Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Book Review: "Breaking the Bachelor" (Maggie Kelley)

Remember playing Truth or Dare as a kid? What if you played it once as an adult ... and find both your reputation and career are on the line as a result?

Now you can imagine how Jane Wright feels. She's a matchmaker based in Manhattan, who believes that relationships are based solely on scientifically measurable standards of compatibility, and not on anything remotely emotional or physical (like attraction). And her competition has cornered her into a bet: that her scientific system can find a match for Charlie Goodman, sexy bartender and Manhattan's most desirable bachelor ... and Jane's ex-lover.

Charlie, meanwhile, has zero interest in letting Jane match him with anybody. He's still desperately attracted to him, even though she dumped him via cocktail napkin. In his opinion, revenge is a dish best served heavy on the compatibility characteristics Jane is so against: attraction and good old-fashioned lust and desire. If he can seduce her and show her how it feels to be dumped, she'll get a taste of her own medicine.

He just doesn't count on falling for her all over again.

Entangled Publishing's Lovestruck imprint presents Breaking the Bachelor by Maggie Kelley, debuting just this month. For a romance simultaneously sweet and intriguingly sexy, this offering delivers.

One of its most unique selling points is the way each chapter opens with Twitter messages, quick exchanges that set the scene and provide context for the chapter contents. It's a different (in a really good way) technique with which to maintain reader interest and tension, especially as Jane and her competition in the matchmaking industry exchange increasingly biting Tweets.

Charlie, especially, is a multidimensional character ... who ever heard of a bartender being voted the best-known and most eligible bachelor in the whole of Manhattan? And yet he wears his notoriety easily, even as he works his charm and skills to his advantage over Jane. He is her perfect foil: determined to prove to her that love is something that can be felt, not necessarily scientifically analyzed and proven.

Jane, on the other hand, falls flatter as a character. She's not as well-rounded as her lover, even as she excels at snarky dialogue effectively designed to put Charlie in his place more than once. Indeed, their exchanges are one of the most entertaining aspects of the story.

Also a challenge to what would otherwise be a suspenseful (in the romantic and sexual senses) read is the great deal of back story included in the first few chapters as the stage is set for the characters to act in their present setting and situations, and the lengthy paragraphs of explanation throughout the work. Such aspects slow the forward momentum of the story regrettably, and the pacing suffers for it.

Still, for a feel-good love story based on an intriguing premise, Breaking the Bachelor fits the bill.

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Author: Maggie Kelley
Title: Breaking the Bachelor
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Lovestruck)
ISBN: 978-1-63375-089-0
Purchase here:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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