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Amy Andrews

REVIEW:  Taming the Tycoon by Amy Andrews

REVIEW: Taming the Tycoon by Amy Andrews

Dear Ms. Andrews:

I grabbed this book on NetGalley given that I enjoyed How to Mend a Broken Heart quite a bit.  An environmental protestor handcuffs herself to a property developer. Worse, they are fluffy pink handcuffs.

Taming the Tycoon Amy Andrws The scatty tree hugger with the uptight has never been my kind of story but I think what really bothered me was the obvious melodramatic overtones of the store.  For instance, the heroine is shocked to find out that the hero’s eyes are blue:

” She’d figured they’d be black, like his heart, but she couldn’t have been more mistaken.”

Addie dates gentle guys not guys like Nathaniel whose very presence causes loss of speech and involuntary body shivers. And of course Nathaniel doesn’t like waifs in tie dye. He likes curvy sophisticates. I get it. They are opposites. The lack of nuance is astounding and in contrast with the last Andrews’ book I read, kind of unexpected.

Addie Collins even admits that she’s not truly a hippie despite her clothes and crystal shop, but that she’s embraced the lifestyle because she “just wanted to live a happy, stress-free, centered life. ”  Addie won a bout with cancer and is determined to enjoy each moment of her life and, I guess, she views it as her mission to proselytize that mantra and impose it on others.

Nathaniel saves Addie from being struck by a bike courier and Addie decides that she must Pay It Forward.  (Addie actually misunderstands the concept of paying it forward.  Doing something for Nathaniel doesn’t pay it forward; instead, she does the good deed for someone else who then does a good deed for another.  Addie is essentially engaging in a repayment. ).

“It’s bigger than that,” she continued. “More self-sacrificing. Like giving you my kidney. Or my life savings. Or bailing you out of jail—”

Addie offers to play Nathaniel’s girlfriend for his grandmother’s birthday party as her “Pay It Forward” act.  She also decides she will teach him how to appreciate life.

Nathaniel Montgomery may well be rich and smart and the sexiest man she’d clapped eyes on, but he knew zip about what was truly important in life. Teaching him the import of stopping to smell the roses, preferably the ones at St Aggie’s, was exactly the way to repay him. And to do that, she had to get her foot in the door.

It’s not bad to see a woman be all “I know what’s best for you” but from either the male or female pov, that type of smug presumptuousness is irritating. You met someone for all of a moment and you decide you know what is best?  You are going to teach that person a good lesson?  Addie shows up to take Nathaniel to his grandmother’s birthday and she derides him for wearing a suit. She is wearing ratty shorts but even though this is Nathaniel’s family, about whom she knows nothing, Addie is sure she knows what is appropriate attire at the matriarch’s birthday celebration.  Of course, she is right and Nathaniel is wrong because Nathaniel’s family is “her kind of people” but Addie doesn’t know this when she is criticizing Nathaniel for his attire.

Addie’s quest to turn Nate’s life into one with meaning is relentless, even during sex she is blackmailing him into walks in the park and time spent away from work. On the one hand, admirable and on the other, really?

If a reader connects to Addie, I think she would enjoy this story.  Unfortunately Addie irritated me rather than inspired me and Nathaniel was straight off the stock character store, aisle 5 for strong, uptight men ready to be taken down a peg by a woman.  C-

Best regards,

Jane

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REVIEW:  How to Mend a Broken Heart by Amy Andrews

REVIEW: How to Mend a Broken Heart by Amy Andrews

Dear Ms. Andrews:

Sunita is usually our go to reviewer for medical romances but I saw this on NetGalley and wanted to give the book a whirl.  This is a quick but emotional read.  The two main protagonists are a previously divorced couple whose marriage disintegrated after the death of their son. They reconnect ten years later when Fletcher, the husband, comes to his ex wife, Tessa, with a request.  His mother is suffering late stage Alzheimer’s and needs in home care. Tessa is a nurse and Fletcher would rather the care come from someone who loves his mother than a stranger.

How to Mend a Broken HeartIt’s apparent early on that Fletcher has never fallen out of love with Tessa and Tessa feels the same tug of attraction that brought the two of them together initially.  Tessa is the harder nut of the two. She is determined to subsume all those feelings that she had – both happiness and grief – when she was married to Fletcher.  Both of them are heavily burdened by guilt.   Tessa decided to comparmentalize everything. No mentions of her son, ever. She only allows herself a small portion of grief and only on her son’s anniversary of his death.  She shut herself off from her husband and her friends.  She left her job as a nurse at the PICU and took a new position as a geriatric provider.

The loss scenes were palpable and sometimes difficult to read as a mother myself.   The medical aspect wasn’t overpowering.  It was just enough to make you believe that the two characters were familiar with medicine and the practice. It played a role in their grief. Tessa went to work at a nursing home. Fletch was driven to become an expert on child hypothermia.

Fletch’s point of view is focused on his love for Tessa and his regret that he hadn’t fought harder for her.  After a year, he sought the solace of another woman and fled to Canada alone.  He views the past ten years as a waste and is determined to fight hard for Tessa and win back her love and perhaps create another family with her.  Tessa’s point of view is focused on first managing her grief and then grappling with Fletch’s nephew, so similar to her lost son and dealing with Fletcher’s mom.  In some ways the mother’s Alzheimers was a convenient plot device.  Fletcher’s mom’s memory lapse forces Tessa to remember how good she had it with Fletcher, both the passion and the love.  I’m not familiar with Alzheimers (only dementia) and thus I don’t know if this was accurately portrayed.

The story seems to rip by rather quickly and neither are emotionally healthy at the end, but they both acknowledge this. Thus the end of the story is merely the beginning of a new HEA for them.  It was a strong emotional story with quite a bit of passion but perhaps too easily resolved. They were both in serious need of therapy.  B-

Best regards,

Jane

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