Review: How to Handle a Heartbreaker by Marie Harte

how to handle a heartbreakerReviewed by Shelly

The second story in Marie Harte’s McCauley Brothers series tells the story of Brody Singer – the ‘twin’ brother to Flynn McCauley (The Troublemaker Next Door – Book 1). Brody is the blond in the family. He was raised in the McCauley household since he was a youngster and became part of the family. He and Flynn have a plumbing business and do well enough as young entrants into the market. Having met Abby Dunn months ago after she and her roommates – Maddie (Flynn’s love interest in Book 1) and Vanessa – moved into his parents’ rental property, Brody has been lusting after and flirting with Abby ever since. Abby is a writer of ‘sexy’ books with a ‘regular’ side job as a web designer. She’s had a thing for Brody ever since purposefully eavesdropping (part of research of course) on him and his brothers – Flynn, Mike, and Cameron – during their weekly poker night conversations.

I said this in my Book 1 review and it still remains true. The relationships between the brothers – Flynn, Mike, Cam and Brody – were some of the best part for me. They’re crass, physical and love with 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 Maddie because their personalities were so distinct and opposite.

The chemistry between Abby and Brody was combustible. But there was something about them as a couple that didn’t really click for me. Abby has a tremendous amount of self-criticism that put me on the fence. I’m not sure I liked it, but then again, I don’t think I understood why she disliked herself so much. I know that was supposed to have been after the ex-boyfriend said some untrue and mentally damaging things to her but for some reason I didn’t feel that pain. I don’t know, maybe my empathy button was a bit low that day. Reading about Abby from a distance in Book 1 was fun, but finally getting to know her – she wasn’t really a memorable character. Not even her not-so-nice sister endeared me to Abby and I didn’t like that I wasn’t able to connect with her. And what’s up with Abby asking Brody while they’re having sex to ‘put your hands around my throat and squeeze’? Umm – I guess to each his own.

Brody was a lot more interesting to me. He had much more baggage in his biological family than Abby and that was fun to read. The story was pretty mundane and if I may say typical until Brody’s brother and father showed up on the scene. The emotions really started showing and I was able to see Brody as more than a one dimensional person. The dynamics between him and Flynn even surprised me because I saw more than the overly macho, alpha male personas. I got that Brody had his own issues and being self-critical was his way of dealing with many of his past – but the repetitive times I was reminded of Brody not being a birth member of the McCauley was… overdone. I got it after about the 5th time. I was much more interested in the interaction between James and Brody and Beth and Brody.

There are some other story lines that I found interesting. There’s something amiss with Beth and James McCauley. Hopefully we’ll find out about that in the next story between Cameron and Vanessa. That should be interesting because Vanessa, by far, has the more dominant personality among the three roommates. Mike looks like he might have his story with a female mechanic who’s tatted and pierced – not sure about that.

Overall, this was a fun read that I wanted to like much more than I did. But if you’re in the mood for a curvy heroine and a ripped hero who have a thing for bedroom kink then give this one a try.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: C+

*ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon

How to Handle a Heartbreaker
by Marie Harte
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

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