Review: The Troublemaker Next Door by Marie Harte

troublemaker next doorReviewed by Shelly

This is my first book by Marie Harte and I enjoyed it enough that it won’t be my last. Book 1 in the McCauley Brothers series, this installment does a fine job of introducing the brothers including Brody Singer (long story, tell ya later). Sent by his big brother, Mike, to fix the kitchen sink leak in their parents’ rental, Flynn McCauley of the Clan McCauley goes to where cousins Maddie and Vanessa and their friend Abby are living. Maddie is having a humdinger of a terrible day, having just quit her job. Unfortunately for Flynn, he’s going to meet Maddie while she’s on a man-hating tear. These two have a rough start of it. Can they accept each other enough to make a new start?

The relationships between the brothers – Flynn, Mike, Cam and Brody – were some of the best parts for me. They’re crass, physical, and love one another. The poker night hijinks were some of the funniest that I’ve read in a long time. Mike’s five-year-old son, Colin, stole every scene he was in. The chemistry between the roommates was fun and interesting. I really liked Vanessa and Abby because their personalities were so distinct and opposite.

For some reason, I didn’t like Maddie for Flynn. I really didn’t like Maddie at all. She treated Flynn like crap for the majority of the book. But I can’t blame Maddie entirely for that, because Flynn allowed it. Theirs is that relationship where the man, Flynn, is so beguiled by the good looks of the girl, Maddie, that he’s willing to put up with her mean behavior because she knew that she could get away with it. Maddie had a history of treating men like they’re disposable. And the way Maddie and Flynn were so caught up in the looks of the other – well that’s not something that I can sink my teeth into. Like any red blooded female, I like eye candy, but I don’t see how anything long lasting can be based on that. I had to really work on letting that go to enjoy the story. By the time that Flynn decided to man-up, it was too late for me to root for this couple.

The conflict in this story isn’t based on any outside party trying to harm, no big highs or lows and definitely no big dramatic sequence. Maddie’s angst and self-defeating prose were enough. There’s a lot of conversation about her background and how she dealt with being poor and the way she was raised by her single mother. All which made for interesting reading but her continual lamenting and whining mad me want to reach out and touch her; after a while even I couldn’t blame Vanessa for giving it to her straight.

There are quite a few secondary characters – between Flynn’s brothers and Maddie’s roommates – it’s enough to make a fun and exciting series. Abby and Brody’s story is next which I’m really looking forward to it. Speaking of Brody, he’s not a McCauley by birth but he’s part of their family and I’m sure the full story of how that happened will be revealed.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: B-/C+

*ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Troublemaker Next Door
by Marie Harte
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Comments

  1. I love reading through an article that will make people
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