Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
In her latest contemporary romance series, talented and bestselling author, Marilyn Brant, takes readers to Mirabelle Harbor, a charming suburb near Chicago. All the books in this series take place in the same town, and readers are able to recognize the main characters of each book as the siblings or friends of other main characters in the series. Which really brings a lovely sense of community and familiarity with this town and the people in it! You Give Love a Bad Name is the third book in this series, and lucky for me, all these books are stand-alone.
In this story our hero and heroine couldn’t be more different from each other. Blake Michaelsen, is a way-too-charming-for-his-own-good radio DJ who likes to be a little bit reckless, irresponsible, and has a very negative view about love. Mademoiselle Vicky Bernier is a high-school French teacher who is kind, cultured, and even though she has had some bad relationships in the past – a faithful believer in romantic love. (Girlfriend loves her some JAFF!) While Blake and Vicky might feel some instant attraction and interest for each other, their interactions are more prickly and tense than friendly.
Besides having very different personalities and views on love, Blake and Vicky have made bad impressions on each other. Based on his outward persona and a public display of drunkenness, Vicky has formed the opinion that Blake is a self-destructive, unprincipled, and well-practiced seducer. And Blake, seeing nothing but disgust and distrust in Vicky’s eyes and manner, has formed the opinion that she isn’t worth his time and effort. But the two are thrown together to prepare for the upcoming homecoming dance and with their frequent meetings together, these misconstrued opinions start to change…
With our hero and heroine being so different and having inaccurate preconceived notions about each other, you might notice this story has a bit of Pride and Prejudice flavoring.
However, I wouldn’t label Vicky and Blake as a modern-day Elizabeth and Darcy, they are just a couple who made similar mistakes to Jane Austen’s beloved couple. Vicky was definitely wrong about Blake, and it was lovely to see his character slowly unfurl. His bad-boy veneer hides some insecurities and unknown depths. In addition, it was wonderful to see Blake, even though he tried so hard to fight it, feel some stirrings of love and be quite the romantic. (Loved his mode of declaration and his über romantic surprise at the end!)
Another part of the story I enjoyed was seeing Blake’s sweet relationship with his dog, Winston, and Winston’s immediate fondness for Vicky. In addition, I also liked how the point-of-view kept switching back and forth between Blake and Vicky, giving the reader a balanced understanding of both characters. And it was super fun to see the inclusion of and reference to so many 80’s songs. Turns out I don’t know as many 80’s songs as I thought I did! (Must listen to Marilyn’s playlist and educate myself!)
While I don’t read very many contemporary romances – like Vicky, I’m a devoted reader of historical romance and JAFF – I do love reading contemporary romances by Marilyn Brant. I love the complex romances Ms. Brant chooses to write about, I love the depth and substance she gives her characters, and I love the little details and touches she adds that make her stories so vivid and captivating. You can be sure I’ll be revisiting Mirabelle Harbor soon and checking out the rest of this enchanting series!
Note: Due to some use of profanity and intimate scenes, I’d recommend this book for Mature Audiences only.
Marilyn has kindly offered 2 LOVELY ebooks (winner’s choice – mobi, epub, pdf) of Take a Chance on Me (Mirabelle Harbor Book 1) for me to randomly give away to TWO lucky readers this week in conjunction with her visit here Monday and today’s review!
To enter this giveaway leave a comment on my review!
- This giveaway is open worldwide. Thank you, Marilyn!
- This giveaway ends March 21st!