Excerpt, Reviews

#Review of Unbreakable Hart by Karen M. Bryson! @karenmbryson #LoveinMidlife #ComingofMiddleAge

Contemporary Romance
Date Published: 12/15/2016
Publisher: Short on Time Books

Alexander Hart is leaving his hot young wife for an older woman…if he can score a second chance with his first wife after breaking her heart.

UNBREAKABLE HART is a love in midlife, second chance romance.

Alexander Hart’s gorgeous young wife, Stephanie, loves his platinum credit cards more than she loves Alex. She loves his credit cards so much she’s already maxed most of them out.
It doesn’t take Alex long to realize he made a big mistake when he dumped Amelia, his wife of twenty years, for a much younger woman.
When he leaves Stephanie after less than a year of marriage, Alex vows to do whatever it takes to win Amelia back.
But earning a second chance with Amelia won’t be that easy.

She’s moved across the country to start a new life, which now includes a relationship with a sexy young athlete.
And there’s Amelia’s utter hatred of Alex, and the fact that she’s vowed never speak to him again.

Even if he was the last man on the planet.

It’s going to take a lot more than Alex’s good looks and irresistible charm to heal Amelia’s broken heart.

Go BACK TO BOOKMAN with Karen M. Bryson’s #LoveinMidlife #ComingofMiddleAge romance series.

Each full-length novel in the LOVE IN MIDLIFE romance series can be read as a stand-alone or as part of the series. Each story features one of the graduates of Bookman College attending their 25th reunion.

CHAPTER 2
Amelia
I’m not sure why I’m even looking at the menu. I always order the same thing at Coffee and a Good Book. An iced mocha latte.
Out of the corner of my eye I spot someone approaching. He’s standing a little too close for comfort.
When I step a few feet away, he moves closer.
He’s blond and buff. Tanned arms so muscular they are practically bursting out of his Bookman Athletics Department polo shirt. He’s an Adonis in the flesh.
And much too young for me. He’s not a college student, but he’s not that much older than one.
“So what’s a guy have to do to get your digits?” he asks.
I raise an eyebrow. “Does that cheesy line ever work?”
He gives me a panty-dropping grin. “I got you to talk to me.”
“Talking is one thing. Getting my phone number is something completely different.”
He closes the small distance between us. He’s so close I can feel the heat radiating from his incredibly sexy body. I have to admit that I am very attracted to him despite our obvious age difference.
“Go out with me.” His penetrating blue eyes are filled with desire.
“I don’t make it a habit to go out with men I’ve just met.”
“Maybe this will convince you.”
He leans down and presses his delicious lips to mine. My entire body responds to the heat of his kiss.
“Did that persuade you?” he whispers in my ear.
“Yes,” I mutter still under his spell.
“Good.” He sounds so self-assured, almost cocky.
Why am I always attracted to the same type? My ex-husband was also utterly charming and frustratingly overconfident. That didn’t turn out very well.
I guess I don’t learn from my mistakes.
“The usual?” He flashes me a huge grin.
“Of course.”
“Meet you at our table.”
Caleb and I go through the same ritual once a week when we meet for coffee. He says it turns him on to pretend like we’ve just met.
Not that he needs much to turn him on. We’ve only been together four months and we’ve had more sex than my ex-husband and I did in the last year of our marriage.
Of course I didn’t realize at the time that the reason Alex wasn’t having sex with me was because he was interested in someone else.
He swears that he and Stephanie didn’t consummate their relationship until after we were separated, but I think that’s splitting hairs. Even if things didn’t get physical between them, there was definitely emotional infidelity.
I take a seat at a table near the back of the small coffee shop. Caleb and I meet for coffee on Mondays at eleven. It’s the only day I have off from work, and the place is usually dead at that time of day. Most of the morning customers have already gotten their caffeine fix, and it’s still early for the lunch crowd.
Caleb hands me my iced coffee then takes a seat across from me. He doesn’t actually drink coffee because he’s a health nut. So he buys himself a fresh squeezed orange juice instead.
I have to admit when we met I was shocked that he asked me out. He had just turned thirty, but looks like a twenty-five-year old. I’m forty-five, and feel every day of it.
I’ve been told I look good for my age, but not that good. Not twenty years younger.
When I laughed at him like his invitation was a joke, he was very persistent. He wouldn’t take no for an answer.
What I thought wouldn’t be more than a weekend fling is still going strong four months later.
“Do you have plans for tonight?” he asks.
“Dinner with the in-laws.”
There’s a flash of disappointment in his eyes. “I don’t know why you still call them that.”
“I don’t know what else to call them.”
I realize it’s not a typical situation to live with your ex-husband’s parents. But Alex and I were together for twenty years. I’ve known his parents longer than I knew my own. When my mom and dad died my senior year of college, Alex’s parents embraced me as part of their family. And as much as I know they love their only son, I also know his parents like me much better than Alex.
Henry and Willa were thrilled when I brought up the idea of moving back to Bookman to help them run the Bookman Inn. They immediately took me up on the offer.
After the ugly divorce I needed to get as far away from Alex as possible, and I wanted a fresh start.
“The Harts have done a lot for me,” I remind Caleb.
“I know.” He takes my hand in his.
He rubs my knuckle with his thumb. Even that small bit of contact makes me shivery. Whoever came up with the term sex on a stick surely must have had Caleb in mind.
Not only is he incredibly hot, he knows how to push all the right buttons.
“Have you given any more thought to moving in with me?” His eyes twinkle irresistibly.
Why does he have to be so tempting? His sex appeal and charisma are an overpowering combination.
“Think about how much more sex we could have if you were sleeping in my bed every night.”
I’m not sure how much more sex I can handle. He seems to forget that I’m fifteen years older, and I don’t work out for a living like he does.
“I’m still considering it,” I lie. We haven’t been dating that long, and I’ve been divorced for less than a year. I don’t want to rush into anything too quickly.
And if I’m being honest the age difference between us concerns me. Fooling around with a much younger man is one thing. Getting serious with him is another thing entirely.
“I do get you this weekend?” He sounds like a little boy asking if he can play with his favorite toy.
“Yes,” I assure him.
“You don’t want to go to your college reunion?”
I shake my head. I’d have to go through the humiliation of telling everyone that my husband left me for an adolescent.
No thank you.
“You know I’ll go with you if you want to attend.”
“I know. But I don’t want to.”
He grins. “Good. Because I have other plans. They involve you naked in my bed.”
I take a sip of my iced mocha latte to cool down. That’s how hot he’s making me, and we’re both fully clothed.
“Thanks for the coffee, by the way.”
“My pleasure.”
“Would you like me to leave a tip?” I offer even though I know he won’t take me up on it. He may be of another generation, but he’s definitely old school when it comes to dating. He doesn’t let me pay for anything.
He shakes his head. “I’ll get it.”
He reaches into the pocket of his khaki pants and removes a wad of dollar bills. Then he stares at them for several long moments while he gnaws on his bottom lip.
Caleb does have one tiny flaw. He’s not the brightest bulb in the socket. “How much should I leave?”
We go through the same thing every week. He has no idea how to figure out how much twenty percent of the bill is.
And we order the same items every time we’re here.
“Twenty percent of twelve dollars is two dollars and forty cents,” I remind him.
He nods. “That’s right.”
He removes three dollars from the wad of cash and leaves them on the table between us.
Apparently he didn’t have to be a math whiz to be a professional baseball player. He played in the major leagues for several years. Now he’s the assistant athletic director at Bookman College.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine myself involved with a jock. I was always the brainy one. The smart chick. I had already earned two Master’s degrees by the time I was Caleb’s age.
We’ve never had a discussion about it, but I think that may be one of the things he finds most attractive about me.
That I’m smart.
“Let me walk you back home,” he says.
The Bookman Inn borders the east corner of the very picturesque Bookman College campus. The small college town is idyllic, and was the perfect place for me to escape after Alex broke my heart, and my life fell apart.
The town hasn’t changed that much since I was a student here twenty-five years ago.
Even though the fall semester at the college has officially started it still feels like summer outside.
As we pass by the campus quad students are in shorts playing Frisbee and sitting on the lawn eating lunch.
Alex and I met when we were freshman at Bookman, and we got married a few years after we graduated. Nearly every memory I have of my years at Bookman somehow involve Alex.
Sometimes it’s still difficult for me to believe that he left me for another woman. I always thought stuff like that happened to other people, and that our relationship was different.
Not only was he my husband, he was my best friend. We grew into adulthood together, and I thought we’d grow old together. I think that made it even worse when he betrayed me.
Just the thought of ever seeing him again is like a knife through my heart. Fortunately he and Stephanie live in Arizona, over two thousand miles away.
Caleb stops right in front of the Bookman Inn. I live with Henry and Willa in their home which is located right behind it.
Caleb never goes inside Henry and Willa’s place. I know it makes him uncomfortable that I live with ex-husband’s parents. Whenever we go out on a date that includes an overnighter, I always stay at his place.
He pulls me close and kisses me. “I can’t wait for this weekend,” he whispers in my ear.
I must admit that it feels good to be so desirable to such a hot guy. Especially after Alex tossed me away like yesterday’s trash.
“I’ll be at your place on Friday night right after I get off work,” I tell him.
When he gives me another kiss my stomach gets fluttery. I feel like a teenager making out on the porch of my parent’s house.
Or in this case in front of my ex-in-law’s place.

