Author: Erin McCarthy
Series: The Jordan Brothers #2
Genre: Romance / Women's Fiction
Format: Kindle ARC
Date Published: August 28, 2018
No. of Pages: 204
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Bella: I know I’m a princess. I’m used to getting what I want. But all I ever really wanted was a husband and a family. Unlike my sister, Sophie, I’ll never have a brilliant career to fall back on. So what’s a bride to do when she learns that Prince Charming is a cheating snake just a few days before her fairy-tale wedding? With my fiancé begging for another chance, the only way to save the wedding is to even things out with a little revenge sex—and local bartender Christian Jordan seems like the right man for the job.
Christian: If gorgeous Bella Bigelow thinks sleeping with me will somehow lead to happily ever after, I’m not going to turn her down. The guy she wants to marry is a jerk, and her sister is fooling around with my estranged twin brother, Cain. So what’s the problem? Besides falling for a woman who doesn’t know what she wants out of life? All I want to do is whisk her away from that church, take her to a cabin in the woods, and act out all our naughtiest fantasies. And I may just get the chance. . . .
We met Bella Bigelow in The Hookup, which was Sophie and Cain's story. Cain's twin brother Christian Jordan becomes Bella's love interest in The Breakup. Currently, Bella is engaged to Bradley. She has suspected him of cheating. Once it is confirmed, she comes up with a plan. She wants Christian to teach her all about sex so that she can make Bradley want her - and then she'll dump him. Meanwhile, Christian is looking for his next hookup. He wants an unavailable woman and Bella may just be that woman. But then he discovers more than a few complications when it comes to his plan to seduce her.
For the most part Christian and Bella are interesting characters. Christian is a single father, a bartender and is not such a likeable guy in the first book, The Hookup. But this is his story here, and we get to see some layers peeled off. But, he still could have been better. Bella is quite confused. Actually she is rather vapid at times. She wants Bradley. She doesn't want Bradley. She wants Christian. She doesn't want Christian. It was a real boon when she came around to accepting who her heart, mind and body really wanted.
If you like a truly spicy read, then be sure to pick up this book! Bella and Christian share an amazing chemistry. The two make a great pair - he is as hot as they come and she is sexy as hell. If you want a quick, light and enjoyable read, be sure to pick up this book as well as the first in the series, which I would definitely recommend reading first. As there are more brothers, no doubt the series will continue.
Many thanks to Loveswept and to NetGalley for this ARC to review; this is my honest opinion.
PLEASE ENJOY THE FOLLOWING EXCERPT:
I opened the car door and grabbed the box of doughnuts and the very large bottle of chardonnay I had purchased on the drive over. I had taken a shower, removed the rest of my acrylics, fixed my hair extensions, and put on a sundress. Originally I had intended to smash on the doughnuts in my car, but that felt too criminal. I wasn’t trying to impress Christian Jordan. He could deal with me eating fried balls of dough. Thinking his son might be asleep for the night, I texted Christian instead of knocking on the door, so I didn’t wake Camp. When the door swung open I smiled at him, even as my mouth went dry. He was standing there with no shirt on and he was muscular and strong. Tan. Sexy. He had beard stubble, like he’d had a rough day and hadn’t bothered to shave. Which I had to assume he had since he’d spent the night before in jail. Even the dark circles under his eyes only served to make him look more rugged, more manly. He had on jeans, hanging low on his hips, the waistband of his black underwear visible. I swallowed hard when I noticed how carved his abs were and that there seemed to be a V leading down into his pants. My eyes shot back up to his and he looked amused, like he knew what I had been checking out. “Hi!” I said, and my voice was high-pitched and overly cheerful. “Thanks for letting me stop by. I brought you doughnuts and wine.” I flipped the lid of the doughnut box open to display an assortment of flavors. His eyebrows shot up. “Thanks. Come on in.” He didn’t offer to take anything from me and I struggled to hold the wine and close the lid again. It made me feel flustered. I wasn’t sure I could do this. I wasn’t sure I could ask Christian to teach me how to satisfy my fiancé so I could make him want me again, then dump him. But I followed Christian into the house. It was small and dark and dated. But when I stepped in and set the wine and the box on the coffee table, I could see it was very clean. I sank onto a plaid couch and glanced around. “Is your son in bed already?” He nodded. “Just put him down.” Christian was barefoot and he moved past me toward a small kitchen. “I’ll get you a glass.” “The wine is for you,” I lied. It was clear he didn’t believe me. “I’m not going to drink since I’m here alone with Camp. But I’ll get you a glass.” “Oh, well, there’s no point in opening the bottle then,” I said, and yes, I was disappointed. It must have been obvious, because he reversed his position. “Fine, I’ll have a glass too. Just one though.” I actually sighed in relief, and I think he was smart enough to notice. Christian returned with two mismatched wineglasses and a corkscrew. The glass he handed me had holly berries etched on it with Mayor’s Ball above the design. It looked like a party favor of some kind. “Sorry, that’s all my mother has,” he said. “I think she drinks wine out of juice glasses usually. We’re not about appearances here, in case you hadn’t noticed.” “This