Hello, my lovelies!
Happy Monday! I hope you have all had a wonderful weekend.
Today, it is the beginning of the “It’s Not Over” blog tour. Besides my review, you will be able to read an excerpt from the book, watch the book trailer and enter the tour wide giveaway.
Title: “It’s Not Over” (The Do-Over #2)
Author: A. L. Zaun
Genre: Contemporary Adult Romance
Release Date: 12th January 2014.
“If I let go, will you catch me?”
He had wanted her to help him win his ex-girlfriend back. She had wanted to teach him a few lessons on how to treat a woman. Neither one had planned for the unexpected.
I couldn’t stand by and watch. It hit too close to home. I had to run fast and far to get away and forget him. He weaseled his way into my life, making me question rules I lived by and turned my orderly life upside down. I’m falling apart and coming undone. I don’t do that. I’m Madison Stuart. I live life by my rules. I won’t be derailed by a man. I won’t…I can’t.
She’s gone. I’m desperate and going insane. I’ll do whatever it takes to find her. I don’t know when it happened, but I won’t let her go, not like this. What has she done to me? I’m Rick Marin for crying out loud. I don’t chase women, but she’s not just a woman. She’s Maddy–my Maddy–and I need her.
Follow Rick and Madison’s story, The Do Over’s most notorious couple, as they learn that It’s Not Over.
ARC received by the author in exchange for and honest review.
Although this is #2 in The Do Over Series, I believe you can read it as a standalone novel. However, I would not advice it as I believe you miss out on the real Rick Experience if you do not read book one.
This review will focus mainly on Rick and Madison instead of the actual storyline as there is so much going on in the book that I fear I will reveal too much once I get started. But first a bit of a warming, though: this books ends in a major cliffhanger…Yes, you read it right. And I know I have said it before: I do not mind cliffhangers at all, but THIS one? Well, this one makes me a bit annoyed because it is huge and I do not know when the next installment in the series comes out.
I confess that I did not much like either Rick or Madison much after having read the first book. But you know me by now: I like to keep an open mind about the books I read, and I really think that this second book in the series is better than the first.
Rick really is a strange man: in some ways, he is a complete player and one should not believe a word that comes out of his mouth. But on the other hand, you cannot help feeling sympathy towards him as he struggles to get Madison to understand the depth of his feelings. I really enjoyed getting to know him better and to see the real man underneath the salesman mask he usually wears. Of course, he is still a bit of a douche – he would not be Rick otherwise – but he is most definitely a likeable one.
“I can’t live with her, and I can’t live without her. I’m officially straight jacket material.” (Rick)
And even though, in theory, Rich should be all kinds of wrong for Madison, he is actually perfect for her: strong-willed, alpha, yet sweet when he has to be. He sees behind Madison’s mask – much to her dismay – and he keeps hanging on, even when he finds it extremely difficult to do so. And is that not what we all want in life? Having a partner that does not let go no matter what life throws at you?
As for Madison…Honestly, in the beginning of the story, she almost gave me whiplash with her mood swings and I cannot blame Rick for being worried about his hair falling out whenever he runs his hands through it *wink*. But once I got to see beneath the tough businesswoman exterior she wears all the time, I had absolutely no problems connecting with her. I even found myself tearing up when I learned about her past, and I felt really sorry for her. I loved her feisty, strong, sassy personality and how she does not let Rick get away with anything. True, she does frustrate me at times with her stubbornness, but she is a woman who, despite everything, really is ruled by her past. She cannot just let go of her past grievances, and I really think that Miss Zaun excels at showing us Madison’s inner turmoil.
