How to Handle a Heartbreaker

( 16 )

Overview

"The second installment of the McCauley Brothers series is just as tantalizing as the first."-RT Book Reviews, 4.5 stars

HE CAN'T GET HER OUT OF HIS HEAD
It's lust at first sight when Brody Singer first lays eyes on Abby Dunn. The dark-haired beauty looks a lot like a woman he once knew, who died years ago. At first, Brody fears his attraction is a holdover from that secret crush, but Abby's definitely ...

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How to Handle a Heartbreaker

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Overview

"The second installment of the McCauley Brothers series is just as tantalizing as the first."-RT Book Reviews, 4.5 stars

HE CAN'T GET HER OUT OF HIS HEAD
It's lust at first sight when Brody Singer first lays eyes on Abby Dunn. The dark-haired beauty looks a lot like a woman he once knew, who died years ago. At first, Brody fears his attraction is a holdover from that secret crush, but Abby's definitely different. She's a lot shyer, a lot sexier, and despite her attempts to dissuade his interest, absolutely mesmerizing.

SHE CAN'T GET HIM OUT OF HER BOOKS
Abby isn't having it. She's still trying to put her last disastrous relationship behind her and overcome the flaws her ex wouldn't let her forget. But somehow Brody isn't getting the hint. It doesn't help that when writing her steamy novels, she keeps casting Brody as the hero.

Brody is more than happy to serve as her muse and eager to help make sure her "research" is authentic. But when their research turns into something real...will she choose her own happily ever after?

INTRODUCING...THE McCAULEY BROTHERS
Welcome to the rough-and-tumble McCauley family, a tight-knit band of four bachelor brothers who work hard, drink beer, and relentlessly tease each other. When three independent women move in next door, all hell breaks loose.

The McCauley Brothers Series:
The Troublemaker Next Door
How to Handle a Heartbreaker
Ruining Mr. Perfect
What to Do with a Bad Boy

Praise for The McCauley Brothers series:
"Funny, addicting, and full of hot sex scenes, leaving readers eager for the next McCauley novel."-Booklist
"Filled with strong-willed characters. The love scenes...will make readers sweat."-RT Book Reviews, 4.5 stars, Top Pick! Gold

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Marie Harte writes a rollicking story with a cast of entertaining characters." - Cocktails and Books

"This is one you'll think about for days afterward. Engaging, comical, and sexy. Three words that sum this book up beautifully." - Romantic Romp

"If you are looking for hot romance, brothers, friends and family then grab a copy of How to Handle a Heartbreaker. " - Caffeinated Book Reviewer

"Overall I adored How to Handle a Heartbreaker and recommend it to contemporary romance fans!" - On the Wings of Books

"How To Handle A Heartbreaker is another amazing book from author Marie Harte; it is emotional, witty, and so very, very sexy! This is a great series and I am so looking forward to what happens next!" - Guilty Pleasures Book Review

" I love the McCauley boys!" - From the Purple Matter

"If you're looking for a sexy, funny series with a plethora of great characters, I highly recommend The McCauley Brothers series. " - The Bookish Babe

"Warning readers, break out your fans, sit on a bucket of ice, and be ready for a very hot, steamy book." - Smut Book Junkie Book Reviews

"I just loved reading about Abby & Brody" - Books-n-Kisses

"I highly suggest this series to those who'd love to read sexy romance and fun characters." - Mysterious Hodgepodge

"In the veins of Abby Glines — Marie Harte is a way more steamy author and pushes the boundaries with her characters and story lines.
I'll definitely be lining up for the other books in the series" - Confessions of a Booklovin Junkie

"These series is steamy and full of drama. It's a nice little treasure for a rainy day!" - Charming Chelsey's

"Another fun, entertaining novel. " - Under the Boardwalk

"The second installment of the McCauley Brothers series is just as tantalizing as the first. The characters are inspiring and endearing, and some of the scenes are liable to bring readers to tears. 4 1/2 stars." - RT Book Reviews

"Marie Harte's got me waiting on baited breathe for the next one in The McCauley Brothers to come out." - Fresh Fiction

"Harte's new-adult romance is funny, addicting, and full of hot sex scenes, leaving readers eager for the next McCauley novel." - Booklist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402287374
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks
  • Publication date: 8/5/2014
  • Series: McCauley Brothers Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 69,488
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Marie Harte writes erotic romance and has over ninety titles in print and digital format. A caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, Marie is a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. She served in the U.S. Marine Corps and worked for Fortune 500 companies before becoming a full time writer. Whether hiking in Central Oregon, biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she's constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after. She lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. Visit www.marieharte.com and fall in love.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

They stared at each other, like dueling gunslingers waiting to see who would draw first. She'd be damned if she'd blink before he did. Despite his sheer size, drool-worthy body, and oh-my-God sex appeal, Abigail Dunn refused to budge on this issue. Her roommates might think she was one big pushover, but she knew better. It was time he did too.

After several tense moments in silence, Brody Singer rolled his eyes, then pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed in defeat. "Okay. Jesus. You're such a hard-ass. It's not his fault, you know."

"No. It's yours." She crossed her arms over her chest, doing her best not to turn pink when his gaze immediately followed the movement. And stayed there. After a moment, she cleared her throat. "My eyes are up here, Brody." She pointed to her face.

He slowly lifted his gaze to her face but didn't stop leering. Instead, the charming idiot wiggled his brows. "Beautiful. So...big. And so...brown."

She wore a brown sweater today, so she couldn't be sure if he referred to her breasts or her eyes. By the expression on his face, she was betting on the former. Anyone else talking to her like that would have received a kick in the teeth. But from Brody, she felt simultaneously irked and turned on. So not good.

"You know, you're really very good-looking."

He looked puzzled that she'd compliment him, but as he started to smile, she added, "Too bad you ruin it the moment you open your mouth."

He had the gall to laugh. "And the guys think you're shy."

