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Monday, May 10, 2010

Causing Havoc by Lori Foster

Causing Havoc by Lori Foster
Publisher: The Berkley Publishing Group
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (342 pgs)
Heat Level: hot
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Orphaned and torn from his sisters as a boy, sexy extreme wrestler Dean "Havoc" Conor gets a letter revealing how much his siblings want him back in Harmony, Kentucky. To stop his sister from marrying a sleazeball, Dean finds himself teaming up with her pretty-but-smart-mouthed friend Eve-who's heard of Havoc's reputation and doesn't need some hunk trampling on her heart. Now all Dean has to do is protect his sisters, win Eve over, and expose a devious criminal. And he thought winning the heavyweight belt was hard.

Causing Havoc is an emotional blender of a story about a man who thinks he has no family and yearns for it but watch out when he actually finds he has one. It’s a wild ride as he figures out there’s a lot of hidden baggage in the having.

Dean thought his life was perfect. What a delusion. He wears his belief like armor until a fateful letter arrives to bring him full circle. He’s totally imperfect and that’s this book’s beauty and charm. He is a fighter and a lover but although his heart is in the arena it certainly isn’t in the bedroom. He figures he’s immune to the softer stuff in life. A reader knows after a few chapters that Dean is a cuddly porcupine. Truly, I enjoyed his gruff manner which masked the truth from himself -- that he really is a softy inside. He absolutely does care for the sisters he never got to know. He fights tooth and nail to deny it while doing things which completely contradict his words. His actions ended up being a never ending source of amusement for me throughout this book. The only person who sees Dean as perfect is Eve.

Eve is a great female character who has the hots for Dean from the very first. No games, no drama – it’s grab her man. However, Eve is also Dean’s sister’s best friend and she wants what is best for everyone. That is where the saucy manipulation and conflict is. She ends up loving them all and wants to help heal the rift and damage the years have wrought. Eve is sincere, energetic, sassy and under no delusions. She won’t push Dean into doing what he really doesn’t want to do. However, being a strong female lead, she knows just how to make him do something while having him believe it was all his own idea. Did I mention she was funny? Or that when she made Dean be celibate for a bit? It was a riot. I won’t tell you why but I could relate which made it all the more hilarious. And Dean was a perfect grumpy cuddle-bunny about it too. What can I say? Their relationship worked.

There were two dynamic conflicts going on one of which I totally bought into which, I believe, was the intent of Ms. Foster. The innocent was guilty and the guilty was not only innocent but was wronged in a heart wrenching way. I’m still scratching my head about that one. And when the true scope of dastardly deeds was revealed I was really angry on behalf of the wronged party. There could be no true justice or recompense for such vile actions. I’m glad the HEA extended to reconciliation. It made the ending and Dean and Eve’s HEA that much more poignant and meaningful.

Secondary characters, like Gregor, spiced up the story nicely. In fact the dialogue and repartee between the characters was fun, rapid fire and clever, and definitely attention grabbing. Insults flowed freely and at times, hilarity abounded. The community of Harmony sounds like a wonderful place to visit. Still waters run deep, as they say. Speaking of water, the ceiling incident is priceless. Ha!

Causing Havoc is total entertainment. There’s the rocky road of love, the badgering and bantering of siblings and a mystery of criminal proportions which makes this book a must read for romance readers who crave a story with heart, heat, gripping drama and a happily-ever-after to sigh over.