Thursday, May 8, 2014
Review: Laugh (Burnside #2) by Mary Ann Rivers
Mary Ann Rivers continues her Burnside family series—perfect for readers of Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis, and Ruthie Knox—as two people try to share their hearts without losing their cool.
Dr. Sam Burnside is convinced that volunteering at an urban green-space farm in Lakefield, Ohio, is a waste of time—especially with his new health clinic about to open. He only goes to mollify his partner, suspecting she wants him to lighten up. Then Sam catches sight of Nina Paz, a woman who gives off more heat than a scorcher in July. Her easy smile and flirty, sizzling wit has him forgetting his infamous need for control.
Widowed when her husband was killed in Afghanistan, Nina has learned that life exists to take chances. As the daughter of migrant workers turned organic farmers, she’s built an exciting and successful business by valuing new opportunities and working hard to take care of her own. But when Sam pushes for a relationship that goes beyond their hotter-than-fire escapades, Nina ignores her own hard-won wisdom. She isn’t ready for a man who needs saving—even if her heart compels her to take the greatest risk of all: love. ~ Adult Contemporary romance
Goodreads | Author | Amazon
Source: E-ARC provided by Loveswept publishing via Netgalley
Laugh had a bit of a rough start for me. I didn't immediately connect to Sam or Nina, although I liked them both very much, and almost gave up but Rivers has this way with dialogue that just sucker punches you when you least expect it. Her characters are so stripped down and raw. You want to take that journey with them, however bumpy it might get.
This is a quiet story and the intensity of it all sneaks up on you. Sam Burnside suffers from ADHD and because of it, he doesn’t have the best relationship with his brother or sisters because he is always trying to be in control of everything and everyone around him.
I hadn’t read Live (Burnside #1) so I never saw the darker side of Sam. I just met this troubled, yet well meaning, guy here in Laugh. Even with his controlling behavior, I felt really bad for how others treated him and their low expectations of him, even though I gather he deserved some of it. Sam admits to his flaws and struggles to find a way to communicate better but doesn't always succeed, except with Nina, a widow, who is like a breath of fresh air to him. She has learned to go with the flow of life and appreciates his quirks. I love how she saw the good side of him and even defended him when he needed it most.
This isn’t a BIG story. It could be slow and meandering at times, but not in a bad way. It’s a story of friends, family, lovers, coming together, drifting apart and back together again. It’s basically – life. Rivers is very good at capturing *real* life and those quieter but profound moments that change us.
There is also THE funniest, messed up, first date scene I think I’ve ever read. It’s worth buying the book just for that.
Laugh makes you want to go out and take life by the horns, hug your friends and family tight and yes….laugh.
And OMG I neeeeeeeed PJ's (Sam’s brother) book. Desperately. That boy stole every scene he was in! I’m already hopelessly in love.