Now she flushed. Dear Lord, did Mike and the others talk about her? Her neighbor, Mike McCauley, was the oldest of the four McCauley brothers, by which Brody had been unofficially adopted at a young age. She'd been dying to get the scoop on the whys and hows of his life, but asking would make it seem as if she wanted to know. And heaven help her if her roommates started on the sparks flaring between her and Brody again. Her head hurt just thinking about it.

Realizing he continued to stare in a way that made her all too aware of her now tingly girlie parts, she blurted, "I am shy."

"Not with me you're not." And that pleased him for some stupid reason, because his grin grew wider.

Abby planted her hands on her hips and counted to ten in her head. In a calmer voice, she explained, "I don't have time for this. I have to make my deadline by Halloween-in five more days. Get that mongrel out of our yard or else."

"You won't call the pound." He didn't seem to be taking her threat seriously.

Abby turned and stared out the back door of her kitchen, not surprised to see dog slobber and a furry face against the door pane. The smashed nose and tongue occasionally gave way to a gaping mouth of sharp teeth as Cujo tried to get more oxygen into his freakishly large body. "Pound? I was thinking the National Guard. That thing is nearly as tall as I am."

"But you're short."

"Petite."

"Not with that rack," he muttered.

"What?"

"Nothing." He swallowed hard but to his credit kept his gaze above her neckline this time. "Look, I'm sorry. He likes you, Abby. Mutt just wanted to give you a token of his affection."

"You mean the bone he buried in our backyard last week? That token?" She fumed, remembering the broken flower pots and her mauled garden beds. "I don't know why I bother. This isn't even my house. You want to piss off Beth and James, feel free. But when we move out, I'm getting my rent deposit back. If not from them, from you."

He frowned. "You're leaving? You guys just moved in eight months ago."

She hadn't realized he knew that. But considering their many connections, it shouldn't have surprised her. "You're spending too much time with Flynn and Maddie." Maddie, her roommate and best friend, had found a real treasure in Flynn McCauley. Great for Maddie, not so great for Abby.

Flynn and Brody were best friends and business partners. Mike was her neighbor. And Abby, Maddie, and Vanessa-her other roommate-had been pseudo-adopted by the entire McCauley clan. Which meant she saw Brody on a regular basis. She could handle his aggravating attempts at charm, but her libido was making it really hard to remember all the reasons why she should give this man a wide berth.

Like now, when he wouldn't stop staring at her.

"Cut it out."

"What?"

Did he just step closer? She backed up and found herself against the door. Behind her, that mammoth of a dog whined.

"See? We like you, Abby." Brody smiled, his amber eyes bright, like his golden hair, shining through the gloom of yet another bleak Seattle day.

She held up a hand and met his chest, doing her utmost to ignore the firm muscle under her palm. "Stay." To her bemusement, he did. She did her best not to laugh hysterically at the comparison of man to dog. "I think I made myself clear. Your dog needs to stay at your place. He keeps getting out of Mike's yard, and he's already torn up my garden."

"Garden?" Brody looked over her head through the door window. "You mean that dirt in a box? Anything out there was already dead, honey."

"It was dormant and would have been perfect for springtime next year, honey, but Fenris out there already dug up my bulbs."

"Hmm. Fenris."

"Yeah, Fenris. Loki's son? A demon dog that ends the world?"

He seemed to consider the name. "Catchy, but no. Doesn't fit him. Guess we'll stick with Mutt for now."

She gritted her teeth. "I don't care what you name your dog. Just get him out. Of. My. Yard!"

She stormed past him in a whirl of anger, frustrated lust, and hopelessness that she'd be able to concentrate on writing her story now that Mr. Wrong had shown his pretty face to distract her again. Bad enough she saw him in her dreams or when he tagged along with Flynn. But now he invaded her working hours.

"Oh you stupid muse." The damn thing needed to get laid. Then maybe it would stop painting her hero with Brody's face and smile. Riiight. It's your muse that's been celibate for a year. Not you, oh she of the wide ass, freakish desires, and air of desperation... Kevin's words were never far from her mind, and at that moment, she hated him and Brody equally. Kevin had been a jerk, but Brody made her wish for things she'd never have. She paused in the hallway at the doorway to her office.

The front door opened, and Maddie entered with Flynn on her heels. "Hey, Abby, what-"

Abby pointed at Flynn. "This is your fault. Take care of that," she thumbed at the noise behind her, "or I will." She seethed as she closed herself in her study-what she used to think of as her sanctuary-and did her best to ignore Brody's low voice and the happy barking no doubt forecasting a mess in the kitchen.

At the thought that Vanessa would soon be returning, Abby smiled with evil glee. The blond dictator would take care of it. She'd take care of everything. "Now if only she could type..."

***

Brody knew he shouldn't have opened the door. Now the damn dog was inside and making a friggin' mess. He fought to hold on to Mutt while he watched Abby's finer-than-fine ass disappear into her office. A glance around him showed a beautiful home with a woman's touch. From the kitchen he could see clear to the front door, through the spacious hallway that led to a set of stairs to the left of the front door. The living room off to the right was delineated by a large archway, no door, making the downstairs seem like one big living space with the exception of the powder room and the double doors to the closed office. Where Abby sat fuming at him.

Abby. He sighed. She belonged here, in a place she loved. Unlike him, his hellhound, and his twin who wasn't his twin, currently walking down the hall. Flynn entered the kitchen and stood staring at him with a look of displeasure.

Brody grunted while he tried to restrain an overenthusiastic mix of Irish Wolfhound, Great Dane, and wolf. Or was that Yeti? Hell, the dog weighed over a hundred and twenty pounds and was strong as a bull. And he had a thing for women. Abby was hands down Mutt's favorite, but the leggy redhead making a face at him was the dog's second choice.

"Really, Brody." Maddie pursed her lips. "In the house?"

Flynn swore. "Better get him out of here before Vanessa gets back."

Vanessa, the other roommate. What did Maddie call her? Hitler with a mop. What were the odds three hot single women would move next door to Mike, of all people? The guy lived like a monk. Granted, he had a kid, but they all helped with Colin.

