“To The Max” (Bowen #3) by Elle Aycart – My Review

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Title: “To The Max” (Bowen #3)

Author: Elle Aycart

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 10th February, 2015.

Publisher: Loose ID

SYNOPSIS

Forensic accountant Annie Griffin has always suspected she’s a bit jinxed, so when she finds herself 35, single, temporarily homeless, and pregnant on a technicality by a gigolo, her fears are confirmed.

Adrenaline junkie and professional stuntman Max Bowen needs a house-sitter to watch after his pets while he’s out of town. Annie needs a place to stay. Standard quid pro quo. No biggie. She can handle that, whatever hellhounds he owns. Until Max, the most sought-after bachelor in the county, comes back ahead of schedule and suddenly she’s roommates with a 27-year old sex God who turns out to be so much more than what she expected.

Max might have had the attention span of a humming bird on crack when it comes to women, but that was before Annie. Her quirkiness and sweet contradictions soon captivate him, not that she’s inclined to give him the time of the day. With his reputation preceding him, he knows the odds are badly stacked against him, but he will do his best to prove her that he’s what she needs, stuck-up socialite grandmothers, doomsday preppers, groupies, pregnancy hormones, and repentant biological dads be damned.

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My Review

Complimentary copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Every reader who has read the previous books about the Bowen brothers (“More than Meets the Ink”, “Heavy Issues”, and “Inked Ever After”) by Elle Aycart has probably been as eager as me about getting the story of Max: the incredibly handsome stuntman and womanizer, and the youngest of the brothers. I was very eager to get beneath the skin and find out what makes Max the way it is, and when I read the blurb about Annie, his love interest, I became even more excited about reading this romance novel.

I do not really see a point in giving you a play-by-play about what happens in this book, because I really believe that you should delve into it and become lost in Annie and Max and everything that takes place without any preconceived notions about it. However, as always, I will do my best in writing my thoughts and feelings about these characters and the story as a whole, and I hope that, in turn, will make you pick up a copy of your own. That is why I write reviews, after all. 😉

Imagine finding yourself pregnant after a random one-night-stand at a time in your life when your biological clock is ticking away. What will you do? I have to say that the way Annie chooses to go about her situation – and the subsequent “issues” many women face as the weeks pass – seems very realistic, and I came to care for her a great deal. She is a smart and pretty down-to-earth character, and I very much enjoyed getting to know her. She has an inner strength that I admire, and although she feels rather insecure about herself at times, the issues she carries within were very easy for me to relate to. Annie grows through the course of the book, and I admit that Max helps her a lot in this aspect – but is that not also what we seek in a partner? One who is able to help us see ourselves in a different light…and help us if we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel?

Max stole my heart rather quickly. Yes, he is hot. Yes, he is well aware of it. But is he conceited about it? No, absolutely not. His honesty regarding his casual encounters with women is, in fact, rather refreshing: obviously, he is a man, and he has certain needs that have to be met on a regular basis, but he is never cruel. And you have to appreciate that in a man. His sense of loyalty, his love for his family, and his pretty alpha-ish ways in the bedroom are all contributing factors in making him a new favourite BBF of mine.

These two people seem to be poles apart when you first meet them, so imagine their surprise when they actually seem to gravitate towards one another as times goes by. Yes, they may still be different in many ways, but they value the same things in life. And that, in my opinion, is all that really matters in a relationship: a certain understanding or regard for each other’s needs, but also the willingness to compromise when that is necessary.

I love Miss Aycart’s storytelling skills: there is just something about it that stands out from other authors writing the same type of novels. Her words bring me to tears one minute, and then flat-out, belly-aching laughing the next. The secondary characters are just as well developed as the main ones, and I particularly enjoyed the scenes when she referred to a certain book club. Those were really cute in a sassy way. That is my viewpoint, anyway.

To sum up: yes, I loved this book. Yes, I would recommend it to all romance lovers who enjoy some laughs amidst the tears. Yes, I will most definitely read it again…and again. Because in giving us the final chapter to the Bowen brothers and their lives, Miss Aycart was able to transport me into another world: and that is why I read and love books. I want to lose myself for a couple of hours at a time. She certainly fulfilled this particular need in me which is why this romance is placed on My Favourite Books list. ❤

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

(from Amazon.com)

After a colorful array of jobs all over Europe ranging from translator to chocolatier to travel agent to sushi chef to flight dispatcher, Elle Aycart is certain of one thing and one thing only: aside from writing romances, she has abso-frigging-lutely no clue what she wants to do when she grows up. Not that it stops her from trying all sorts of crazy stuff. While she is probably now thinking of a new profession, her head never stops churning new plots for her romances. She lives currently in Barcelona, Spain, with her husband and two daughters, although who knows, in no time she could be living at the Arctic Circle in Finland, breeding reindeer.

Elle loves to hear from readers!

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Blog Tour: “Deep Down” (The OGs #1) by Elle Aycart – My Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

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Hello, everyone!

If you are looking for a story that will leave you breathless due to all the emotions the characters go through, “Deep Down” by Elle Aycart is the right book for you. It has everything I look for in a romance, and I just wish that the book was available in paperback as I would love nothing more than to add it to my book shelf at home.

Besides my review, you will find a great giveaway, so be sure to enter at the end of this post.

Enjoy!

