Saturday, March 14, 2015

Review: When the Chips Are Down by Beth Rinyu


Melanie Hanson's life didn't go quite the way she had planned. Her cheating ex-husband traded her in for a newer model and she’s in over her head dealing with the drama that comes along with raising her twin teenage daughters. 

The last thing she is looking for or needs in her life is a man - or is it? 

Ben Wilder is the boy that Melanie loved to hate throughout high school, the boy that all the girls loved and the boy that didn't give Melanie the time of day, unless it was to tease her. When she runs into him once again she realizes...he’s not a boy anymore. Older and wiser, she’s determined not to fall for her secret crush from all those years ago. But sometimes our heart has different plans than our head. Will she finally get her happily ever after with the man she least expected to have it with? 

Take a humorous journey with Melanie and her daughters as their lives begin to parallel and they discover that although they may be separated by a generation their struggles are still the same. 

4.5 Star Review by Jen Skewes

What can I say other than I Loved this book! It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Beth Rinyu.  I have read and loved every single one of her books.  And one of her male characters is on my top book boyfriend list of all time.  She never seems to disappoint with the the amazing story lines that she creates that always feel so real and genuine.  She manages to create characters that you can relate to and fall in love with.   When the Chips Are Down is no different.   What I loved about this book is that it is different.  This is the story of Melanie, a recently divorced mother and Gia and Cassie her two teenage twin daughters.  While this is mostly Melanie’s love story what I loved is getting to see this story from all three point of views and that's where I think this story was unique in it's own way.  We get to see the relationships and friendships that they all form and the real life struggles that they all face.  It was fun, sweet and completely refreshing.

Melanie is a recently divorced woman who is trying to move on from her cheating ex husband.  The man that she has been with since she was 20 betrayed her.  It’s been a year since the divorce and it is time for her to get on with her life.  She runs her own bridal shop, has two amazing twin daughters a best friend that is always there for her.  Being with the same man for so long she’s not really sure she is ready to get back into the dating world.  But seeing Ben Wilder again changes that.  Ben Wilder was the boy she had a crush on in high school but he was also the boy who would call her names during class and wasn’t very nice to her.  But that was years ago and seeing him for the first time in a long time she has to admit, that Ben Wilder definitely aged well.  He’s still just as gorgeous as she remembered him to be.   But he has also changed and is no longer that mean teenage boy she remembers.

Melanie and Ben have chemistry and there is certainly a spark between the two of them.  Melanie feels the attraction but she is determined not to fall for him.  But as they start up a casual fling neither one of them expected it to turn into more.  But that actually becomes a bit of a problem because Melanie knows how she feels and knows that she is falling for Ben.  But the question is – Does Ben feel the same way?  Is he holding something back?  As hard as she may fight her feelings Melanie deserves a second chance at happiness after her ex completely shattered her world and their marriage.  Will she get it?

Melanie is trying to run her own business, be there for her two girls, deal with her ex and learning how to now co parent and at the same time is trying to find happiness again.  I loved her and Ben together.  I loved the flirty banter back and forth and the situations that Melanie managed to get herself into just made me laugh.  Ben was sexy and I loved him but at times wanted to just yell at him to pay attention and wake up.  And let’s not forget about her best friend Jodi.  Every girl should have a best friend like her.  She is always there for her in every way and she was just a blast.  I wanted to be a part of their lives.  Heck I want to be their friends and hang out with them.  That’s how much I loved these characters.  You can just relate to them on so many levels. 

There are so many things that I loved about this book, one being that the story is told from three point of views, Melanie and her two daughters.  But never once did that seem confusing. It flowed nicely and I loved going through life's experiences with all of them.  It wasn’t just Melanie that was dealing with the divorce, it affected her daughters as well.  They are not only coping with their parents no longer being married but also going to a new school.  And honestly things are not easy for the two of them.  They are teenagers and making new friends at a new school is hard.  I could completely relate to being the new kid in school and not knowing anyone.  And there is always that one bitch who feels the need to make your life miserable, spreading rumors so when you walk down the hallway you hear the whispers and you know they are whispering about you.  All you want to do is fit it and make new friends but some people just make that impossible.  And for Cassie and Gia being at a new school was not easy.  But they both found new friends that stuck by them.  And their experiences also brought them closer together.  They may look identical but these two were complete opposites.  Reading their story made me feel like I was in high school all over again. The crushes, the butterflies in your stomach when you see or talk to a cute boy, and of course the mean girls.  But they had each other for support.  

This book is about falling in love again but there is so much more to it.  It is about the relationship between a mother and her daughters.  It’s about dealing with the issues that people face in their everyday life but doing it together.  People make mistakes and you learn from them.  And we see that in this book.   I loved watching these characters grow.  At first Gia seemed like the typical snotty teenager and Cassie the goody goody who does no wrong.  But over time they both grow so much and because of some of the issues they faced in school they became closer.  I loved how they stuck up for each other and loved the friendships that they made with Daniel and Jason.   

This book was amazing and one of my new favorites from Ms. Rinyu.   This book just brought out so many feelings.  I related to this book in so many ways and not just with Melanie but with her daughters as well. We have all been through some of the things these girls have been through and for me personally, being able to relate to the characters and connect with them in the way that I did, just makes the reading experience that much more incredible.   I had a book hangover for days after I finished reading it.  This book is a must read.  Another amazing job!!!

I loved Melanie and Ben but I cannot wait for Cassie and Gina's books.  I am am patiently waiting Beth!!!  

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