In a perfect world, the girls would have moved next to Brody. He'd have made a move on them way before now. Had a nice threesome or foursome, watched them wrestle each other in bikinis slathered with oil, then cornered Abby as his own after the others begged him not to take a favorite. He smirked at Maddie, who glared back at him.

At least Flynn was no idiot. He'd set his sights on Maddie and made it stick. They were a perfect couple, and she was just girlie enough not to want to interrupt his buddy's bro time while still thinking Flynn walked on water. Just what Brody had always wanted for the man he considered his un-identical twin.

If Flynn could nab a babe like Maddie, Brody could get Abby. Hadn't he always done one better than Flynn when it came to the ladies?

Now how to get Abby to stop running away long enough to get his hands on her. He'd start by investigating that soft brown sweater that hugged her curves. Then move down her legs to that round-"Shit." Mutt lunged out of Brody's hands and dove for Maddie.

She screamed. The woman had a mouth on her that made even the dog flinch. Still, it didn't stop him from a fly tackle.

Only Flynn's timely intervention saved Maddie's pretty dress from big-ass paw prints covered in muck. The dog and mud had a love-love relationship.

"Swear to God, one of these days I'm going to bury you where no one can find you, Brody." Flynn glared at him as he and Mutt danced. The dog had his paws on Flynn's shoulders and was trying to lick him to death while Maddie erupted into gales of laughter. Flynn frowned over his shoulder at her. "Yeah, it's funny now. But you were screaming two seconds ago."

From down the hallway, he heard a door open and his heart raced. Abby returned wearing sexy reading glasses, and she'd put her hair up in a loose knot. That, along with her soft sweater and leg-hugging denim, caused every nerve in Brody's body to stand on end. Thank God for tight jeans.

He glanced away from Abby to the dog and swallowed hard, avoiding the knowing smirk Flynn shot him. They'd talked about Brody's penchant for the prim and proper type, and for Abby in particular. For his last birthday, the guys had taken him to a gentleman's club, where a woman dressed like a librarian had stripped down to pasties and a G-string while grinding all over him.

And she had nothing on Abby Dunn.

"You are so pathetic," Flynn muttered and shoved the dog off him.

"What the hell is all this racket?" Abby yelled. "I'm trying to work." Her gaze zeroed in on Mutt. Before the dog could attack, she commanded, "Sit."

To Brody's astonishment, Mutt sat and wagged his tail like crazy, his gaze glued to Abby. Can't fault him for that.

Brody wanted to wag at her too. The woman was his every dream come to life. Curvy in all the right places with dark hair, rich brown eyes, full lips, and a smile that lit her from the inside out. When she used it. Unlike now, as she glared from the dog to him.

He coughed to clear his throat. "He looked so sad by himself, so I let him in just for a minute. I swear. I was trying to take him back outside when Maddie distracted me-"

"Please. I walked down my own hallway to my own kitchen."

"-and Flynn tried playing hero instead of letting me take my unloved dog back out into the cold. Away from all this animal bigotry. The hatred. The lies. You poor, misunderstood thing," he crooned and gained Mutt's attention again. The dog walked back to him and stood quivering under his hand, no doubt dying to run back to Abby.

He wondered what she'd do if he imitated his dog, just jumped her and slobbered all over her. The idea had real merit, especially since she stood there looking like a centerfold, her sweater cupping her beautiful curves, her lips parted as she readied to blast him all over again.

She must have changed her mind, because she groaned. "For the love of God, just please, take him outside. Or-"

Just then, the front door opened and the clicking of heels drew closer. Heels. Shit. Vanessa had returned.

"Full house, I see..." She paused at the entrance to the kitchen, not a hair out of place, her pristine pantsuit unwrinkled, her subtle makeup unblemished. A professional to the nth degree. "What is this?" the blond bombshell shrieked as she stared at the mud all over the place.

Abby smirked at him before disappearing down the hallway once more. Flynn and Maddie shook their heads, then quickly skirted around the infuriated clean freak staring a hole through his head.

"Oh, ah, hey, Vanessa." He tried to appear smaller as he and the dog cowered together.

"What the fuck is all over the kitchen?"

Before he could blink, she had him by the collar. Not the dog. Him. Despite looking down at her, he felt a bit on edge when confronted with such unbridled fury. He wouldn't put it past her to kick his dog. Or him.

An hour and a half later in his upstairs bathroom, he glared at Mutt after finishing the messiest dog bath known to man. The dog sulked as Brody finished drying him off. "No more. I'm on thin ice with Abby as it is. Come on, Mutt. Help me out, man."

The dog sneered at him before loping off into the room he'd claimed as his own. Brody's bedroom.

With a sigh, Brody stared around the mess of his bathroom and left it. Wet dog smell, slimy mud, fur, and all.

Exhausted after the day from hell, he settled into the comfortable couch in the living room. Rain continued to pour outside and the sky had gone from cloudy to gunmetal gray. The chill outside emphasized the heating problems in the place, which reminded him of his neighbor in the duplex next door. Brody could handle the cold. His neighbor, not so much.

Brody reluctantly rose and called to the dog, "I'll be right back."

He didn't expect an answer, but he thought it pretty damn pathetic that while Flynn was no doubt getting felt up by his redhead, Brody had a pissy dog for company. "Blood brother, my ass. Where is he when I'm drowning in misery?" he mumbled as he left the warmth of his home and stood shivering on Seth's porch next door.

The old man answered on the fifth knock. "What?" he snapped.

"Is it me, or is everyone on the planet in a mood today?" Brody sighed. "You going to let me in or what?"

Seth mumbled under his breath but opened the door.

Brody entered and hid a grimace, not wanting to offend. But damn, what were Seth's kids thinking to let the old man live by himself? He could have starred in his own episode of Hoarders. Newspaper stacks lined the hallway, and though clutter filled every available bookcase, bureau, and table, a clear path remained throughout the living room into the dining room and kitchen.

Remembering the gasket he'd forgotten the last time he'd been over, Brody reached into his pocket and gripped it. "I'll be in the kitchen."

