarah MayberryHis Christmas Gift by Sarah Mayberry
Published by Tule Publishing on November 2nd 2015
Pages: 112
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Since tragedy estranged defense attorney Jenna Macintosh from her family, she’s done her best to pretend Christmas doesn’t exist. Not so easy this year when she needs to work with client Lacey Gallagher, who is living on her brother Sawyer’s Christmas tree farm. All those fragrant pines dripping with twinkling lights are bad enough, but when disaster strikes, Jenna is stuck alone in a wooded cabin with Sawyer, the hottest man she’s ever met.
Experience has taught Sawyer Gallagher that smart city women like Jenna don’t want men like him, but when Jenna falls ill, he must abandon his plan to keep his distance and soon he’s trying to work out ways to make her his—and not just for Christmas.

A short, appropriate read for the coming holidays by Sarah Mayberry, on whom I can depend on plumbing the depths of characters regardless of the length of story. The conflict at the end however, seemed blown out of proportion and left me bewildered at what shouldn’t normally be an issue at all – and felt like it was written for the sake of creating conflict in a story that could have easily gone without that traditional route of “short-lived happiness-big quarrel/climax-happy resolution”.