Monday, April 29, 2013

REAL MEN DON'T QUIT by Coleen Kwan

Serial bachelor. Celebrity author. Her perfect forever?

When famous author Luke Maguire decides to write his next novel in the small town of Burronga, Australia, he's sure he can ignore the fiery redhead next door. Not only has he just been burned from a high-profile breakup, but he's never been one to set down roots. No, he'll finish his novel and leave Burronga. And soon.

Tyler Jones just wants to run her business with her best friend, Ally, and take care of her three-year-old daughter, Chloe. She's never needed help from anyone, especially not a man, and the brooding, rugged writer next door can't tempt her. Not in the least.

Only Tyler and Luke can't stay away from each other. So they set rules. No staying overnight, no future plans, no sappy good-byes when Luke inevitably quits town. But the chemistry between them is too strong to contain in a rulebook. Are Luke and Tyler ready to risk their lives of independence for something more?

Title: Real Men Don’t Quit (Real Men #2)
Author: Coleen Kwan
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 241 pages
Release Date: April 2013
Imprint: Bliss
ISBN: 1622660870

Tyler is the single mother of three-year-old Chloe. Working hard to provide for her daughter, she's afraid that the girl's paternal grandmother, Gretchen, will one day succeed in taking Chloe away from her.

Luke is the author of a wildly successful novel that he secretly hates. With a looming deadline and struggling to write its sequel, he temporarily moves into his agent's house (next door to Tyler), hoping to make headway in writing the new story.

The two meet when Chloe makes her way toward the pool on Luke's temporary homestead. Luckily, Luke spots her and intercepts her before she gets close to it. He takes her back around to the front of the house and just as he asks her which way is home and she points, out runs Tyler.

The story started out a bit confusing for me. The first couple sentences said Luke stumbled into the kitchen looking for coffee after waking up in a strange house. Then, after reading a bit more, I thought he was in his own house. Then, I read further and finally figured out he was in someone named Elliot's house. So, I thought, Who the hell is Elliot? After reading on a bit longer, I got it all sorted out in my head. (It was morning and maybe I needed coffee more than Luke did.)

I had another couple bouts of disbelief as I read how Tyler stood in her living room, in her underwear, defending her ability to care for her child to a strange man wearing a t-shirt and boxers and how, in her search to find Chloe after she found the girl missing from her room, she managed to not notice a chair by the kitchen door with Chloe's shoes under it.

But then the book snuck up and grabbed me. I don't know when or how, but the story took hold and I couldn't put it down. Since I previously confessed to being a sap, this may come as no surprise -- A couple parts moved me to tears.

This was a quick read and when I got to the end, I found myself asking. That's it?" But not in a bad way. Ms. Kwan made me want more. I wanted to keep reading about Luke, Tyler, and Chloe's life now that they were a family unit. I wanted to know more about Nate and ally and their life after he surprised her with their wedding, solidifying in her mind that he truly was committed to her and their future. (I'm going to have to snag a copy of Real Men Don't Break Hearts to read the story of how their romance developed.)

For a quick beach or poolside read, this is an excellent choice.

That being said, there are some things that I would have liked to see explored/expanded. I expected Gretchen to fight dirty in trying to take Chloe from Tyler, not to just back off after a talking to by Luke. I would have also liked there to have been more to the issue of the celebrity who commissioned the custom necklace from Tyler , then refused to pay her. I thought maybe there was an issue with Paige and Seth's marriage that related to Ally (Seth is the guy who left Ally, Tyler's BFF at the altar on their wedding day) and maybe Crystal was being crappy to Tyler because of her friendship with Ally. Turns out, Crystal was just mad because she wasn't going to be the host of a Dancing With the Stars-type show and was upset about that. Then Paige's demeanor made me suspect something was going on with her, but nothing was ever revealed (maybe in the next book?). I also wanted to see more done with Luke's dad. The man abandoned his family and showed up twenty years later, broke and claiming to be recovering from recently having half his liver removed. His ending up with some rich woman was expected, but I wanted to learn about his character through his own actions/words, not mostly through what other characters said/thought about him.

While I wanted more out of the story, I give it four stars for what it is (a quick summer read), not what I wish it was.

Click the cover below to be taken to the Amazon page for Real Men Don't Quit.

Author Information

Coleen Kwan has been a bookworm all her life. At school English was her favorite subject, but for some reason she decided on a career in IT. After many years of programming, she wondered what else there was in life — and discovered writing. She loves writing contemporary romance and steampunk romance.
Coleen lives in Sydney, Australia with her partner and two children. When she isn’t writing she enjoys avoiding housework, eating chocolate, and watching The Office.

Author Website:

**Disclosure: I received an ARC of this novel for review purposes. I received no compensation, financial or otherwise.

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