"Sure, make yourself at home," Seth called after him with no small amount of sarcasm.

Brody returned from the kitchen moments later. "Kitchen sink's good as new."

"Thanks." Seth stared at him, then frowned. "It's Friday night. Why are you here?"

"Huh?"

"Shouldn't you be with your brothers?"

Normally, Brody spent his Friday evenings playing cards at Mike's. But Cameron, the youngest McCauley, was out of town. And no way was Flynn's girlfriend taking his place. If you didn't have a Y chromosome, you didn't rate an invite to poker night. Three guys wouldn't cut it... Then again, Colin was almost six. The kid could palm a card and knew how to stack a deck, thanks to Brody's clever teaching.

"You know, you make a good point." Brody quickly double-checked the thermostat and the plumbing in the downstairs bathroom. All good. Seth wouldn't freeze to death. "You got food?"

"You are one nosy neighbor," Seth half frowned, trying unsuccessfully to hide a grin. "Yeah, yeah, I have food. Damn, son. I'm supposed to feed you now too? Invite yourself over for dinner, why don't you?"

Brody ignored him, as he normally did. He and the old man had an unspoken agreement. They liked the hell out of each other but refused to admit it. Before Brody had bought his half of the large building from Seth, he'd been the ideal tenant. Nothing had changed since he'd purchased the place. He still fixed both sides of the house, and Seth continued to treat Brody like an unwelcome relation. That, and the guy was always giving him stuff. Ancient record albums, figurines, things Brody didn't feel right taking-the old man's treasures. Brody had protested that he'd fix the house for free, but Seth wouldn't hear it. Proud old bastard. He totally reminded Brody of a crotchety James McCauley.

"And you know, it wouldn't hurt you to get a love life. Ain't seen a woman around in a while. You gone gay, boy?"

Brody blinked. "Ah, no. Not yet."

Seth shrugged. "Boy or girl, at least you wouldn't be moping around on a Friday night."

"Who's moping? I'm relaxing after a hard day's work."

Seth raised a brow.

"We had to fix a leak then relocate a water line in a new construction complex in Tacoma. And the traffic was nuts."

"Always is."

Brody nodded. "Okay then."

"Okay." Seth just stared at him.

Feeling foolish, Brody glared, warned the crankpot not to screw with the dog by pounding on the walls, and left. He returned to his bedroom and thought about just staying in for the night, but he wanted some company.

Being around Abby frazzled him. Brody had been scoring with girls since the seventh grade when he'd grown out of his awkward stage and into his voice. Maturing early had its perks, and girls noticing him was a win-win, any way he looked at it. Hanging with the tough McCauleys had helped too. No one screwed with Mike's younger brothers. Though Brody's blond hair and obviously different last name said otherwise, the McCauleys had always treated him like a sibling. One that annoyed Mike, bossed Cam, and got into mischief with Flynn on a daily basis.

But now that Flynn had Maddie, it kind of left Brody at loose ends. Then there was that fascination with Abby that wouldn't quit.

"I am so screwed." He sighed. He wanted Abby like crazy. But there seemed to be no end to the obstacles standing in his way.

As he undressed and then scraped away the fur from the tub the dog had just used, he considered his myriad problems. Brody turned on the shower and waited with bated breath. After a minute or two, he stepped under the spray of hot water. No problem with the water heater tonight, thank God.

He watched rivulets of water race down the tile, just as fast as Abby ran from him time and time again. Granted, he hadn't exactly made his intentions clear. He flirted, leered, and teased. But he hadn't asked her out yet. Because she'd deny him.

And there was that weird resemblance she had to Lea, Mike's dead wife.

Brody groaned. How to make a move on the woman he couldn't get out of his mind without offending Mike? And if he did get a date, how not to mess things up with Abby so badly that he wrecked Flynn's relationship with Maddie? Because Maddie and Abby were tight, and Flynn had no intention of dropping his new squeeze. It was like geometry all over again. The transcendental proof, cause and effect-and now he had a massive headache.

Nothing a good beer and a beat-down over Mike couldn't cure. He just had to make sure he partnered with Colin, because lately Flynn was next to useless in a game. His head in the clouds, dreaming about Maddie. But the kid had potential.

Brody finished washing himself and continued to think of a way around Abby's wariness. Charm and flirting hadn't worked. The dog obviously wasn't getting him closer. So how to work an angle under her shields and into her pants, but far enough away from her heart so that when they ended, she and his brothers wouldn't be gunning for him?

***

Abby stared longingly at the wet windowpane, wishing she could rzewind the clock.

"Missing your honey man?" Vanessa drawled. "Why don't you just put the guy out of his misery and sleep with him?"

"As much as I appreciate your honesty-"

Vanessa snorted.

"-I don't need comments from the peanut gallery. I'm not missing anyone."

"Uh-huh. That's why you keep looking at Mike's house through the window."

Abby turned to glare at her roommate. Vanessa was Maddie's cousin, yet the two couldn't have been more different. Maddie had a vibrant joy, dramatic flair, and warm beauty. She glowed with her love for Flynn. Abby's creative mind likened Vanessa more to an icy Valkyrie. A warrior in business, logical, and eminently better suited to dealing with stress, Vanessa never panicked or didn't know what to do. She was like perfection on two long legs that ended in a gorgeous brain that never quit. Currently single due to her own desire for solitude, not because men didn't want her.

Abby should have hated her for that alone. So much confidence, and the woman deserved every bit of it. Yet she remained loyal to friends and family. And as much as Abby sometimes wished Vanessa would ease up, the woman regarded her as part of her family unit.

After drawing in a deep breath, Abby let it out and explained to Vanessa, once again, what the neighbor really meant to her. "I write, Vanessa. You know this. You also know I use the guys next door as reference material."

"Blah blah blah. Yeah. You want to make your male characters real, so you eavesdrop on the guys talking smack over cards on Fridays. I know. But that doesn't explain why you're always looking at Brody's ass. Mind you, it's a fine ass. But your interest seems much more prurient than scholarly."

