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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Romance by the Book

Romance by the Books by Tina Gallagher
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Magnolia

After a disastrous marriage, real estate agent Maureen O'Connell is content reading about love, passion, and her ideal man in a romance novel. How will Finn Ryan convince her he's better than any character in a book?

Romance by the Book is anything but romance by the book. It’s a story of a romance filled with up and downs and the happily ever after that comes when you stick around.

Maureen is a heroine that is slow to bloom but it adds greatly to her character’s growth. She has been hurt - badly - and is not sure if she’s ready to step out again. Besides, Maureen knows all about her dream man - what he looks like, what he kisses like, and that he is going to be one hundred percent faithful. The problem is he lives between the pages of Desire, a present from her best friend Jen for her 29th birthday. Maureen’s character is witty and very likeable. While she is still carrying the scars of a past relationship, it’s not done in a whiny manner but in one that endeared her to me.

Finn is, well, he is the hero straight off the pages of a romance book. Finn’s character is much deeper than what is first let on. Again the character growth of Finn is compelling and totally drew me in.

Both Finn and Maureen approach this relationship with extreme caution so when the first road block comes along they aren’t sure if they want to push past it. But they do and all those that crop up after.

Jen is Maureen’s best friend and in all honesty reminded me a lot of me, so I really liked her. She provides humor to the story as well as being a loyal friend to Maureen.

While the backbone of Romance by the Book is a solid romance story, the amazing character growth is what drew me in and kept me reading. Maureen and Finn are most definitely not follow-the-dots characters. A great read.