Deep Down Cover

 

Title: Deep Down

Author: Elle Aycart

Genre: Adult contemporary/erotic romance

Release Date: 11th February, 2014

Synopsis:

Mike Haddican is a proud small-town gym owner, a renowned karate instructor, and all-around good guy. He’s never needed much to be happy: his family, his friends, his girl. Especially his girl. But when Kyra left him seven years ago to chase her dreams, she all but destroyed him. Contemporary dancer Kyra Brims made it big, but it cost her dearly. With her life and career in shambles, she doesn’t need a do-over, she needs a friggin’ miracle. Injured, broke, and out of options after going through hell, she’s come back to Alden, the town she swore she’d never return to and home of Mike Haddican, the man who ripped her soul to pieces, to lick her wounds and recover. Forgetting and letting go proved impossible when they were worlds apart; now that they’re stuck together they don’t stand a chance, especially with Mike’s grandma and her partners in crime plotting, meddling and refusing to give up on them. As the passion that never died burns out of control, so do old hurts and unresolved issues. Both have reasons to be angry and feel betrayed, but now that they’re older, are they wise enough to make things work?

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 My Review

Complimentary copy given by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Second-chance love stories…*happy sigh* Yes, I admit it, I love this theme in romance novels, but only if written well, of course. And, truth be told, only if I can feel that the characters have evolved since their break-up, learning from their mistakes, and, most importantly, willing to truly let the past go in order to move forward. I am very happy to say that this book fits all my criteria which is why I am giving it my highest rating possible.

This is the first book in a new series by Miss Aycart, and the story centers around Mike and Kyra who grew up together in the town of Alden. From the first day they met, they shared a very special bond despite their age difference (Mike is four years older than Kyra) – and despite their different social status – and as they grew older, that bond turned into a fierce and deep love. They were together for five years until the night Mike proposed and Kyra turned him down: not because she did not still love him deeply, but because she wanted to become a professional dancer, showing everyone that despite her being a child in foster care, she could succeed in reaching her dreams. Naturally, Mike did not take her refusal well, and after hurtling insults and extremely hurtful things at each other, they broke up.

Now, seven years later, Kyra is back in Alden, having suffered personal and professional humiliation, and she has her 7-year-old daughter, Samantha, with her. Needless to say, Mike is less than thrilled that she is back in town, bringing up all the hurt again, because it forces him to acknowledge one crucial fact: that he still loves her. That the fact that she got pregnant and married another man so soon after their break-up still cuts him to his core.

Wherever Mike turns, he cannot seem to avoid bumping into Kyra, and that is the OGs fault – the Original Grandmas. Now, that name alone will let you to believe that these grandmothers are…the…best! And you would be right. Rebecca, Mike’s grandmother, is part of the crew and despite being old (in her late eighties) she is most definitely still very much alive, doing everything she can in order to force Mike and Kyra to talk everything out and acknowledge that they still love each other. But can they find it in their hearts and minds to let go of their past hurts? Read the book. That is the only way you will know.

I have read the other series this author has written, The Bowen Series, and I enjoyed it immensely, so I had a feeling that Miss Aycart would reel me in once again – and I was not wrong. Honestly, there is not a single thing about this book that I do not love.

To me, Mike is a typical alpha male: proud, hard-headed, protective, but he can be sweet, caring and is, in fact, very vulnerable when it comes to Kyra. She is his drug. He may have acted like a complete douche-bag in the past, but only because he was hurting. I loved getting his point of view and although his thoughts and actions made me cringe more than once, I could understand his reactions. That does not mean that I did not want knee in the groin, however, but…well, he is a man, after all, and a very temperamental one at that.

As for Kyra: I admire her tenacity, and I find her to be very sweet, smart and even though her stubbornness can be exasperating from time to time, her reasons are not unfounded. Just like Mike, she has quite the temper, but she learns from her mistakes and makes the best life she can for her and her daughter.

The feelings of anger and hurt both Mike and Kyra harbour toward one another are very brutal and fierce. And, to me, very honest and realistic. They have both held on to their resentments for years but will have to learn to leave the past behind – and this is easier said than done. In the real world, not many people are able to forgive each other for past wrongs, but a few manage to do so and I am of the opinion that the author portrays the thoughts of the persons involved in a very belieavable way. Never, while reading this book, did I not feel connected to the characters or feel that certain scenes were farfetched. No, every emotion, every sorrow and joy are written in such a truly heartfelt way that you cannot help but keep reading, hoping that everything will turn out the way it is supposed to in the end.

This may be smut but it is very well written smut. Miss Aycart gives us characters filled with passion and flaws, and that is what makes them feel so real to me. Whenever Mike and Kyra are together, you can feel their intense chemistry, and you cannot stop hoping that they will end up together. Allow me to mention the OGs once again: they may seem carefree and harmless, but these ladies are a force all on their own; their hidden agenda becomes clear early on in the story, and I found myself laughing so hard whenever they made an appearance. This author knows how to mix a bit of humour with all the drama, and I love that!

So to sum up: if you love second-chance love stories as much as I do, I heartily recommend “Deep Down”. There is passion, incredibly steamy scenes that will make you blush and tingle, and the emotional connection between Mike and Kyra is so palpable that you almost believe that these characters are real. I know I will read this book many times and I can hardly wait until Miss Aycart gives us the next installment in the OGs series.

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PURCHASE LINKS

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Excerpt: Read Chapter One Here

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elle Aycart Pic

After a colorful array of jobs all over Europe ranging from translator to chocolatier to travel agent to sushi chef to flight dispatcher, Elle Aycart is certain of one thing and one thing only: aside from writing romances, she has abso-frigging-lutely no clue what she wants to do when she grows up. Not that it stops her from trying all sorts of crazy stuff. While she is probably now thinking of a new profession, her head never stops churning new plots for her romances. She lives currently in Barcelona, Spain, with her husband and two daughters, although who knows, in no time she could be living at the Arctic Circle in Finland, breeding reindeer. Elle loves to hear from readers! elleaycart@gmail.com

 

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 And here is the giveaway: 5 ebook copies of any book from The Bowen Series (Winner’s Choice)

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GOOD LUCK!