Vanessa's blue eyes sparkled, her joy in the verbal battle clear.

Catching the spirit, Abby shot back, "Well, at least I have plans for the weekend."

Vanessa raised a blond brow and crossed her arms over her chest. "So do I."

Abby looked her over. From Vanessa's size eleven running shoes to the running shorts and T-shirt sporting a Go Vegan or Go Home slogan. "Some Friday. You're going to drive to the gym to work out after putting in a full day." Abby huffed. "At least I have a good excuse for no social prospects. My deadline is looming."

"True." Vanessa shrugged. "But I use exercise to relieve stress. You say you want to listen to the guys for research, but in this weather, you can't hear a blasted thing anyone is saying with their windows closed. So I ask again, why are you staring at Mike's house? I'll tell you why. Because you and that blond doofus can't get enough of each other."

"He is that," Abby agreed. A great big galoot who'd rescued a monstrous stray dog from euthanasia at the pound, who taught his nephew how to cheat at cards and cry on command, and who'd been protective of his best friend when Flynn and Maddie had been on the rocks a month ago. Then what else Vanessa said penetrated. "Wait. What?" Get enough of each other?

"It's so obvious. Just sleep with him. Get it out of your system. Then use it to write those smut scenes you're always going on about in your books. And presto. Deadline problem solved."

The familiar argument made her see red. "Smut? I write erotic romance. Not porn. Not smut. Not raunchy-"

"Right. Raunchy." Vanessa snapped her fingers. "That's the word I wanted when I was telling Francie about your book the other day."

More comfortable arguing about her profession than about the crazy feelings for Brody she had no business even thinking about, Abby lit into her roommate with gusto. It took everything inside her not to follow the flashing headlights when a truck pulled into Mike's drive.

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 23, 2014

    I loved book #1 in the series, The Troublemaker Next Door and ha

    I loved book #1 in the series, The Troublemaker Next Door and have been looking forward to Abby & Brody's book ever since.

    Brody is a fun, easy going character who is secretly hiding things about his life that his adopted family know little or nothing about.
    Abby is a steamy romance writer who hasn't had the best of times when it comes to relationships and has low confidence and esteem when it comes to men!
    Both have issues that they need to talk about and address but, when they get together some things are left unsaid, which of course leads to upset, hurt and misunderstandings (jeez, at times I had such a desire to slap both of them and give them a shake to make them see sense!!!)

    I LOVE the McCauley Brothers series. All of the brothers and the rest of the family appear in the books - they are a fun, loving and very likable cast. I love Mutt - he's such a crazy pooch!!

    I would warn you that a supply of tissues is a necessity when reading How To Handle A Heartbreaker... It really tugs at your heart and you can't help but feel for Brody and how he thinks because of the things that he's hiding!

    I'm now looking forward to Ruining Mr. Perfect ~ Vanessa & Cameron's story!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2014

    A must read! This book has it all. Drama, heartache, friendship.

    A must read! This book has it all. Drama, heartache, friendship. I laughed, I cried. I love Abby and Brody! Abby has trust issues and Brody has been hurt by his real family and although he has the love and support of the McCauley family, he still feels he is unworthy of love. To see Abby and Brody go through their ups and downs, will truly tug at your heart.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2014

    Needs more sex

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  • Posted October 23, 2014

    I was completely captivated by these two as they worked thru the

    I was completely captivated by these two as they worked thru these issues and figured out whether they can make a go of a real relationship.  You have to be ready for some heartache to go with the romance though because they have their troubles to go along with fun.  How to Handle a Heartbreaker is steamy and heartwarming and funny and sweet - a totally delicious package.

    Full review available at Romantic Reads and Such on wordpress. 

    (Complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review)

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  • Posted October 18, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    This second fabulous story in the McCauley brothers series (stan

    This second fabulous story in the McCauley brothers series (standalone) tells of the romance between Abby and Brody. Brody is the unoffocial McCauley brother, having found a place with them at a young age when escaping an abusive family. He's had his eye on Abby, his brother's next door neighbour for a little while, and when the opportunity arises to help her with some book research for the erotic romances she writes, he doesn't have to think twice. Soon though their no-strings attached affair starts to feel like something more - can they both overcome past insecurities and give each other a chance to have something real?

    I loved this story! The author has such a deft way of combining steamy love scenes with emotional moments that from the beginning you are hooked! Brody is an interesting man - on the outside a fun loving, friendly jokester and on the inside hiding the pain of his abusive childhood. He never lets anyone get too close until Abby starts to crack his tough shell and expose his heart. Abby too is a wonderful character - also fun and friendly, outspoken and direct when it comes to her friends but hiding her career as a romance writer from her family. She's never felt quite good enough - whether as a sister, a daughter, or a lover. Brody's attentions make her realize that she can really be herself with him, expressing her sexuality the way she's always wanted to. The chemistry between them is sizzling and the love scenes are smoking hot! Equally as interesting to me though is the dialogue and humour between the male siblings, the female friends and the overall dynamics of all the secondary characters involved.

    This was a fun, entertaining, dialogue and character driven story with a great mix of sex, humour, and tension. Exactly what I'm looking for in a contemporary romance. 5 fantastic stars!

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  • Posted October 9, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    How to Handle a Heartbreaker (McCauley Brothers #2) Brody and A

    How to Handle a Heartbreaker (McCauley Brothers #2)

    Brody and Abby’s Story

    Brody Singer took one look at Abby Dunn and fell in instant lust. Abby looks a lot like a woman he once knew, one who died years ago. But is his attraction merely a holdover from a secret crush from long ago? But Abby’s definitely someone different. She’s a lot shier, a lot sexier, and despite her attempts to dissuade his interest, mesmerizing.

    Abby isn’t having it. She’s still trying to put her last disastrous relationship behind her and overcome the flaws her ex so kindly pointed out. She’s too short, too plump, too boring, too blah. But somehow Brody isn’t getting the picture that someone as handsome and built as he is should be with a woman far prettier. It doesn’t help that when writing her steamy books, she keeps casting Brody as the hero.
    Only Abby can write her own ending. She just has to decide which version to keep: the one where she shows Brody she’s a woman worth keeping and he’s a man worth loving? Or the one where she settles for a rough draft of a life, alone and safe from ever getting hurt again?

