Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #RomCom KNEE DEEP (Love In The Suburbs #4) by @dehaggerty

Today’s team review is from Sandra, she blogs here https://www.firthproof.co.uk/index.php/book-reviews

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading Knee Deep by D.E. Haggerty

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Knee Deep is the fourth and final book in the ‘Love in the Suburbs’ series, and tells the story of Violet and Luke, former high-school sweethearts, brought into each other’s orbit again by mutual friends. They definitely have unfinished business!

DE Haggerty has been hinting at their secret since Grandma unsuccessfully tried to pair Luke off with Shelby in the second book, though they did remain friends. Violet started working for Frankie and Jackson at F&J’s Events in the third book, and sparks flew whenever she and Luke came into contact with each other.

Obviously, there was no way they could keep their past a secret for very long with Grandma and the rest of the gang nagging away at them. Lack of communication and jumping to conclusions are behind the bad feeling that exists between Luke and Violet. Thrown together at various parties and weddings, they have to learn to trust one another again, as the attraction between them is as strong as ever.

Right from About Face (the first book in the series), Grandma has stolen the show. I’ve said it before, but she is hilarious on the page, but would be a nightmare in real life as she does not respect anyone’s boundaries. She means well, but just can’t keep her nose out of everyone’s business as she goes about her matchmaking.

Told alternately from the points of view of Violet and Luke, we get both sides of the story. There is not much in the way of plot, but with the weddings of both Shelby and Jackson, and Bailey and Roman, and the associated fuss of the hen (bachelorette) parties, the story moves towards a satisfying conclusion.

As you would expect with a group of young people who spend a lot of time together, there is a lot of banter; the slang is very American and I didn’t always ‘get’ it, but it didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the story. This series has definitely run its course. It is quite difficult to sustain the reader’s interest, as there tends to be a lot of repetition, but well-drawn, likeable characters go a long way to making up for that.

Book description

Just when I think I’ve got it all figured out – BOOM! – in walks trouble.

It’s taken me years, but my life is finally back on track – new job, new friends, a complete new Violet! I don’t even cry myself to sleep every night anymore. But then he walks through the front door of my new workplace. How dare he come in here and ruin everything for me – again!

Luke Freaking Bauer. Not the boy who got away. Nuh-uh. Not even close. The boy who tossed me aside when I needed him the most.

But when I look deep into those hurt eyes, I forget I’m the one who was wronged. Oh boy. I’m knee-deep in trouble and sinking fast.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #RomCom KNEE DEEP (Love In The Suburbs #4) by @dehaggerty

Today’s team review is from Barb, she blogs here https://barbtaub.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Barb has been reading Love In The Suburbs by D. E. Haggerty

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4 gold starMy Review: 4 stars out of 5 for Knee Deep

When you’re looking for a great, funny, chick lit book that embraces almost every romance trope out there, you can count on author D. E. Haggerty to nail it every time.

  • Heroine with high-powered job but crap love-life? Check. Violet enjoys her job as an event planner. She thinks she’s moving on with her life after finally getting over her disastrous breakup with Luke. But Luke is friends with her boss and colleagues, and openly hostile to her. When she realizes she can’t avoid him or live with his antagonism, Violet decides her only option is to leave the job, friendships, and new life she loves.
  • Tries the Wrong Guy first? Check. The only problem is that she’s never gotten over the wrong guy. So she’s never gotten around to finding the right one.
  • Thinks she’s ugly (but every guy she meets falls madly in love with her)? Check. Well, kinda… Violet hasn’t allowed herself to feel anything since the disastrous end to her relationship with Luke.
  • Thinks she’s smart, but has the people-judging skills of the disposable blonde teen in a slasher movie? Sadly, Check.  Violet has conquered her depression, finished her degree, and made a successful career with her best friends. Both she and Luke have jobs where their success depends on their ability to communicate with a variety of people. But somehow, they just can’t tell each other the most basic things.
  • Parent issues? Check. After his single mother dies, Luke is raised by his grandmother, who has also died. Violet’s parents have moved away, so she doesn’t have family nearby either. But both Luke and Violet have been adopted by “Grandma”—the hilarious, sex-obsessed grandmother whose (other) hobby is epic-fail matchmaking.
  • Posse? Check. Not only does Violet have her three best friends, but she has also inherited their partners—not to mention one extremely eccentric Grandma.

