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Real Men Don't Break Hearts (Entangled Bliss)

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  • Posted January 1, 2013

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    Real Men Don't Break Hearts was a delightful read. Funny and at

    Real Men Don't Break Hearts was a delightful read. Funny and at times emotional as well. Ally Griffin once had her future all planned out. She was going to marry her high-school sweetheart, have kids, and the house with the white picket fence. On the day of her wedding, Seth stands her up at the altar leaving her broken-hearted and humiliated. She blames Nate Hardy, Seth's cousin, for having talked him out of marrying Ally. That was six years ago. Now Seth is returning to Burronga, Australia and he's getting married. If that news isn't enough to send Ally into a bit of a tailspin, the reappearance of Nate Hardy certainly is. Especially since he just became her new landlord. Her dislike for him hasn't waned, but could it be that she has the wrong impression about the town's most notorious bad boy? And could Nate have been wrong about Ally as well? Maybe he wasn't so far off the mark when he told her that Ally and Seth never belonged together.

    Ally Griffin was a sweet heroine. I liked her personality for the most part. She was devoted to her family, even if she appeared to be the door mat for her grandmother and older sister a few times throughout. She was so concerned about not letting her Nana down, that she had trouble standing up for herself until it became almost impossible not to. Then there's her sister who is happily married, runs a business with her husband, and they're about to have another baby. The family's concern and interference in Ally's love life was at times funny and annoying. What I did like about Ally was that despite the hurt she'd been through, she did make an effort to separate the Nate from her past with the Nate of the present.

    Nate Hardy used to be a troublemaker with a bad reputation and a police record. His only real family was his older brother, Robbie. Robbie wasn't a role model by any means, but he was safe. Now Nate is a successful investment manager, and he's returning to Burronga for good. He wants to re-establish his now deceased brother's landscaping business, but he quickly learns that small town people have long memories, and his brother had burned his fair share of bridges in the community. Then there's Ally. She's not the stuck up girl he perceived her to be, and of course she's changed physically. Enough for Nate to sit up and take notice.

    I loved the chemistry between Nate and Ally. It was a constant mixture of lust and hate. Of course the inevitable happens and they decide that scratching an itch without emotions will satisfy them in the mean time, not. The love scenes were fade to black, which didn't bother me at all. The focus is not on the sex, but what happens when they continue of the river called Denial. Though the fallout broke my heart a little, I think it made Ally really evaluate her life for the first time. She became a stronger person for it. As for Nate, he learned what it felt like to be loved for the first time, despite his past. If you like a sweet romance about self discovery, acceptance, and second chances, then this is the book for you.

    Disclaimer: I received a review copy from the publisher. A review in exchange was not promised.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Posted on Romancing the Books blog / Reviewed by JoAnn / Review

    Posted on Romancing the Books blog / Reviewed by JoAnn / Review Copy Provided by the Publisher / A quick and enjoyable read that I was able to finish in less than a day. It kept my interest from beginning to end. There were some tears and tense moments along with some laugh out loud ones, love and romance. It had a satisfactory happily ever after but I really wanted a few more chapters to really give me closure. Since it’s part of a series I hope we meet up with Ally and Nate again.

    The book was set in Australia and although not familiar with most of the locations mentioned, Kwan gave enough details to place me there. There were vivid descriptions and great character development. I wasn’t fond of Ally or Nate at the beginning and given their history that the author told us I could see why. I liked the way they grew together but also that they both grew up and realized they had a say in what their life was like. Nate became a “good” guy that I didn’t see coming but I liked his depth and how Kwan peeled backed the layers to show us the real Nate. Ally also became her own person and finally was able to stand on her own no matter what she felt she had to do for the approval of her family.

    I have read books by Kwan before and look forward to reading others especially in this series. She didn’t disappoint!

    Favorite Quote: Although her body language had contradicted the refusal coming out of her lips, She couldn’t hide the telltale signs that the chemistry burned just as bright in her – the dilated pupils, the hitched breathing, the foot curled around her leg. No denying it; Ally was feeling the same powerful urges he was.

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  • Posted February 26, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Great start to a new series

    This is the first book by Coleen I’ve read. I have to admit, in the beginning I wasn’t really into the book at all. But it got so much better.

    Ally Griffin is a single twenty-five-year old woman living in her hometown of Burronga, Australia. Ally owns and runs a gift shop in downtown Burronga that once belonged to her grandmother. She also lives above the gift shop. Ally pretty much lives the life of an old-maid. She hasn’t really had a serious/long-term relationship since she was nineteen and she doesn’t date very often.

    Nate Hardy is a twenty-nine-year-old bachelor who grew up in Burronga but left and made it big in the financial world of Sydney. He’s tired of the life he’s been living and is looking for a change. He’s decided to give up his lifestyle in Sydney and move back to Burronga and re-open the landscaping business his brother Robbie once owned. As a child/teen growing up in Burronga, Nate was far from being a model citizen. Burronga is small and Nate has a long road ahead of him to live down the memories people have of him.

    Ally and Nate are NOT fond of each other. The dislike stems from over six years ago when Ally dated Nate’s cousin Seth Bailey. Nate thought Ally was a Goody-Two shoes who looked down on him. Ally blames Nate for Seth Bailey (Nate’s cousin) standing her up on their wedding day when she was nineteen-years-old.