    PRODUCT WARNINGS
    This book involves a charmingly sexy plumber, a slightly neurotic writer, one God-ugly dog, a crafty six-year-old, meddling family, a tragic past, card cheats, and some wily action between the sheets–compliments of two people fighting against falling in love.
     
    Brody and his hound are both loveable rogues of the best kind, both need discipline and love. Abby is a nerd with a secret, she writes steamy books with all the steam happening in her head not her bed.
    When we met Brody in Troublemaker I had no idea how many layers there were going to be to this man and how much that rogue persona was him yes but hiding so much. Not a McCauley by blood but in every other way Flynn and Brody are like twins. Incredibly close, they are hilarious and their escapades make you laugh, blush and sob! 

    Abby has confidence issues after an ex did a number on her. Brody offers to show her some of his moves with a touch of kink thrown in and give her a man’s perspective purely as research for her books!
    The back and forth between these two was a far more emotional read than #1 but just as enjoyable. They both have demons, both believe themselves not worthy of the other and their journey is very different to Flynn and Maddie. 
    I like a heroine who is curvy and petite not thin and willowy all the time, again with the real factor and I love that Brody adores her for her. They bring the best out in each other and the way they fiercely defend the other made me smile. Both Colin and Mutt gave me many laughter moments, I may adopt both.

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  • Posted September 12, 2014

    Abby had been dumped by her ex-boyfriend when she finally truste

    Abby had been dumped by her ex-boyfriend when she finally trusted him enough to show him she liked a little kink. He only degraded her and then dumped her. Abby wasn't supposed to like Brody, but she did. She didn't want to though because she didn't trust letting anyone know her secret desires. She couldn't stand to go through the nastiness like she did with her ex-boyfriend. Brody liked his brother Mike's neighbor Abby. He wasn't sure how well that would go over with his brothers so he kept quiet about it. All the while though, he's wanted Abby and she's got a luscious body he can't seem to quit fantasizing about. Maybe he can recruit her for a little help training his newly acquired, not so well-behaved dog so he can get closer to her…
    Awesome book! I loved all the characters and especially the hero and heroine, but the interaction between the brothers was adorable. I often laughed out loud! Ms. Harte always paired off other characters so I'm hoping there will be more books about the others and I can hardly wait. This book had many sexy, yet hilarious moments filled with a whole-lot-of-YUM! I loved the idea of Brody helping Abby with her "research" and it made for some adorably romantic times. It was always fun, and endearing to the max. How to Handle a Heartbreaker is most definitely a Keeper! You won't want to miss it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2014

    264pgs... 3.5 stars

    Good story, parts could have been shortened and others lengthened. I am not one to enjoy too detailed scenes in romance books or books that seem to have so many of them and not much substance in the storyline, so this was not a personal favorite. I enjoyed the characters and basis of the story...I want to read and find out what happens with the others in the family.

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  • Posted August 22, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    NUMBER OF HEARTS: 4 REVIEW:   Book two in Marie Harte¿s The McCa

    NUMBER OF HEARTS: 4
    REVIEW:  
    Book two in Marie Harte’s The McCauley Brothers series was just as good as book one.  This time we get to learn about the unofficially adopted McCauley brother Brody.  Brody is fun loving, carefree and totally head over heels for Ms. Abby Dunn.  Although he would tell anyone or anything like that.  Brody had a tough upbringing that left him very leary of love and trust.  Yet he know that the McCauley’s and exceptionally Flynn have his back and always will.  The demons of his past keep popping up and ruining everything. 
    Abby Dunn is a tough little firecracker who has some secrets of her own.  One she doesn’t want anyone to know what she does for a living (you will have to read to find out).  Two her last boyfriend did a number on her confidence level.  And three she is in total lust with Brody Singer (not the she will do anything about it, but dang!!!!!).

    These two were great fun to read about.  And Abby you naughty little goddess (yes you will have to read to find out why).   I just loved reading about Abby & Brody.  And of course the peeks into what and who may be coming next was great fun.  Plus it is always fun to see a tough alpha male be brought to his knees by something a simple as love.  

    Disclaimer: 
    I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley & Sourcebooks Casablanca in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review. 

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  • Posted August 17, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    4.25 stars HOW TO HANDLE A HEARTBREAKER is the second instalment

    4.25 stars HOW TO HANDLE A HEARTBREAKER is the second instalment in Marie Harte’s contemporary, adult, erotic McCauley Brothers romance series.  This is Brody Singer and Abby Dunn’s storyline. Brody has been and always will be part of the McCauley family and this story will show how that it isn’t the blood that runs in your veins that makes you a family but the love of the people who accept who you are. Although this is the second storyline in the series it can be read as a stand alone without too much difficulty-any previous storyline information is revealed where necessary.
    The premise follows the building relationship between Brody and Abby. Brody co-owns a plumbing business with his ‘brother’ Flynn McCauley, and web designer Abby Dunn is the woman who has caught his attention. Never one to stick in a relationship for very long, Brody’s attraction to Abby is immediate and unwanted. Brody’s early years have left a mark on his heart and his soul, and he believes that he will never be worthy of anyone’s love and affection.  He has a reputation with the women but he has always been a one-woman man.
    Abby has a secret –she writes erotic romance novels- and only a few close friends know the truth. When Brody discovers Abby’s secrets she makes him an offer he cannot refuse.  Abby’s ex has done a number with her heart and her self esteem, and she is hoping that Brody won’t run away when the truth about what she desires is revealed.
    The relationship between Brody and Abby is a friends to lovers storyline although their friendship had always been one of subtle innuendo and teasing. Having met Abby only two years before, all of the McCauley’s see that Brody and Abby have an attraction for one another but in truth Brody is frightened by his feelings and his past. Growing up as part of the tight knit McCauley family has made him feel wanted and loved, but in the end he is still not a part of the family by blood. Brody and Abby’s love scenes are intimate, sexy, arousing and hot.  Brody is a plumber who likes to talk dirty in bed.
    The secondary characters include the entire McCauley clan-they are colorful, funny, supportive, revealing and complement Abby and Brody. Then there are those characters who will destroy our hero with one look or one word, and if you have a heart, you can’t help but feel for a man whose former life had brought him to hell and back.
    Marie Harte has written an emotional and sometimes heartbreaking storyline. There are moments of family love and friendship; humor and brotherly teasing; ugly tears and painful shame. We watch as one man must overcome the shame of his past, the memories of his childhood, and the pain and anguish of the family that destroyed his life. 
    HOW TO HANDLE A HEARTBREAKER is a story where two people will discover that life is about the here and now; that our past does not define who we are but will only make us stronger in the end.

