Series: Men of Gold Mountain

Make Me Beg by Rebecca Brooks

Make Me Beg by Rebecca BrooksMake Me Beg by Rebecca Brooks
Series: Men of Gold Mountain #2
Published by Entangled Publishing: Brazen on March 20th 2017
Pages: 249
Buy on Amazon

Bartender Mackenzie Ellinsworth has always gone it alone. So when she has a chance to open her own bar and restaurant, she's got a plan for how it should go. Not in that plan: a ripped and rugged playboy stepping in to take over. Mack doesn't do players, and she doesn't do one-night stands. If Connor wants to work with Mack, he's going to have to keep his strong, sexy hands to himself.
Connor Branding is determined to prove he's not the directionless playboy Mack thinks. But opening a place together causes more problems than it solves. The two of them can't agree on anything—except how scorching hot their chemistry is. Connor may be ready to indulge every desire Mack's been denying herself...but turning business into pleasure is likely to get him burned.

I’d start off by saying that I really do like Rebecca Brooks’s writing: there’s her ability to tease out nuanced emotions and so finely articulating the pain of being left behind and the walls people build to protect themselves.

The problem was, I didn’t think there was very much to like about Connor: a privileged bummer, not wanting to commit to anyone or business or job with a lack of motivation and drive just bothered me. It’s probably my own preference for male protagonists to be at least more driven or propelled by purpose with some kind of ethic as well and I didn’t see that in Connor at all. That he lauded the easy way out most of the time by bouncing around didn’t make him that much of a worthy ‘hero’ for this story, more so when it had to take several huge kicks in the arse just so he would get going and focused.

Then it was all about him suddenly needing to prove himself not the bum, but that he could be someone else entirely. Yet, the sneaky insert that claimed he always wanted Mack, that it’d always been her—yet didn’t push hard about it and hopped from different women to distract himself for 3 years—was a rather revolting revelation, adding to my flakey impression of him that had by then, solidified.

He grovels well, though, which is possibly the only redeeming point…in my small and petty mind.

By contrast, Mack’s ability to work through hardship—and her determination to make things succeed because she’d been handed so little in life—was impressive as hell. I liked that she didn’t take any crap from him, gave as good as she got, and pretty much bulldozed her way through the veil of insouciance that he got going. It was easy to understand why she behaved the way she did, afraid to give an inch to Connor (rightly so, in my opinion) because she’d simply be left in the dust when he always gave indications of being chaff in the wind. That she’d staked her entire reputation, beliefs and cash on the refurbishment of the bar doesn’t come as a surprise, given her commitment to wanting to see things through and make a name for herself through sheer hard work.

That said, Brooks’s writing is persuasive enough for me to want to see what else is in store for us—that much can I be swayed by good writing. I’m just going to cross my fingers for protagonists (both the H/hr) whom I can get fully behind.


Make Me Stay by Rebecca Brooks

Make Me Stay by Rebecca BrooksMake Me Stay by Rebecca Brooks
Series: Men of Gold Mountain #1
Published by Entangled: Brazen on October 3rd 2016
Pages: 170
Buy on Amazon

Samantha Kane is about to solidify her father's legacy by developing sleepy Gold Mountain into the most profitable ski resort in the country. There's one man standing in her way though. One very sexy, rugged man. When she shows up to convince Austin Reede to sell, she has no intention of hiding her identity. But with a body like his, she'll take a few risks to get closer.
Austin was the fastest skier on the U.S. Olympic team, until he shattered his knee. Gold Mountain became his refuge—and now Kane Enterprises is threatening that home. When he meets Sam, he has no idea she's the one to blame, he just knows the attraction between them is one he hasn't felt in years. A scorching hot one-night stand is just what he needs. Little does he guess that it will change everything…

‘Make Me Stay’ is quite unlike any other Brazen book I’ve come across before. It’s written in a style that’s more literary and wordy than usual, flowingly descriptive especially when it comes to skiing and the landscape though sometimes awkward in incorporating the steamy scenes between Sam and Austin. But there’s no denying Rebecca Brooks wields that much power over language and that is the book’s standout feature. We’re given a comprehensive layout of Gold Mountain, the sense of why it’s so precious to the folks who live there and the differing visions Austin and Sam have for the beautiful area.

Yet it is possibly, also an unwitting tool of distancing her characters who move around and speak like the dramatis personae rattling on stage, separated by physical and emotional space. And frankly, I’m still undecided about that, simply because I’m having a hard time rooting for Sam and Austin (more the former though), whose short-lived affair seemed more like a blunder without any real connection forged between them than any real thing based on respect and truth.

It wasn’t hard to like Austin as the man who was understandably cautious in making new trails for himself after a nightmare of a past, but I couldn’t say the same about the ice-cold, very alpha and uncompromising Sam who thought about everything in terms of a business transaction, even as she plotted to take over Austin’s property while planning for their night together. A lot of the book is carried by Sam’s deceptive plans and her ulterior motive and this casts her in a very unforgiving light. But she shows sufficient intelligence in admitting her mistakes towards the end even if I thought she hadn’t quite done enough to repair the broken trust between her and Austin; their HEA is as a result, swift and well, a little abrupt to be satisfying.

Brooks however, has done up a cast of secondary characters I’m already interested in and this series is shaping up to be something I’m going to keep my eye on.