- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
When Ivy Callahan returns to her hometown as mayor, she doesn?t expect much to have changed. But now her ex-fianc? is the town planner, the biggest business is closed, and the only store interested in Celebration, NY is a Megamart. On top of it all, the liaison for the big, bad, box store is Marcus Weaver, her childhood crush. And he?s still as dangerously delectable as ever.
Marcus unwillingly spent his teens in Celebration with his vindictive, drunken uncle. As far as Marcus...
When Ivy Callahan returns to her hometown as mayor, she doesn’t expect much to have changed. But now her ex-fiancé is the town planner, the biggest business is closed, and the only store interested in Celebration, NY is a Megamart. On top of it all, the liaison for the big, bad, box store is Marcus Weaver, her childhood crush. And he’s still as dangerously delectable as ever.
Marcus unwillingly spent his teens in Celebration with his vindictive, drunken uncle. As far as Marcus is concerned, the town’s only use is to cement his rise up the corporate ladder. He needs that Megamart opened, and Ivy is his ticket. But the sexy, stubborn mayor could also be his downfall.
As the unemployed townspeople put on the pressure, Ivy needs to do something. With a fresh downtown-renewal project in the works, Ivy could stop Marcus and his Megamart before they kill the town’s spirit. But with sparks flying between Ivy and Marcus, they each need to decide what’s more important: their careers or their hearts.
Posted September 30, 2013
There were a lot of things to like about Ivy Entwined. The small town setting of Celebration, New York (somewhere near Syracuse) is charming and quirky. There’s quite a few colorful secondary characters, many of whom will hopefully show up in future novels–Alberta Fields, former English teacher and town council member; Ronald Watkins, a business owner also on the town council; and Sherry, Ivy’s administrative assistant, always make Ivy’s job interesting, to say the least.
“Excuse me.” Alberta waved from the front row. “Ivy?”
“Yes, Alberta? What can I do for you?”
Before Alberta could respond, the man sitting next to her rose and hoisted up his trousers. “We’re out of doughnuts, aren’t we? Always used to be three dozen at these meetings but Sherry only brought two dozen. Plenty of people here didn’t even get one.”
Alberta took a dainty bite of a pink-frosted doughnut and spoke around it. “That’s because you ate three of them, Ronald.”
“Put a sock in it, old bag.” Ronald Watkins smoothed a hand over his comb-over hair and scratched his ear.
Alberta sniffed. “Ivy, I know the town council is supposed to sit in the reserved seats, but I find myself unable to concentrate on the business at hand.” She heaved herself up and moved to an empty seat.
Ronald glared at her. “Good. Don’t see why she’s on the council anyway. Don’t own any commercial property in town.”
“Doesn’t. She doesn’t own, Ronald,” Alberta snapped.
“That’s for damn sure. And a good thing, too,” he muttered as he returned to his chair. “Don’t even see why we have to be here today. This ain’t a council meeting.”
Alberta leaned over. “We’re here to support our new mayor. Now quit complaining.”
Ivy let out a slow breath and turned to the woman behind her, who sat at a desk clicking a ballpoint pen. “Is that conversation going in the minutes, Sherry?”
Sherry, administrative assistant to the mayor of Celebration, rolled her eyes. “You want it to?”
“No. All I want is to get these heels off and flop in front of the TV,” Ivy answered.
“You and me both, hon. I’ve been sitting here recording this mess for twenty years. Your dad always hated town hall meetings, too.” Sherry drew a frowny face on the legal pad in front of her and then placed a large dot on the forehead. “That’s a bullet hole.”
Marcus’s uncle Herman is another character who keeps everyone on their toes, especially Marcus. I loved the scene where Marcus, whose rental car reservation was messed up, has to make his triumphant (he hopes) ride back into town in the car Herman uses for his realty business (Weaver Realty is your nesting expert. Crooked stick-on letters on the truck tell you so). It has aged artificial turf on the roof, and a chicken we can only hope has seen better days is wired to the top. The doors stick, and to make things even more interesting, it stalls when you attempt an elaborate driving maneuver–like stopping for a school bus.
