Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Book review: Real Men Don't Quit, by Coleen Kwan

Title: Real Men Don't Quit (Real Men #2)
Author: Coleen Kwan
Release date: April 2013
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Bliss imprint)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Description: Serial bachelor. Celebrity author. Her perfect forever? 

When famous author Luke Maguire decides to write his next novel in the small town of Burronga, Australia, he's sure he can ignore the fiery redhead next door. Not only has he just been burned from a high-profile breakup, but he's never been one to set down roots. No, he'll finish his novel and leave Burronga. And soon. 

Tyler Jones just wants to run her business with her best friend, Ally, and take care of her three-year-old daughter, Chloe. She's never needed help from anyone, especially not a man, and the brooding, rugged writer next door can't tempt her. Not in the least. 

Only Tyler and Luke can't stay away from each other. So they set rules. No staying overnight, no future plans, no sappy good-byes when Luke inevitably quits town. But the chemistry between them is too strong to contain in a rulebook. Are Luke and Tyler ready to risk their lives of independence for something more?

My thoughts: This is the second book in Coleen Kwan's 'Real Men' series, following 'Real Men Don't Break Hearts' (which I reviewed earlier this year). This one follows Tyler, who we saw a little of in the previous book. I was looking forward to learning more about her, as she seemed like a woman who is very self confident and sure about what she's doing. Of course, this is her friend's view of her, and the reality isn't quite the same. Tyler loves her little daughter, but as a single parent is finding it stressful trying to take care of her while making ends meet. Luke and Tyler don't get off to the best start - Luke has moved in to the house next door, and sees the daughter, Chloe, stood in the garden beside the pool. He takes her home, but Tyler, seeing her kid with an unfamiliar man, jumps to conclusions & doesn't let him explain what happened. Luckily, when her car breaks down a little later, he gives her a lift and they manage to sort things out a little.

Luke is an author, and was lucky enough to be very successful with his first novel. The downside is that he really doesn't like his main character, and he's struggling to write a sequel. Staying in Burronga is meant to help him finish it, but it takes Luke most of the story to accept that maybe he should try writing something else. Side note - Luke's agent is horrible! As someone interested in being published one day, I couldn't believe the way the agent spoke to Luke and acted towards him, and I was glad when Luke finally stood up to him.

I think something I really liked about the story was the gradual way Tyler and Luke get closer together. There are plenty of challenges for them to overcome both separately and together, and I found it to be a very sweet story. Luke gets on very well with Chloe, but Tyler is concerned about her daughter getting attached to him when he's not going to be there forever. I got pretty cross reading about some of the characters treating Tyler badly because she's a fairly young single parent, and I was cheering for her friends who are as likeable as the others were annoying. I like the way this book finishes - there's an argument/make-up in the rain that had me snuffling into the tissues - and there are one or two things in the characters' lives which we don't see fully resolved, but I felt that fitted the story and was much more believable.

Overall, I felt this was a cute, enjoyable romance, with realistic characters and believable situations. I give this 7 out of 10, and I'm looking forward to what Ms Kwan writes next.

Find Coleen Kwan on Goodreads here: link.


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