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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Brand New Me by Meg Benjamin

Brand New Me by Meg Benjamin
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (234 pages)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Sunflower

If any man wants more than a dance with her, they’ll have to get past him…

Konigsburg, Texas, Book 5

Deirdre Brandenburg has an MBA and a dream to become the coffee supplier for Konigsburg’s growing restaurant industry. What she doesn’t have is money, courtesy of her billionaire father’s scheme to make her come home. All she needs is three months until her trust fund kicks in. Until then, she needs a job.

Hiring the new girl next door is a no-brainer for ex-gambler Tom Ames. He’s already succeeded in making his bar, The Faro, a growing tourist draw. Deirdre’s beauty will pull in the locals—particularly every red-blooded male in the Hill Country. As he watches her transform from tentative business wonk to confident, sassy barmaid, he realizes he wants first crack at her heart.

When Big John Brandenburg sends Deirdre’s ex-boyfriend to drag her home, the plan backfires, leaving Tom’s bar in shambles and Deirdre kidnapped by a band of loony Texas secessionists.

Things are looking pretty bleak—except the good people of Konigsburg have no intention of giving Deirdre up, either. Even if it takes every Faro employee, every last Toleffson, and one cranky iguana to give the honky-tonk lovebirds a chance at forever.

Welcome back to Konigsburg, Texas. Won't you stay awhile? Catch up with familiar faces, and meet some new ones. Deidre Brandenburg has taken up residence in this little town, hoping to start a new life for herself instead of being under her father's fairly controlling days. In her mid-twenties, it's about time Deidre follows her own heart and dreams, even at the cost of Big John's angriness.

Thank goodness Tom Ames owns the empty building that Deidre wants to use to run her coffee business. Problem is, she's got no access to major funds. Working for Tom seems to be the logical thing to do, though she knows nothing about waitressing. Things are really going to get interesting around this town, that's for sure!

Deidre strives for independence. The stubborn woman doesn't want anyone taking pity on her, nor does she want help. She needs to do this on her own, to be on her own. After years of being under Big John's thumb and living ever so cautiously, it's time for things to change. Oh, they change all right. She meets her match in Tom -- he is as stubborn as she and doesn't accept help easily either. Their growing attraction to one another gets mighty intense. Both want to help the other out and have to learn to allow it, or their building relationship won't work.

Enter an ex-boyfriend sent by Deidre's father and here comes trouble. Craig is up to no good and has an ulterior motive of his own. I spent the rest of this book wondering whether he was going to come between Deidre and Tom.

Brand New Me is an engaging contemporary read full of emotions and wonderful characters that you can't help but love. I applaud Deidre for her quest to finally branch out and make a life of her own, and she stuck with it well, considering the financial strain and the lack of support from her father. In Konigsburg, she found new friends that welcomed her. She transformed from a stuffy woman in a suit to a woman who is able to let loose and open her heart to new possibilities. She and Tom are a perfect match. Ms. Benjamin really knows how to create memorable characters and put them through plenty of drama.

If you enjoy a fiercely independent heroine who finally chooses her own destiny, a hero who would do anything for her, a small town full of unforgettable people, then plan your visit to Konigsburg. When you leave, you'll be smiling.