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  • Posted August 17, 2014

    How could you not love Brody? He's smart, funny, and extremely s

    How could you not love Brody? He's smart, funny, and extremely sexy and that's just how he describes himself. He was so cute trying to not fall for Abby, but of course he went down pretty darn fast even if he didn't admit it. Abby was just woman enough to train him and his dog the right way. There were times it got a little sad, but thankfully they didn't last long before something outlandish came out of his mouth. I think I have a little book crush on him, but I'm really looking forward to reading about Cam and my favorite, Mike. These books are a great way to relax and enjoy your weekend. Who doesn't want to read about four incredibly devoted men?

    Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.

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  • Posted August 7, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Brody and Abby had amazing chemistry with fun and sizzling sex!

    Brody and Abby had amazing chemistry with fun and sizzling sex!

    Yeah baby! How To Handle A Heartbreaker was the McCauley Bros book I was MOST looking forward to. After an entertaining debut into the series where The Troublemaker Next Door introduced me to Brody and Abby, I knew they would have a fun and and sexy story with a little bit of intrigue and a whole lot of passion.




    A simmering attraction has boiled beneath the surface for Brody and Abby ever since the two came face to face in Troublemaker. With Abby bearing a striking resemblance to brother Mike's late wife Lea, I knew there would be some juicy goodness to be had. My initial thought was that Abby would somehow be hooked up with Mike because what better way to replace what's missing than with a replica, right? But I started to think "Where's the fun in that?" Harte answers the question by taking Abby, a successful erotic romance author and Brody, a charming playboy plumber and throwing them together repeatedly until the attraction can no longer be denied. A bad experience with an ex who has made her feel like her sexual cravings are deprived and unnatural has left Abby a little reserved and uneasy about her desires. That changes for her during a Halloween party where her Goddess of love costume and a little help from alcohol get her to loosen up and take charge of what she wants, mainly Brody (or in this case a PART of Brody) into her own hands. The sexy encounter between the two sparks the beginning of a mutual tryst that develops roots and grows deeper the farther they take their relationship. But with Mike's directive not to get involved with the neighbors and inner demons both have to work through the pair have a long way to go in order to make it work.




    Because Abby writes erotic romance and Brody being the purely selfless individual he is (heavy sarcasm) the two agree upon a purely sexual relationship in the name of "Research" for Abby's characters. I loved that they disguised their mutual attraction behind something so silly. It was like "Oh yeah, I'm not into you at all but just for laughs let's have sex". Ugh! These two were adorable as hell together. My sweet Brody, "The Blond McCauley" who's not REALLY a brother, was the jokester of the group of boys. Always cheating at cards, teaching Colin, Mike's son, how to be just like him and quick to laugh off anything serious there was an abundance of good times when Brody was involved. The best part about him though was the depth once you got past his defense mechanism. He used his silliness to deter anyone from getting close and with good reason. His family life before meeting the McCauley's when he was a young boy was rough with an abusive older brother and an alcoholic father who both used him for their gain. I thought Brody would have an intense story but I didn't know it would be so hard to swallow. Here's another guy I found bits of myself in the way he used humor to deflect from what he was really feeling. It's always hard to see someone so lovable take such hard emotional hits and Brody was the ultimate lovable guy. Abby has had her fair share of troubles also with her ex Kevin degrading her and her sexual appetites as being disgusting and unattractive. These sorts of accusations have made Abby into an introverted loner always questioning herself and what she wants. It wreaked havoc on her self image with her being petite and curvy leaving her to think that guys don't want a strong woman who knows what they want in the bedroom. As if all that wasn't bad enough it's also made her hide what she loves and does for a living from her family thinking they would look down on her as well. The only people she trusts with her secret are her roommates Maggie and Vanessa.




    Brody and Abby are just what the other needs as they dive deeper into the others personality and open each other up step by step. Brody helps Abby with her writing and helps her see that she doesn't need to hide behind her pen name and Abby allows Brody to share the issues with his family that nobody else knows. What started as sex only, became something deep and sweet between the two. Of course it's not easy for them by any means when Brody's past shows up and throws his world into chaos and he retreats into himself leaving Abby on the other side of heartbreak. Brody and Abby were a fun couple and I loved that they played and laughed together especially during their sexy times but I also enjoyed seeing them be serious with one another. Their heartfelt talks about the future and what they expected out of life just made their connection that much more personal feeling. Plus it didn't hurt that every single secondary character was meddling in their affair with their two cents. 




    Once again Harte brought together a big family feel incorporating everyone into the story and gave us little glimpses about Vanessa and the youngest McCauley Cameron throughout. The perfect son and the one who gets the most sh-- for being the sensitive guy he is, Cameron is sure to bring some insight into his personality that has only been playfully hinted at by the other guys. I'm very interested to see how straight laced Vanessa deals with everything and her story is sure to be a good one with her robotic parents and OCD behavior. One thing I'm worried about though, is the state of the relationship the patriarchs of the story is in. Mom and Pop McCauley seem to be in some troubled waters in this one and even though they are only secondary characters I feel like I know them already. I'm anxious to see what Harte has in store for the two people who are the glue of the clan. 