Ivy’s grandmother Colleen is a hoot, and alternately acts as an instigating sidekick for both Ivy and Herman. Her Awful Christmas Sweater party makes for some laugh-out-loud moments, especially the descriptions of the attendees’ attire.
I enjoyed both Ivy and Marcus as characters, and the idea behind the plot is a solid one–newly minted mayor of the town, desperate to save it from the downward spiral it’s on versus the guy who’s come back to town with dreams of opening a big-box store–which will probably ultimately hurt the town–and who also happens to be the guy said mayor was crushing on as a young teen. There’s all kinds of push-pull factors going on with these two–their attraction to each other and Ivy’s family’s matchmaking on the one side against their opposing goals for Celebration and desire to make something of themselves–and the conflict they create is great.
All good things, and they kept me turning the pages.
Parts of the story didn’t work as well for me, though. Both Ivy and Marcus seemed to flip flop quickly–too quickly, in some cases–between what they said they wanted and what they actually did, and it was a bit disconcerting. At times I felt as if I’d missed something because the shift felt so abrupt, but checking back in the book often didn’t show me anything new to make the change make more sense.
The resolution is perhaps the best example of this–one of the characters suddenly does a complete turnaround from what they’d been working for nearly their entire adult life, ultimately deciding to go in a totally different direction. While I agree that it would have been nearly impossible for both Ivy and Marcus to get what they wanted here, professionally as well as personally, I’d liked to have seen more of the thought process that the character went through to justify the change. How did the idea occur to them? What did they have to do to achieve it, and how will it ultimately fulfill them more than the path they thought they were on? None of these things were made clear, and it left me unsatisfied with that part of the HEA. Without knowing their true thoughts, the “EA” portion feels up in the air–for now.
(Yes, the English teacher in me is cringing at the inaccurate use of pronouns in that pararaph. But gosh darn it, I’m not going to give any spoilers here, so she’ll have to deal.)
That said, Laura Simcox assures us that we’ll see Marcus and Ivy again in the series. Future novels set in Celebration might help convince me that this solution will ultimately work, and I’m more than willing to give them a chance.
Posted September 13, 2013
Celebration is a town with a lot of potential for romance among its quirky citizens. While Ivy and Marcus had a steamy and rocky romance, it didn't seem that believable. As she's supposedly resisting him, she's also kissing him at every opportunity. Then she's devastated by his "betrayal" when her behavior was just as bad, if not worse. This story just didn't grab me, but maybe future adventures in Celebration will be better.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 13, 2013
In a word this story is rather dull – it’s one that’s been done over and over again in Lifetime Christmas movies time and time again…sure the stories may have been flip flopped with the big wig aka Marcus being the female lead and the man aka Ivy being the small town hero returned, finding themselves thrust into a situation they never expected. Ivy and Marcus this time take the reins and run with the story. Whether it was Ivy doing everything she could to fight Marcus’ pursuit of her romantically or her underhanded way of swinging the town council’s vote away from Megamart? Or Marcus doing everything he could to pursue Ivy, deceive her family and the town, all the while trying to decipher his Uncle’s semi-coded lies. The politics of the situation in this story is what turned me off more than anything, I found myself struggling to find something to latch onto – could it be the love triangle between Ivy-Marcus-Preston? Or Herman’s drunkenness and the mystery of a “secret” he’s hiding? Or Ivy’s Mother and Grandmother’s meddling in her relationship that make them endearing? I have yet to decide. In the end Marcus and Ivy’s relations hip takes a backseat to the Megamart-Celebration-Parliament Bakery problems.