“Enough is enough. I didn’t know what tomorrow would hold or what yesterday had meant. I was in the moment, and right then and there, I wanted him, maybe even needed him. “Kiss me like you mean it.” (Madison)
In some ways, Rick and Madison’s relationship should be classified as a bit dysfunctional: they fight all the time, they always think they are right when they are not, and both are really bad at compromising…Having said that, it works for them, and as their story progresses, they learn to trust each other. They are still very stubborn people, of course, and neither one of them change that much throughout the book, but that is what makes their love story believable to me: if Rick had, all of a sudden, stopped being manipulative, and Madison had just let him take over completely, I would not find it real. In my opinion, real people do not change that much and I find it refreshing that this book couple learn that their strengths and weaknesses are part of why they are perfect for each other. I really cannot write this review without mentioning how the banter between this couple made me laugh so hard many times. Oh, and let us not forget the sex scenes…Phew! They are, indeed, very hot and steamy.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book: the characters are flawed, but real; the storyline had my adrenaline pumping at high speed on more than one occasion, and the sweet moments made my romantic heart sigh happily. The writing is really well and had me riveted to the pages from page one, and I honestly cannot wait to read the conclusion to Rich and Madison’s story, which, I hope, we will not have to wait too long for.
Enjoy the excerpt, ladies!
In a tender voice, he said, “Maddy, you’ve got to be one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. Tonight though, you’re also breathtaking.”
“Thank you.” I accepted his compliment while draping the linen napkin across my lap, and I smiled to myself.
“I think we’re making progress.” He winked. “Normally, you’d insult me when I said something nice to you.”
“True.” I shrugged and said offhandedly, “You’ve annoyed the shit out of me today. I think I deserve having you kiss my ass.”
“You know, I’m the best ass-kisser there is.” He ran his fingers along my back. “Why stop with the ass when you’ve got an amazing body that requires the same level of care and attention?”
“Is this your best?” I gave him a side-glance. “I’m counting on the wow factor. I want it to be so good that I actually believe you.”
He shifted in his seat and cocked his head. “I don’t know why you ever doubt me.”
“For starters, you’re a liar and a manipulator.”
“Minor technicality,” he said in a serious tone.
I laughed. “Let’s add comedian as well.”
His eyes widened, and I held back a giggle.
“You really believe that, don’t you?” I asked.
“I’ve never hidden that from you. In fact, you’re the only person I’ve ever been completely honest with. You accept me for who I am, kick me in the ass on a constant basis, and call me out on my bullshit.” He reached for his wine and took a sip. “Let me put it to you this way. You disappeared on me, and I pulled every single trick I had to find you. Think about that. When have I ever had to work this hard to get a woman to talk to me? Never.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A.L. Zaun graduated from FloridaInternationalUniversity with a degree in English Literature when the dinosaurs roamed the earth and cellphones were the size of a brick. Her impressive degree did absolutely nothing for her professional endeavors in health care management but did stir her imagination and opened up the world of books in a new way.
Armed with a large bottle of Diet Pepsi and a multi-pack of Extra Sugar-Free gum, A.L. Zaun spends her evenings bringing to life the characters that dominate her thoughts and interrupt her sleep.
PURCHASE LINKS FOR “IT’S NOT OVER”
Barnes & Noble: TBA
If you have yet to read the first book the series, “The Do Over”, here is all the information you need about the book.
Life doesn’t look like it’s supposed to for Dani Ruiz, a hopeless romantic. After a painful and sudden break-up with Rick Marin, Dani hides away from reality, retreating to a world of fiction where she prefers book boyfriends over the hassles of a relationship.
Almost two years later, Dani’s friends are tired of watching her in a holding pattern, so they stage an intervention, forcing her back into the real world of dating.
Unexpectedly, Dani meets Liam Lucas, a down-to-earth firefighter. He might be the person to show her she’s still worth something. Dani’s hesitant to trust her heart with another man, but their instant and electric chemistry is something she can’t deny.
As Dani starts to believe that she’s found her real-life book boyfriend, Rick decides that he’ll go to any lengths to get her back. Seeing Rick as a changed man makes Dani question everything.
Can Dani trust her patched-up heart with Liam?
Or has Rick transformed into the man she’s always wanted?
Written from various points of views, The Do Over is a story of second chances and new beginnings.
Do not forget to enter the giveaway, everyone!