Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Review: Giving In (The Sandy Cove Series) by M.R. Joseph

Raphael Cruz doesn't do it. He just doesn't. Cruz doesn't fall in love. He's a "get in and get out" kind of guy. Ladies love him and fall all over him for his swoon worthy good looks and overwhelming sex appeal. He knows how to talk to them and tells them exactly what they want to hear. When he's done making them scream his name, he shows them straight to the door. The meaning of the word love doesn't exist in his world. But that could all change with a wink of a girl's eye... And one hot-as-hell romp in a bar bathroom.

Harlow Hannum is your typical girl-next-door. She has the brains, the beauty, and the money. What she doesn't have is the luxury of being someone's first choice in the game of love. She always comes in a distant second place, leaving her guarded with her feelings. Lies, betrayal, and secrets of her past follow her wherever she goes, no matter how hard she tries to hide them. That is until she's reunited with the one guy who can ignite the spark in her heart that's been extinguished for so long.

With sunny days, heated nights, and love lingering in the air in the beach town of Sandy Cove anything can happen. Especially when fate steps in for Harlow and Cruz. Will their blossoming friendship turn into unexpected love or will the collision of their opposing worlds be the end of what could have been?

4 Funny and Wonderful Stars!
Review by Jen Hagen
I love a book that starts out light and funny with a lot of side-clenching laughs and then does a complete turn around and has me wiping my eyes because of heartbreak.  

Giving In’s prologue is hilarious.  Cruz and Harlow meet in a bar bathroom and have some great banter while having the best sex of their lives.  That night leaves quite an impression on both of them, and for Cruz to admit that he can’t forget about that night really means something as Cruz’s motto is “get in, get off, and get the f*ck out.”  Harlow is usually pretty uptight but that night she let loose and let Cruz take the reins.  Once it was all said and done, both of them returned to their lives never thinking for one second that their lives would cross paths again.

Cruz is from a broken home where his mother was a crack head and his father walked out on him when he a toddler.  Cruz needed a sense of belonging so upon graduation from high school he enlisted in the Marines and has served three tours in Afghanistan.  He is now a rent-a-cop, hoping to get on full time with the local police department.  The chapters alternate between Harlow and Cruz’s points of view and it is quite enlightening and hilarious to hear Cruz’s thoughts.  He doesn’t sugar coat anything… "My name is Raphael Patrick Cruz, and I am a man-whore." 

Harlow comes from an extremely wealthy family and she had been in a relationship for 4 years only to find out her controlling boyfriend had been cheating on her.  She has graduated from college and is hoping to secure a teaching job to begin in the fall.   She has moved to the beach with her friends for the summer to relax as the past year has been difficult for her.  Little does Harlow know that her life is going to become even more difficult upon her arrival into town and every day after that (insert smirk).  

Harlow and Cruz have a reunion that is one to go down in the books.  At first she doesn’t recognize him, but he certainly does and he uses this to his full advantage.  It isn’t until an uncomfortable position (Cruz in a chair…on the deck…in the early morning… definitely not alone) that she comes face-to-face with him again and realizes who he is.   He is none other than “dickcop” and one-night stand man.   

Harlow and Cruz agree to a truce after she knees him in the balls and he practically drowns her.  Now they share early morning talks on the dock and have become very good friends to each other.  Cruz omits facts from his life and this will come back to bite him in the butt later on.   It takes a lot for Cruz to admit that he has feelings for somebody as he is used to not feeling anything towards anybody and definitely isn’t used to having to admit his feelings.  Before the summer ends Cruz and Harlow will give in to their passion again and want to move forward with their feelings.

…I have to believe this will work.  It has to, because if I lose her like I have lost so much in my life, this time I don’t think I’ll recover. 

The last 10% of the book is where my heart was breaking…”You knew what you were getting when we started this whole thing.” 

And then comes the epilogue…"I’m not a praying man, I’ve never had a lot to pray for in my life, but with Harlow, praying and hoping is all I have."

I am sitting on pins and needles waiting for the next installment.  MR Joseph is an author that needs to be placed on your list of must-read-anything-by-this-author.   She has done a fine job with this novel and I hope for nothing but success for her as she completes the series.  

Amazon Giving In (The Sandy Cove Series)

Amazon Reunion

Amazon You Belong with Me

Amazon Letters to Luca

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