    In what seems to be a spur of the moment decision, Nate purchases the building which houses Ally’s gift shop and apartment. When Nate made the purchase, he had no idea it was the building where Ally’s shop was located. Nate was simply trying to make a mends for the past.

    Ally finds out about Nate’s purchase of her building the same day she finds out her ex-fiance is going to get married in their hometown. Ally thinks Nate is just coming around and buying her building to stick it to her once more. Everyone around Ally thinks that because she hasn’t had a serious relationship or even gone out with that many men since getting stood up by Seth that she’s still pining over him.

    Real Men Don’t Break Hearts is a wonderful romance. It’s a story of a woman who must learn to stand on her own two feet and stop allowing herself to be a victim of her own life. It’s the story of a man who is trying to make up for his less than stellar past and allow people to see who he really is.

    I look forward to reading more books by Coleen Kwan and the future books in this series.

    Source: Publisher
    Reviewed for Read Your Writes Book Reviews

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  • Posted February 13, 2013

    My impression of Real Men Don't Break Hearts is: really sweet lo

    My impression of Real Men Don't Break Hearts is: really sweet love story. To be honest, based on that gorgeously charming cover, it being an Entangled Bliss book, and the synopsis, I got exactly what I was expecting.

    Ally and Nate were one-time frenemies who happily parted ways six years prior, when Nate delivered the heartbreaking news that to Ally that her fiance (his cousin) was standing her up. On their wedding day. Now, Nate has come back home, determined to lead a quiet, happy life, and to make amends for all the trouble he and his brother caused as kids. When he and Ally unexpectedly become a part of each other's lives again, the sparks fly. Instant chemistry!

    Real Men Don't Break Hearts is a story with more sweet than steam.I must say, once again, that Entangled Bliss books would make the most adorable Lifetime or Hallmark movies. There's an inherent charm in all of the books, one that makes me want to curl up and devour in one sitting. .

    Real Men Don't Break Hearts is a story of letting go of the past, and finding love where you least expect it.

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  • Posted February 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    As posted on The Smutty Kitty 3 out of 5 Licks This book is fr

    As posted on The Smutty Kitty

    3 out of 5 Licks

    This book is from Entangled Publishing's Bliss line. I've read one or two from this line and enjoyed them and thought I'd check this one out as well. First things first-we do not read about sex in this book. The start getting hot and heavy and then suddenly it is the next day. I may prefer to read all the dirty details of what happens between the sheets (or on the floor or up against the wall) for my characters BUT I am perfectly capable of reading a book without the sexy stuff as well. lol The cover is very pretty, but it's one of those that doesn't have anything to do with the book necessarily. Unless I missed it that scene on the cover never occurred in the book. I don't tend to let things like that bother me though. The cover is to draw your eye to the book and this one did that for me. Ally and Nate are likable characters the majority of the time. Nate can be a little morose at times when thinking about his past-which was definitely not a good one. And Ally is a bit of a baby at times. The emotions are believable though sometimes they feel a little overdone. There were times I felt as though the story dragged a bit and then times when it felt rushed but overall I enjoyed this one. It was a light read with characters that you wanted to see make it. I am interested in the next story. I hope it belongs to Ally's friend Tyler.

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  • Posted January 25, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I wasn't expecting the characters to all be woven together the w

    I wasn't expecting the characters to all be woven together the way that they were. You see, Ally was going to marry Seth, Nate's cousin, when she was younger. Only Seth left her at the alter and Nate was the one to deliver the message that her fiance jumped ship. Nate never hid the fact that he thought Seth shouldn't marry Ally and Ally has blamed Nate for his interference ever since. So when one day she is told that not only is her ex-fiance coming back to town to marry his new bride to be but that Nate is also back and has apparently bought the building that her shop and apartment are in, needless to say, she was having a rough day. It's not every day that the man who stood you up on your wedding day comes back to his hometown to remarry and the man who caused it all becomes your landlord.

    This was a cute light romance all set in Australia. Nate did a lot of rotten things when he was younger, so when he comes back to his hometown, he decides to right some wrongs. For instance, buying property from a man who's wife was having an affair with his older brother when he was younger, or returning the horse statues tail that he lobbed off and stole years past. He also manages to weasel his way into Ally's life and what starts off as a casual thing, like all good romance novels, becomes something more.

    Even though I enjoyed the story I found Ally to be in need of some throttling. Maybe because things were predictable and you saw it coming from a mile away but she just seemed to second guess not only herself around Nate but Nate's intentions as well. Like when he cooks a fancy meal for her and gives her the key to his house and asks her to move in with her. Albeit, it's only like 2 weeks in but still she runs out on him and ends the relationship because he didn't say "I love you" when handing her the key. However, he does say, "I want you in my life 24/7." Therefor, the man that she loves is using her and is still the womanizer he used to be. I didn't understand that logic.

    I thought the story was good and even though it wasn't overly long, I still found myself gravitating towards the characters which tends to be one of my biggest problems with shorter stories. The author has a great way of explaining things and giving you an inside look into the characters without droning on and on about it. Even though this was my first time reading one of Coleen Kwan's books, it won't be the last.

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