Stacey is Sassy received a complimentary copy of this story. The copy provided was not the final version and may be subject to edits and changes
Published by Tuxbury Publishing LLC on May 29, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Sometimes you fall for Mr. Right. And sometimes for Mr. Right Now… May Did you hear the one about the girl who walks into a bar and catches her live-in lover kissing someone else? No? You’re the only one in town who missed it. Luckily Alec is there to wrap me up in strong arms and carry me out the door before things get too ugly. And that’s not all Alec is good at. Our unexpected chemistry makes him the perfect rebound guy. Alec I should know better than to hook up with my rival’s little sister, but the fiery look in May’s eyes really turns my crank. She needs cheering up, and I’m just the guy for the job. It’s not like I’ll fall in love. Not even after a string of scorching hot trysts, and the realization that we’re good at the same things: wild nights and familial disappointment. I don’t do love, never have, never will. So this is the perfect arrangement, for both of us. Nobody would approve, but nobody has to know…
(True North #5)
By Sarina Bowen
It’s easy to exceed low expectations…
***A wee bit spoilerish if you haven’t read this series yet, please, proceed with caution.***
I can truly sympathise with both May and Alec because I too suffer from…Middle Child Syndrome. Scoff all you like, but it’s a known fact that we, the middle child, are overlooked, forgotten and misjudged. I too have seen the shock on relatives faces when, surprise, surprise, I do something well. For me – *Oh, you’re a book reviewer? I didn’t even know you could read…* – NICE!! (slight exaggeration) For Alec, he’s a good-looking guy who likes to party, so, of course, he should hang out in a bar. If he owns and works the bar and it succeeds, it’s only because a partier knows what a partier wants…not because of long hours and hard work. In May’s case, she’s a recovering alcoholic which means she’ll always be A RECOVERING ALCOHOLIC.
You’re probably all doing one of those soft chuckles, shaking your head at us poor middle children. But honestly, we get it tough. I’ll give you an example…growing up I had to do whatever activity my sister did. I was a tomboy, she was a girly girl. My mother made me do JAZZ BALLET…I still have nightmares. Both my older and younger sisters are DRAMA QUEENS (in the nicest possible ways), me, I get nervous answering the telephone. Guess who was signed up for a singing ensemble?
I better stop here, or the rest of the review will be about… It’s the Hard-knock Life…for a middle child.
So, I get it, I really and truly get it. Alec and May have to face life’s battles while also prove that they are more than the partier or the alcoholic. I don’t know why but it seems that friends and families have low expectations of a middle child. Even funnier, we tend to live up to those low expectations. Why try harder if all you expect is mediocre? Maybe, it’s because we love to, occasionally, surprise the bugger out of you.
In Speakeasy, we are treated to another visit with the Shipley family and the True North gang. I loved feeling like I was visiting old friends and having a catch-up. These characters have grown so much since the beginning and we get to witness them grow even further. Instead of cider, it was all about the beer this time.
You may be asking, well Sassy, how does a recovering alcoholic end up in a relationship with a bar owner? Well, my book reading friends, it certainly wasn’t an easy journey. It all came down to how much you want it.
IT, you ask?
A relationship will work if both parties want it enough. Sobriety works if you never forget where you’ve been and keep on keeping on, walking the path to where you want to go. I loved that it wasn’t easy for either Alec or May. If it was easy, I’m not sure I would have believed it. Sarina Bowen gives it to us real, and that’s why she’s a master at her craft.
Speakeasy was real and at times emotional. I loved the storyline, the characters and the feelings this story provoked in me. Yes, I understood the characters better because of our shared battles of living the life of a Middle Child, but it was more than that. I recognised May’s feelings of failure and hating to disappoint loved ones. I could sympathise with Alec when bad choices in your younger years seem to be a name tag you’ll wear for the rest of your life. I loved that by the end of the story, you couldn’t help but look at May and Alec in a new light. They are more than their pasts and their bad choices. Both want to move forward together and once they start to trust their feelings, it was obvious they were perfect for each other.
I’ll be a little honest here…I think I may love Alec a little more than May. Seriously, wait until you meet this guy. He’s far from perfect but he’s sweet, kind, thoughtful, hard-working, lovable, good with kids, sexy and honest.
Anyways…MIDDLE CHILDREN UNITE!!
I highly recommend Speakeasy and if you haven’t started the True North series yet, get to it.