Monday, February 22, 2016
Review: The Lopez Brothers–books #1 & #2 by Rebecca Rogers Maher
Rolling in the Deep (Lopez Brothers #1)
Holly Ward is stretched to the breaking point, raising her young son alone and working long hours for minimum wage at a local superstore. Sure, she’s noticed the new guy with the easy grin and warm brown eyes, but she’s learned the hard way that relationships aren’t worth the pain. Still, when he invites her to split a lottery ticket, she figures a little innocent fun couldn’t hurt. The last thing she expects is to score big, which is exactly what happens . . . in more ways than one.
From the moment he meets Holly, Ray Lopez is drawn to her quiet dignity and openhearted beauty. And when they hit the jackpot together, he’s thrilled that the single mom can give her kid a better life. The only problem is the chaos surrounding them: lawyers and reporters swarming, friends and family angling to get their cut. In all the chaos, Ray discovers an oasis of calm and passion in Holly. But with the stakes higher than ever, winning her trust could cost him everything. ~ Goodreads
Review: I loved the idea of exploring the dark side of winning big at the lottery. I’m sure the pros far outweigh the cons, but there are cons. People come out of the woodwork to use you, you’re now a target for scammers or worse. And Holly, as a single mother of a young boy, has additional fears for her son.
While I always love how well Maher portrays real life problems and people, this couple just didn’t spark with me. The story doesn’t really explore much of the problems that occur with winning – other than the inital overbearing press. Instead focusing on the guilt that Holly and Ray feel and to be honest – I just didn’t get that. They both have worked hard in life and don’t get very far ahead and instead of being happy, they worry about people who have it worse and deserved to win more. But can’t you help them now?? I mean – you played the game and someone has to win. Why not two generous, kind, intelligent people who had the frame of mind not to blow it all in one place?
Holly comes from an abusive marriage and her ex still looms large over her life, using her son to control her, even after winning the lottery. I think the author did an excellent job portraying the damage that kind of abuse leaves on a person long term but there just wasn’t anything overly compelling about her or Ray. They’re very nice people and I was happy they found each other – they both deserved it but they both spent too much time in their own heads feeling guilty for me to connect to them on a deeper level.
Just Give Me One Reason (Lopez Brothers #2)
Tony Lopez is losing it. Burdened by a broken marriage and a failing business, the divorced father of two young daughters isn’t on his A game when he meets Beth. She’s clearly pregnant and defiantly single: a beautiful, graceful vision that lights a fire somewhere deep beneath Tony’s layers of self-doubt. They connect at his brother’s upstate New York home during a weekend among friends. Except friends don’t feel this kind of chemistry—or want each other so bad it hurts.
Beth Cody has no use for ties that bind. She’s witnessed that kind of wrecking ball. The father of her child isn’t in the picture, and she couldn’t be happier. So when Tony sends her already raging hormones off the chart with his rugged good looks and pent-up sexuality, Beth is thrilled to indulge in a short-term affair, with no strings attached. But one taste isn’t enough. And now that she’s out of her comfort zone, Beth either needs to let go or take a chance on a man who might just be worthy of her love. ~ Goodreads
Source: e-arc provided in exchange for an honest review
Review: This was a unique romance. Beth is 7 months pregnant with another man’s baby (he’s out of the picture and gave up parental rights). She’s a confident, independent woman, with a healthy libido, who doesn’t want a long term commitment.
Tony, recently divorced, father of two, is struggling with the fact that despite following all the *rules* his marriage ended and he’s struggling to keep his business afloat.
Beth and Tony have an immediate, intense attraction to each other that they try to ignore but it’s difficult since they keep getting thrown into social situations because of Holly and Ray (the previous couple and Beth’s BFF, Tony’s brother). They resist as long as they can until stranded at Holly’s house during a snow storm.
I really loved how Beth’s desire for independence and desire to not be in a relationship wasn’t portrayed as a problem to be solved. That’s just who she is. She did need to adjust somewhat to let Tony into her life but there was none of that – you just need to find the right guy or you must have a traditional marriage to be happy.
Beth helps Tony learn that his dreams and desires matter, while Tony helps Beth see that letting someone in doesn’t mean that they take over.
All in all I loved their chemistry but I did think think Beth’s desire to break Tony down was a little one-sided. In the end, I’m not convinced that Tony is getting as much as he needs from this relationship.
And the sex…it was hot and I love that Beth didn't stop being sexual just because she’s pregnant – but if you keep ending up in the ER with a pregnancy related emergency after each sexual encounter maybe cool it. lol
If you’re open to a unconventional romance and ending I would give this one a try.