is fine, thank you.” He opened the wine and poured a full glass first for me, then for himself. I took a delicate sip. “Which doughnut would you like? You get first pick.” I turned the box with a flourish. “You seem like a chocolate glaze kind of guy. Or no, I think the bacon one. Do you like bacon?” I pointed to it and smiled at Christian. He stared at me and said with a slow, sexy drawl, “I want a cream filled.” “Oh!” I wasn’t even sure if I had gotten a cream-filled one. I scanned the box, flustered. Then my cheeks burned when I realized he had just meant it as a sexual innuendo. He probably didn’t even want a dang doughnut. But I snagged the Boston cream out of the box and held it out to him. “Here you go.” Christian took it from me and bit into it, taking nearly half the pastry into his mouth. “Mmm. Thanks.” He wasn’t doing anything unusual, but for some reason I felt hot all over. I fanned myself. “Is it warm in here?” “Yes, sorry. No air-conditioning.” “Does that mean you’re not going to put a shirt on?” I was both horrified and intrigued by that. I didn’t want to see him shirtless. Yet I couldn’t stop looking at his chest. “That’s exactly what it means. Pretend we’re at the beach. Or maybe locked in a closet together.” Not something I wanted to picture at all. No room to move. Christian close to me. Our bodies brushing. I crossed my legs tightly and chose a doughnut covered in sprinkles. I took a minuscule bite, so tiny it almost wasn’t worth it. But I was afraid of it, in a weird way. I had trained myself to think of sweets and fat and carbs as the enemy. Sugar exploded in my mouth. I closed my eyes, overcome with pleasure. “Holy moly, that tastes so good. Oh my God.” I took another, bigger bite. “You haven’t had a doughnut in a while?” he asked, sitting down on a chair next to the couch and sliding back into it, his legs spread. “It’s been eleven years since I ate a doughnut. It’s like a unicorn to me at this point. They don’t exist.” The feeling that swept over me was legitimate euphoria. I dipped my tongue inside the doughnut to scrape away a huge blob of buttercream icing. It actually gave me goosebumps and I sighed in ecstasy. “Do you have any idea how sexy you are?” he asked. “Or is that the game? You know it and you’re trying to drive me crazy. Because if that’s what it is, it’s working.” Shocked, I shook my head. Beautiful, attractive, thin, sure. I knew I was those things. But sexy? No. I never felt sexy. Sexy was for women who knew how to let down their guard and get messy and dirty. That wasn’t me. Ever. “I wasn’t trying to do anything. I just really forgot how good doughnuts taste.” “That’s kind of insane, you know. Eleven years?” He took a sip of his wine and swished it around like it was mouthwash. “But I’m glad you’re enjoying it.” I was too busy chewing another mouthful to respond. “So, besides wanting an excuse to eat a doughnut in a judgment-free zone, can I ask why you’re here?” This was the tricky part. How did I express myself without sounding totally pathetic? “Is this a judgment-free zone?” I asked to stall and gauge his receptiveness. “Yes.” Christian nodded. He finished off his wine, watching me as he did. “And I think you picked me because you know that. Look around you. Nothing here to be pretentious about. Local loser and all that.” My pleasure was interrupted by the shame of those words. “I’m sorry. I still can’t believe I said that. Honestly, I’m a nice person.” I wanted everyone around me to be happy, to feel special—I’ve always been this way. I couldn’t believe I had taken out my insecurity on Christian in such an ugly way when I was drunk. “Water under the bridge, Bella. Doesn’t mean I won’t give you s*** about it when I can though.” He grinned and leaned forward, picked up a doughnut with powdered sugar dusted over the top. “Here. You know you want it.” I did. My mouth watered. I fought with myself. One was fine, but two? Like how disgusting would that be? But he was smiling at me and it wasn’t a lecherous smile. It was oddly sweet. Like he thought I was cute. I took it and bit it, feeling a little sullen and a lot guilty. “Don’t feel guilty,” he said, as if he could read my thoughts. “You’re too skinny anyway.” That had me dropping the doughnut. “What? What are you talking about? I’m not emaciated.” I was mortified. I worked hard to be thin and in shape. Really hard. To hear that he thought I was unattractive was just absolutely humiliating. I stood up quickly. “I should go.” “What?” He stood up too and grabbed my arm. “Why? Why did that upset you?” I forced myself to look at him. “It’s not a big deal.” Just that my fiancé apparently thought I was unattractive and now clearly this random guy did too. “I just think I made a mistake in coming here.” I wasn’t even sure what the heck I was doing anymore. It was a new sensation for me and I hated it. I had never felt so unsure of myself. “Just tell me what’s going on,” he said. “And then we can decide if it was a mistake or not.” I stopped to consider his words. Normally, I was tenacious in getting what I wanted. I had inherited that from my mother. And I was here already anyway. So I forced my chin up and told him the truth. “I came here to ask you to help me be better at sex.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
USA Today and New York Times Bestselling author Erin McCarthy first published in 2002 and has since written over sixty novels and novellas in teen fiction, new adult romance, paranormal, and contemporary romance. Erin is a RITA finalist and an ALA Reluctant Young Reader award recipient, and is both traditionally and indie published.
When she’s not writing she can be found sipping martinis in high heels or eating ice cream in fleece pajamas depending on the day, and herding her animals, kids, and amazing renovation-addicted husband.