A Sure Thing
Author: Marie Harte
A Sure Thing is two stories. One is the love story of medically retired Major Landon Donnigan and psychologist Ava Rosenthal. The other, unlike most erotic contemporary romances, is the story of their families. In this instance, they are not just periphery characters that come and go to support the main storyline. They are loud, messy, and interject themselves all over the place. They become integral to the way in which the love story develops. And like most families, they have issues.
The Donnigans series is preceded by the four book series The McCauley’s—their cousins. Ava is a cross-over character loosely connecting them, but none of the Mccauleys actually make an appearance in this first book of the series. Author Marie Harte served in the U.S. Marine Corps and worked for Fortune 500 companies before becoming a full time writer. She seems to blend those experiences together in Landon’s character. He’s a born leader, total alpha male, and intended a military career through to retirement. A bullet to the knee forced him out of that life path and he’s been making his way in the business world since coming home. He maintains his fitness at a gym where his brother Gavin works. It’s here that he meets Ava. In that fateful first meeting, he corrects her form. He will then spend the rest of the book pushing her to do better and be better at everything she does.
Ava is an independent woman and doesn’t particularly like being told what to do. She cannot, however, deny their combustible chemistry. Her character submits and pushes back through every scene and every chapter. Landon is good at letting her make her own choices, but works very hard at persuading her to his point of view. As both a mental health professional and a woman, she over thinks everything. Being guilty of that myself a time or two, *coughcough* it was fun to be outside of it and watch the mental gymnastics she puts herself through in trying to reconcile her idea of what the man in her life should be with the one she’s actually attracted to. That she has a list comes as no surprise, but without being completely aware of it, she begins to adjust the list to fit Landon rather than requiring the opposite.
Their sex scenes are unmistakably steamy as Ava makes the conscious choice to let Landon in and Landon learns to process his emotions. They even border on raunchy at times, but the role play they engage in the first time they have sex will make you want to dig out your highest heels from the back of your closet. Because the story is sexualized, there are times that certain descriptions and adjectives felt out of place. For example, without spoiling a major plot point, it felt wrong to describe Ava’s ponytail in a sensual way as “silky,” when she was in the middle of doing something very non-sexy. The story had enough sex without pushing it into every corner.
I enjoyed the interplay of family members. Instead of clichéd friends, for both of them, their family are their friends. That’s not to say there aren’t some clichés there too, but they interact on a different level because they are family. Finally, let me say that the cover art is fabulous. I’m not sure who the cover model was, but he’s up there with Jed Hill on the cover of Jaci Burton’s Play-by-Play series. *fans herself*
Meet the Donnigans
With the eldest Donnigan brothers adjusting to civilian life, their younger sister constantly in trouble, and their little brother clueless about life in general, falling in love is the last thing on anyone’s mind…
The Marine Corps was everything Landon Donnigan ever wanted in life…until a bullet sent him home with a medical discharge. Teaching a self-defense class at the gym is old-hat for a Marine, but when he meets sexy Ava Rosenthal, his combat skills are useless for protecting his heart.
Ava can take care of herself and likes quiet, bookish men-not muscular warriors who think women need to be coddled. But Landon is more than he seems, and when they come together, the results are explosive.
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Series: The Donnigans #1
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
Format(s): paperback (352 pages), e-book
Book Source: Publisher