The author’s style of writing and the detail in which she described everything in Celebration made it so that I could place myself right in the town square, inside the Callahan home, or in Herman’s decrepit Victorian. She built a back story and history to the characters that tied them all together smoothly and integrated each history into the story and why each individual found themselves not wanting Megamart to come to Celebration. The story itself was told perfectly! I just wish that there was more to it than an overdone theme from just about every poor Christmas movie ever made.
Posted September 7, 2013
Ivy Entwined by Laura Simcox is a well-written story of love, lies, and deception. At first everything seemed rather straight forward as Marcus returned home to open a Megamart in Celebration, New York. Ivy had a crush on Marcus when she was young. After he returned to his hometown they were instantly attracted to each other. Does this storyline sound familiar or somewhat predictable? That’s what I thought until things between Ivy and Marcus were complicated by lies, deception, an ex-fiancé, and residents who were opposed to change. The conflicts resulting from Marcus’ and Ivy’s professional versus personal goals were engaging. As such, I recommend Ivy Entwined to adults who enjoy novels filled with drama and romance. I received an E-ARC of Ivy Entwined from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 6, 2013
****Received ARC in exchange for honest review****
Ivy Entwined is different….it took me awhile to get into the story and there were still times I wanted to stop reading; however I’m one of those people who refuses to give up on a book. There were things about Ivy Entwined that I liked and things that I didn’t. It was a cute story but at times it was just kind of boring. I enjoyed some of the characters a lot but the storyline did not fit my taste and that may be why I personally did not like it.
I give it 3 1/2 stars
Posted September 5, 2013
***Received from Entangled Publishing for an honest review***
Marcus Weaver returns to his hometown of Celebration, NY, for one reason: build a Megamart there. He left Celebration years ago with no intention of ever returning. After all, why would he go back to a place filled with bad memories? Yet his drive to climb the corporate ladder does just that. He figures there might be a little opposition to building a big box company like his there, but he doesn't count on the opposition coming from Ivy Callahan, the former mayor's daughter who just happens to be Celebration's current mayor.
Ivy's return to Celebration comes on the heels of her father suffering a heart attack. As the town's new mayor, she knows she has her work cut out for her. There's a shortage of jobs and a high unemployment rate she needs to tackle first, which is hard to do when the city council is in shreds, her ex-fiance is the town planner, and the only man with a seemingly sound enough plan to help provide good-paying jobs for the good townsfolk of Celebration is her high school crush, Marcus Weaver.
This was a delightfully hilarious romance. I loved Ms. Simcox's humor that translates into the narrative, thoughts, and dialogue of the characters. It helped me appreciate small town life, which could have easily been overshadowed by small town politics. But in a place where everyone knows everyone, and secrets are unheard of, small town politics and drama are going to be more obvious than if the story had been set in a big city somewhere.
I enjoyed watching Marcus and Ivy's relationship develop despite their backgrounds, their agendas, and the forces working against them. And I really liked how the chemistry between them went from sparks to a red-hot fire.
While "Ivy Entwined" isn't a book I'd normally read, I'm so glad I said yes to reviewing it. Thank you, Ms. Simcox, for bringing to life amazing characters who have an equally amazing story that just had to be told.
Posted August 30, 2013
Celebration, a small town in New York, has been hard hit by the loss of their major business, Parliment Bakery. Ivy Callahan, the new mayor, is trying to revitalize the downtown. Marcus Weaver, who lived here when he was in high school, has come to save the town by building a Megamart. This is not what Ivy or the town want. They may be at odds over the Megamart, but their attraction is to hot to ignore. Can you mix business with pleasure? Nothing is ever simple when love and duty collide. I love Ivy and Marcus. They are both feisty, determined and honorable. When they are together sparks fly and romance is in the air. The people in this small town are real and very engaging. I laughed out loud when Marcus arrived in town in his Uncle's chicken car and ended up pushing it down to city hall. What a first impression! Ivy Entwined is tender, touching and very funny. This book is a keeper. Laura Simcox has a wonderful way with words that captivates that reader.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 28, 2013
Posted August 27, 2013
I don't read a lot of contemporary romance, but I am very glad I got the ARC of Ivy Entwined! There were definitely some steamy moments, but, more than that, there was a really good story with a lot of heart and warmth to it. I tend to stay away from a lot of contemporary romance because I find that it can be too neat, too easy, too "woman needing a man," too clean, too "boy meets girl and gets girl" for my taste. I liked that this book wasn't like that. The characters were flawed as people, dropped the f-bomb, made mistakes and had their skeletons in their closets. In other words, they were real. Ivy didn't need Marcus, but wanted him. They made bad choices, questionable choices. They weren't perfect, cookie-cutter people and I loved that.