    How To Handle A Heartbreaker was funny, sweet, sexy and absolutely adorable so it's should come as no surprise that it's my favorite of the series. So far that is....because big bear Mike McCauley's story got a little bit interesting in Heartbreaker so of course I'm on pins and needles to see how the widower meets his match. We'll see if he can knock BROBBY (Brody and Abby) out of my top couple ranking with his mysterious tattooed lady love. Harte delivered on every aspect I had been anticipating in Heartbreaker with Brody and Abby's story. From their hot hookups to the adorable romance and seeing my favorite characters again there's no shortage of good times. If you love books with a big family feel, lots of humor and blue collar hero's that make you swoon with strong women you can relate to, then the McCauley brothers series is the perfect group of books for you.

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  • Posted August 7, 2014

    ** 4.5 stars ** Oh boy, I loved How to Handle a Heartbreaker, f

    ** 4.5 stars **

    Oh boy, I loved How to Handle a Heartbreaker, for all the reasons I loved the first book in the series, The Troublemaker Next Door. I had such high expectations for this one because of the main characters, Brody and Abby. Abby is quiet and insecure, but not the annoying kind. She's also an erotic romance writer who hasn't outed herself to the world. She listens, okay, and spies, on the McCauley men to help give her work a man's touch. But she needs more...research. Good thing Brody Singer is man enough for the job, yeah?

    Brody isn't a McCauley by blood, but he is by choice. He had a really rough upbringing, and this awesome, loving family took him in and made him a part of the family. He's best friends with Flynn, an uncle to Mike's son Colin, and never ceases to bust Cam's balls. It's great. They're blue collar dudes, with the exception of Cam, and I loved that. The banter among these guys as much was so much fun and I enjoyed it as much as the romance, which is an exception.

    Back to Brody and Abby. Brody has a major, major thing for Abby, but never knew how to get her attention and really get in there. It's kind of awkward because Abby looks very much like Mike's deceased wife, but he's cool with Brody and Abby. Abby had a boyfriend who put her down for her curvy figure and her sexual desires. Brody is all about those curves, though, and he's more than willing to help Abby explore. I just, I loved these two together as much as I'd hoped.

    There is so much about How to Handle a Heartbreaker and the series that has me happy to recommend. I love the characters, the couples, the banter, the steam, and I love little Colin. That kid is seriously badass and reminds me of my (awesome) six-year old daughter. I can't wait to get Cam and Vanessa's books, because those two are a match made in...somewhere. I can't even imagine how hot they'll be once the unbutton those proper clothes and let go! Also, we get to meet the wicked cool woman whom I am presuming will win poor Mike's heart. She's just as much of a badass as he is and that will be fantastic, I'm sure.

    If you're looking for a sexy, funny series with a plethora of great characters, I highly recommend The McCauley Brothers series.


    Favorite Quotes



    Brody grinned and glance up only to see Mike glaring at him. "What did I do?"
    "You taught my kid to lie."
    "Please. He's been lying since he left the womb. He's a McCauley."
    Flynn covered his heart with one hand. "I'm so proud."


    "So you're Abigail D. Chatterly?" Teresa asked.
    "Yeah. So?" Though Teresa had been on her side earlier, she might have done it to snub Meg. Abby was ready for round two.
    "So Fireman's Kiss is like my favorite book!" Teresa shouted and jumped up from her seat to hug Abby. "Oh my God. My friends are not going to believe this."
    Abby blinked.
    "I know. Shocking that she actually has friends," Jack teased. "Oh, and I have to thank you as well. Because after Teresa reads one of your books, we usually end up having a really, really good night."
    "God. TMI, Jack."

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  • Posted August 7, 2014

    How to Handle a Heartbreaker, Marie Harte Review from Jeannie Ze

    How to Handle a Heartbreaker, Marie Harte
    Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews.
    This is book two in a new series by Marie Harte. Its a fun read, with some hot and spicy sex scenes. I liked Abby, she's very loyal to her friends but hiding from her family that she's a writer of some very steamy novels. She tells them she's a website designer – which she is but its the novels that really bring in the money.
    Brody is a real hunk of a man, and its clear they both have feelings for each other..clear to everyone except them. Then Abby gets a bit tipsy at a party and Brody gets a real surprise!! So did I - that was a great scene. From there things heat up and all goes well until someone from Brody's past turns up...
    Its an easy read, simple romance, family problems ( everyone has them) and one for lovers of light and sexy reads. Like book one its got some good humour in too, light parts that made me smile. I really need a bit more drama, a bit more action and depth but enjoyed it as a one off read.
    Stars: three and a half, its better than OK but not deep enough for Good from me.

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  • Posted July 10, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Sexy and engaging!

    Erotic Romance
    4 Stars!
    Release: 08/05/14

    ABOUT THE BOOK:

    It’s lust-at-first-sight when Brody Singer first sees Abby Dunn. Abby looks a lot like a woman he once knew, one who died years ago. But Abby’s definitely different—shyer but sexier.

    Abby’s still trying to put her last disastrous relationship behind her and overcome the flaws her ex wouldn’t let her forget. But somehow Brody isn’t getting the hint. It doesn’t help that when writing her steamy novels, she keeps casting Brody as the hero.

    Only Abby can write her own ending—will she choose her own happily-ever-after, or stay safe in her shell?

    MY REVIEW:

    As with any of Ms. Harte’s books, I still saw she has a mixture of Nora Roberts’ writing style with a mess of sexiness thrown in. She’s hip, daring, and gives the reader laugh outloud moments throughout.

    This was a cute read, but again, this entire series has been fun to follow. We have our next girl up, Abby, the erotic author/eavesdropper/girl with barely any confidence. Then we have Brody, who is head over heels in lust with Abby—but is presented with a problem…why does she look just like his brother’s dead wife?

    Oh man, the tables are jumping around here with the amount of drama and emotions scattered all over the place. Toss in the sexy scenes and a cute as hell dog, and BAM, you get a great read.

    This is one you’ll think about for days afterward. Engaging, comical, and sexy. Three words that sum this book up beautifully.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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