 

Okay, a second chance romance with older characters?  Sign me up.  A book like this is catnip for me.  Especially when it’s the hero that realizes that he really, really screwed up and has to grovel throughout the book to win the heroine back.  But there was something that really nagged at me while I read the book.  And it has to do with the heroine.

I loved Amelia and I completely understood her thought process and reaction to Alex back in her life.  What I didn’t like was that once Alex showed up, she kept sleeping with Caleb.  Yes, I’m one of those readers that doesn’t like the hero/heroine sleeping with someone beside them in a book.  Now, that said, that part of the book is critical later in the book so I could bypass that in the book but in the beginning, I wasn’t buying it.

Alex is a joy.  I loved how he took Stephanie to task in the beginning and also how he handled her in the end.  Plus, how he and Caleb kept puffing out their chests to each other when they were around each other.  In fact, I actually find sad for Caleb.  He didn’t stand a chance once Alex came back but he did get a happy ending.  The epilogue is NOT to be missed.  Trust me…

This book had me laughing, sighing and generally feeling good once I finished.  This book is part of a series but you don’t have to read them in order.  It’s sensual in nature but I liked how Ms. Bryson approached the subject of sex and pregnancy in a middle aged couple.  She didn’t gloss over it and it was real.  Just like the emotions that Alex and Amelia went through in the book.

Oh…did I mention that there is a walk of shame?  I was howling.  Howling!

 

 

 

 

 

Karen M. Bryson ™ writes new adult, love in midlife, and contemporary romance with a little spice and lots of heart. She is a winner of the prestigious RONE Award for Excellence in the Indie and Small Publishing Industry. When she’s not at her computer creating spicy stories Karen likes to spend time with her husband and their bloodhounds. Karen is also an award-winning/optioned screenwriter. She writes under the pen names Savannah Young, Sierra Avalon, Ren Monterrey, and USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR Dakota Madison.

 

 

Contact Information

Website: http://www.karenmuellerbryson.com

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Purchase Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Unbreakable-Hart-Love-Midlife-Book-ebook/dp/B01MXX86UY/


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