This is most definitely a character-driven story in my opinion. Even aside from the main characters of Ivy and Marcus, there were any number of supporting characters that were truly that... characters. Marcus' uncle Herman was completely NOT a likeable character, but he was memorable. He was a character that made me uncomfortable because he reminded me of someone I know in my own life, but that made him that much more real as a person. Colleen, Ivy's grandmother, was hilarious, dropping the f-bomb every chance she got! I loved her because she loved life, lived it, and didn't give a damn what anyone thought of her.
The one character that truly annoyed me to death was Preston. He was an arrogant jerk who couldn't manage his own life much less anyone else's. His overbearing, assuming attitude drove me insane, as did Ivy's seeming inability to set him straight. That is one thing that I wish she had done more of in the book because letting him get away with some of what he did seemed out of character for her.
On a side note, being from upstate New York, I enjoyed the Central New York references throughout the book! My own hometown could have been Celebration, NY.
Things to love about Ivy Entwined...
--The characters. As I said, they were flawed, real people.
--Colleen. I want to be her when I grow up!
Things I wanted more of...
--Marcus family. I can't go into this without spoilers, but I would like to know more about them. Maybe in future books?!
My recommendation: A fun read that had me alternately laughing, crying and wanting to smack someone! A must read!
Posted August 26, 2013
Ivy Entwined is a delightfully written book that keeps you engaged from beginning to end. The story is nicely paced and the characters are well developed and likeable. The grandmother, Colleen Callahan, is especially memorable because her cursing and antics are absolutely hysterical.
After four years of managing a retirement home in Arizona, Ivy Callahan moves back home to the small town of Celebration, New York. Her dad, the mayor, recently suffered a heart attack and had to step down. Ivy was voted in and now the town's problems are hers as well. To complicate matters, her ex-fiance is the town planner, unemployment is at an all time high because the biggest business in town closed its doors, and until she can find a place of her own, she is living with her parents and her verbally expressive grandmother. In addition, the guy Ivy crushed on all through high school has come back to Celebration with the intention of opening a Megamart, which if approved, would completely destroy what's left of the the downtown district.
Sexy Marcus Weaver is not a huge fan of his hometown. He lived with his always drunk mother in a trailer-park until she died. At the age of fourteen, he went to live with his Uncle Herman, a constantly drinking, crotchety, ornery man, that thought of him as nothing but a hindrance. Needless to say, Marcus couldn't wait to leave Celebration. He worked very hard to become the successful businessman he is today. Building a Megamart is his dream. Unfortunately for Marcus, the new mayor and town council have other ideas in mind to bring the town back to economic prosperity, and a giant discount store is not one of them. However, Marcus is a fighter and a master negotiator and he will do whatever it takes to get his Megamart on the map.
The instant Ivy and Marcus see each other again there is an immediate chemistry. Working together almost daily to rebuild the town, rekindles Ivy's feelings and arouses Marcus's. They share an amazing kiss or two and sparks ignite. Their night of passion is mind-blowing and what was once lust is evolving into love. However, at times, Ivy and Marcus are secretly deceiving each other to get what they want, which turns them into emotional wrecks. Luckily, love conquers all.
I enjoyed this book. There are many twists and surprises throughout the storyline that keep you on the edge of your seat. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Posted August 27, 2013
No text was provided for this review.