‘I had to ask the bartender for change,’ Grandma continues talking as if I hadn’t spoken.’

‘Change for what?’ I’m probably going to regret asking, but I have to know.

‘A vibrating penis ring. Never tried one of those.’

  • Funny? Okay, Check! Both Violet and Luke’s observations at the start of each chapter are occasionally laugh out loud funny and often painfully amusing.

Stay in your lane? What kind of bs is that? Get over to the right and get out of my way. ~Violet’s Secret Thoughts she might have accidentally on purpose yelled out the car window.

When I’m reviewing a book, I often go down a little list of things to consider. In Knee Deep, the pacing is sure, a brisk march to an obvious finish. The writing is terrific, often funny and entertaining, and with a great balance between dialog, the snarky comments in Violet’s head, and Luke’s total bafflement with his feelings.

‘To my horror, she starts crying. ‘Stop being sweet to me.’

‘You want me to be mean?’ Women are the most confusing creatures on earth.

The problem is one shared by Luke and Violet. While each might have grown into a career and friendships, they are emotionally frozen in time as two high school students who can NOT tell each other the most fundamental, basic things. I remember thinking when I rewatched Die Hard, that if Bruce Willis had a cellphone, the movie would have been about ten minutes long. “Hello, 911-operator? I’m in the bathroom of the Nakatomi Plaza and Snape has my wife, well actually I’m not sure she’s still my wife because she’s gone back to using her maiden name and all, but I’m sure we can work on that and have a swell Christmas with our adorable children as soon as you have a few snipers pick off the terrorists who are conveniently sitting with their backs to large windows. Ciao.” Roll credits.

Ditto for Violet and Luke’s relationship. They claim to have been in love, but are incapable of telling each other the things they seem to have no problem sharing with friends, partners of friends, and Grandma. Of course, if everyone told the truth, the fields of romance, politics, and used car sales would collapse entirely. But even so, you have to suspend the urge to send both Violet and Luke to timeout until they pull on their big kid panties and just fess up.

But overall, I do recommend Knee Deep as a humorous, entertaining, and fast-paced if predictable romantic comedy. The amusing and entertaining banter—and the completely entertaining Grandma—makes it the perfect escape from pandemics and problems. I’d happily reach for another book by this author.

Book description

Just when I think I’ve got it all figured out – BOOM! – in walks trouble.

It’s taken me years, but my life is finally back on track – new job, new friends, a complete new Violet! I don’t even cry myself to sleep every night anymore. But then he walks through the front door of my new workplace. How dare he come in here and ruin everything for me – again!

Luke Freaking Bauer. Not the boy who got away. Nuh-uh. Not even close. The boy who tossed me aside when I needed him the most.

But when I look deep into those hurt eyes, I forget I’m the one who was wronged. Oh boy. I’m knee-deep in trouble and sinking fast.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RomCom HANDS OFF by D. E. Haggerty

Today’s team review is from Sandra, she blogs here https://www.firthproof.co.uk/index.php/book-reviews

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reviewing Hands Off by D.E. Haggerty

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Hands Off is the third in the Love in the Suburbs series, but I did not enjoy it as much as the previous two. I found the character of Roman Cadwell to be a bit two-dimensional; I can’t quite put my finger on it but something was missing. There was too much emphasis on Roman’s wealth and not enough on his character. He just didn’t convince me that he was a real person, and at times he was overly forceful; he was aptly described as a ‘bulldozer’ at one point. This was not a problem in the first two books where the characters came across as very believable.

Bailey seemed to be unable to forgive herself for what had been a genuine error of judgement; she put up a bit too much resistance, once the truth had been uncovered, to the idea of dating Roman even though they were really attracted to each other.

