I'll give you some book reviews to read while I'm having surgery and recovering. Aren't I the greatest?
Hard as Mason - Cindy B. Wells
Laura Bellamy is a rising star at her San Francisco company. She is smart, beautiful, professional, respected, and driven to succeed. Unfortunately, the greater her success grows, the more her husband’s insecurities are revealed. The couple has been married only three years since busy Laura took a chance on finding love on an internet dating website.
But once the honeymoon ended, the more she tried to make their marriage succeed, the more Greg’s true colors stained their crumbling relationship. He is jealous, paranoid, and cruel. Adding to their pressure-cooker marriage, he focuses his insecurities into pressuring his wife to start a family and give up the career that makes her happy.
Laura has worked with the same company for longer than she’s known her husband. In that time, not only has she loved her career, she’s also enjoyed her friendship with Mason Paladino. Mason is a fellow executive who is witty, sophisticated, and a bit of a goofball who sports a gorgeous swimmer’s body. For too long, the friends have suspected they share romantic chemistry, but neither will break their vows. If the right conditions present themselves, will they act on their simmering desires? Would it be wrong to deny their love? Can Laura trust her heart to show her the right path after failing miserably with her husband?
When Greg’s insecurities push him over the edge from cruel to criminal, will Laura stay, or end the toxic relationship? And if he catches her with a new man, how far will his anger drive his actions to tear them apart?
Find out what happens to Laura and Mason in book one of the Sultry Tides series by Cindy B. Wells.
So when I started this book, I had to keep reminding myself this is book one in a series. Even at the end of the book, with the cliff hanger ending (of sorts), I was a little perturbed but then again, it's the first in a series so I'm OK with that. Things are going to all get resolutions in a future book and so I'll wait patiently.
I'm going to be honest, I kind of don't like Laura. I know her marriage is a mess, and I know Mason's marriage is a mess and on the way out as well. I know all of this, but the goodie two shoes part of me is screaming, this is all wrong, wrong, wrong. And I so very much liked Mason. I see Mason as the hopeless romantic, the kind of guy who would be used and abused by women and always have a broken heart. I see Laura as this go getter, fast track career woman, who wouldn't ever be able to focus enough on a partner and start a family. Which is the reason her marriage is a hot mess in the first place.
I loved the erotic scenes in the book, I loved the romance of dating a person and trying to really woo a girl, I loved Mason's thoughtful gestures. I worry that this will be one of those relationships that start out super hot and heavy and then give it a few months and it's like, they realize this was just rebound and therapy for broken hearts. For their sake, I hope it doesn't go that route.
What I also enjoyed was the story line with Greg. He's a complete loon. I really liked it because I think this is a really common issue in marriages- people don't really lay out their expectations on what married life is going to be like, what their family planning expectations are, and just being able to handle successes and failures. So many marriages are doomed to fail because these things are never discussed, it's just assumed you'd work it out and that's just never going to be the case. But Greg is a nut job and honestly, I'm kind of worried for Laura. I don't think anything good is going to come of that at all.
With that said? It's a strong debut. Sure, a few things I'd work on (didn't love some of the descriptors, like refer to a penis as meat, "lady juice", things like that, but admittedly- I'm funny when it comes to things like that, so this could just be me being a nerd.), but overall I was really impressed. I went in thinking it would be so-so, but I had a hard time putting it down and I already want to read the sequel, so I consider that a success!
The book is available on Amazon!