Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Review and Giveaway: My Side by Tara Brown

Erin Benson felt like she'd won the lottery when she arrived all the way from North Dakota with the keys to her first home in hand.
Crisp white walls: Check.
Breathtaking view of downtown Boston: Check.
Minutes from Northeastern School of Law: Check.

But home is not always where the heart is. Sometimes it’s where you find Mr. Random shacked up and sprawled out on what was supposed to be your new bed.
Between the bear spray and the handcuffs, she discovers a terrible mistake has been made.
Lochlan hasn't broken into her new home to sleep with a seedy barmaid...he owns half.

With emotions running on high, Erin is determined to tough it out until a solution can be found.
The tight quarters seem smaller with his accumulated clutter and bizarre sleeping schedule. It also doesn't help that he's the new lead singer for Thin Ice, an indie band on its rise to fame.
What happens when a quiet bookworm gets stuck with a relentless rocker?
What happens when the things you see are not the things you get?

4 Star Review

I really enjoyed Tara Brown’s My Side. It was funny and sexy and delicious. Erin has just moved from a small town in North Dakota to Boston. She is studying to be a lawyer. Her home life is a bit of a mess. Her parents are divorced (mom is a total OCD’er, dad is a laid back lawyer and her brother Danny is a slacker). Her last relationship turned sour due to her ex becoming a violent stalker and he is in jail. She is determined to control her own life and not get side railed. She is aiming for success after all her hard work.

When she first arrives in Boston and lets herself into her new apartment she finds a tattooed hottie making out with a bare breasted (fake breasts at that) girl on a couch. She pulls out her trusty can of mace (she takes it everywhere with her) and makes sure she gets up close and personal with the trespasser. When the cops come and straighten out the mess it turns out that the guy also has a lease for the same apartment. The police seem to know who Lochlan Barlow is and joke with him about his fans. Erin is not sure what is going on. By now Bare Breasted Barbie has fled the scene and the guy, Loch is now royally pissed off. Erin calls the realtor, finds out that a screw up occurred (you think?) and it will take a few weeks to find something equally as nice at that price.  Can they share the space for just a few weeks?
Loch takes her out to lunch at one of his favorite greasy spoon restaurants where the food turns out to be fantastic. People keep staring at Loch and eventually Erin learns he was a finalist on a reality singing contest (who was kicked off due to his physically beating one of the contestants in an angry fit) (explanation for that is explained further in the book ) and is now the new lead for band, Thin Ice. Judging by the reaction to Loch, she is starting to realize he is fairly famous. They agree to share the apartment and vow to stay out of each other’s way and stay on their own side.

Slowly they form a warm friendship; watching movies, shopping, going to restaurants.  She agrees to go to one of his gigs at a local bar and is blown away by his performance. She is also disgusted by his constant flirting and the pathetic attempts by his groupies to get his attention. Realizing she is falling for him and is losing control over her emotions, she vows not to go see him perform any more. Meanwhile, Loch wants more than friendship with her and tries to make her see what is on stage is not the person he really is, that person wants to work on a more than just a friends only relationship.

“My sister reads those. Calls them one-handed reads.” “Yeah, that’s what all girls call them. Nice girls just don’t say it out loud. The Brothers of County Claire don’t leave their shit everywhere or have mood swings. They don’t check out other girls. They get me off and get lost, and I don’t need shots and regular check ups.”

The more famous Loch and Thin Ice become, the worse the attention Erin is getting and the more that the haters are coming out of the woodwork. She sees unflattering pictures of herself; horrible comments posted and has groupies confronting her constantly. In spite of this, eventually lines are crossed and the two become more than friends. This starts a vicious cycle of breaking up and reuniting. Almost always the cause being Loch caught in some questionable circumstance. Loch is the sweetest, most genuine person; he is loyal and can’t control the craziness of being in the public’s eye.
“Seeing you tonight made me realize…” he bent and kissed my cheek, wrapping his arms around me. “I don’t have to be a singer. I don’t have to be in a band. I don’t have to do anything in this whole world. But I do have to make love you love me again.”

He constantly chases after Erin, and tries to mesh their lives together. He has her meet his family; his mom is an invalid due to a stroke and his dad is her caretaker. His sister Lise, adores her and his gay brother Alex, becomes a close friend. The other guys in the group become protective of her as well. He even finds a place with the band for her brother Danny. Erin’s insecurities always get the best of her and at times she frustrated the hell out of me. A series of horrible events causes some real angst and I felt myself feeling terrible for Erin and her pain. Always Loch had my heart and eventually Erin whittled her way in there too. Brown has written a wonderful story with this one, I loved it, particularly the epilogue. She combines an interesting mix of humor, sex and drama to make for a great read.

“I didn’t want any of this and now it feels like I always wanted it. He kissed my temple, “Maybe you just didn’t know you did.” I nodded, “Maybe.” I sighed, “Maybe it just needed you in the equation, to make me want it."

Barnes and Noble My Side


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