Frankie’s grandma was her usual delightful self, determined to bring Bailey and Roman together no matter what. I imagine it would not be so much fun being on the receiving end of her matchmaking. I liked the strand where Bailey got to know her father; it was sad that it had taken so long for them to find each other. What a piece of work her mother was – I don’t want to give anything away, but I don’t understand how anyone could treat their own daughter that way?

While you could read this as a standalone, it would be a much more rewarding experience to start at the beginning, and I’m glad I did. The next in the series, Knee Deep, is Luke and Violet’s story, and I’m very much looking forward to finding out what happened to make them so antagonistic towards each other. Thanks to the author for a copy that I review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team. #RBRT #HandsOff #DEHaggerty

Book description

I am done with men. D – O – N – E. DONE!

I don’t care how much billionaire Roman Cadwell pushes (and, oh boy, does the sexy man push ALL my buttons), I am not dating him. Especially not when he’s wearing a golden band around his ring finger. I do not get involved with married men. Call it my line in the sand. If a man can’t be faithful, I want not one single thing to do with him.

But what if Roman isn’t really married? What then? No, no, no. I will not fall into Lying McLiarson’s trap.

Only every time the man touches me, my body forgets I’m a good girl and wants to give in. Hands off, Mr. Lying Pants, before I forget I’m a good girl.

Although – no one said I had to be a good girl forever.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #RomCom AT ARMS LENGTH by @dehaggerty

Today’s team review is from Sandra, she blogs here https://www.firthproof.co.uk/index.php/book-reviews

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading At Arm’s Length by D.E. Haggerty

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Why does Jackson always give Shelby such a hard time? While you could easily read this without having read the previous book in the Love in the Suburbs series, About Face, I always like to start at the beginning in case I miss something. Jackson is Shelby’s friend Frankie’s business partner and she likes him but can’t understand why he’s so off with her. Shelby is a freelance computer game software developer and geek, with a slightly unorthodox sense of style and a Star Wars obsession.

This book is not about the plot – there isn’t really much of one – but the characters; they are so vividly drawn they positively jump off the page. Having read a lot of books, I know this can be quite a difficult thing to pull off successfully.  How many books have you read where the main characters are simply not believable, but more  like cardboard cut-outs?

I noticed something that happens in all the books I have read by Ms Haggerty; the men (Jackson and Brodie included) are all a bit macho and overprotective of the women; maybe this is how American readers like their men to be? In the end I just found it amusing – most British men don’t behave like that. I also thought she used the word ‘growl’ to describe how the men speak quite a lot!

Once again Frankie’s grandma features heavily in the story, and she’s up to her old tricks – matchmaking! Somehow, she gets Frankie and all her friends to come to Sunday dinner every week, and is not happy until they have a partner (she even had the others betting on how long it would take Jackson and Shelby to get together). She would be so annoying in real life, but is hilarious in the book. There is more humour in the chapter headings; song lyrics have been turned into witty one-liners. It’s fun trying to work out which songs they came from. I really enjoyed At Arm’s Length and look forward to the final book in the trilogy which will be about Bailey and Luke.

Book description

Jackson Schmidt is the biggest jerkity jerk ever. They should totally erect a statue to commemorate his jerkityness, jerkdom— Uggh! There are literally not enough words for ‘jerk’ to depict the man.

Unfortunately, Jackson is also the most gorgeous specimen of manhood I’ve ever laid eyes on. One look at him and I want to jump and climb him like a tree. But whenever he opens his mouth, his status as the biggest bastard on the planet is immediately reinstated. It’s impossible for the man to say anything remotely nice – at least not to me. To my best friend, though? To her, he’s Mr. Perfect Gentleman. Did I mention he’s carrying a torch for my engaged best friend?

My libido does not give one flying hoot Jackson is a dick who has a crush on my bestie. Nope. Not at all. No matter how much of a schmuck the man is – and trust me he takes schmuck to the next level – I continue to pant after him like a nerdy freshman crushing on the prom king. If I want to keep my sanity, I’m going to have to keep Jackson at arm’s length.

Sanity is totally overrated.

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