Real Men Don't Break Hearts (Entangled Bliss) [NOOK Book]

Overview


Real Men Don't Break Hearts by Coleen Kwan

Enemy. Playboy. Landlord. The perfect fling?

Ally Griffin is horrified to learn her new landlord is none other than the infuriating playboy Nate Hardy—the man she blames for getting her jilted at the altar six years ago. Plus, now her ex-fiancé is back in their hometown of Burronga, Australia, to marry his beautiful new bride…for real this time. Everybody’s treating ...

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Real Men Don't Break Hearts (Entangled Bliss)

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Overview


Real Men Don't Break Hearts by Coleen Kwan

Enemy. Playboy. Landlord. The perfect fling?

Ally Griffin is horrified to learn her new landlord is none other than the infuriating playboy Nate Hardy—the man she blames for getting her jilted at the altar six years ago. Plus, now her ex-fiancé is back in their hometown of Burronga, Australia, to marry his beautiful new bride…for real this time. Everybody’s treating Ally with kid gloves, as though she’s still heartbroken, but she’s just fine, thank you very much.

Nate Hardy is tired of his high-flying city career and bachelor lifestyle and is looking for something more real. The last thing he needs is to find himself undeniably attracted to Ally, the woman with whom he never saw eye-to-eye. But is he even capable of what Ally wants and deserves? As Ally tries to pull her life out of the rut it’s fallen in, she doesn't count on Nate stirring up her emotions. A short-term fling with the resident bad boy is practically irresistible, but only if she can guard her heart…

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781622668120
  • Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
  • Publication date: 12/10/2012
  • Series: Real Men
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 237
  • Sales rank: 108,746
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


Coleen Kwan has been a bookworm all her life. At school English was her favorite subject, but for some reason she decided on a career in IT. After many years of programming, she wondered what else there was in life — and discovered writing. She loves writing contemporary romance and steampunk romance. Coleen lives in Sydney with her partner and two children. When she isn’t writing she enjoys avoiding housework, eating chocolate and watching The Office.
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Read an Excerpt

Real Men Don't Break Hearts

A Real Men Novel


By Coleen Kwan, Stacy Abrams

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2012 Coleen Kwan
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62266-812-0


CHAPTER 1

"I hope you enjoy the fudge. Please come again soon."

Ally Griffin gave her best smile to the gray-haired retiree, knowing all too well the woman wouldn't be back anytime soon. Neither would the rest of the bunch milling about her gift shop. Groups of retirees loved to flock to Burronga, especially as spring approached and the Southern Highlands burst into flower. They wandered in and out of Ally's shop, fingering the hand-stitched quilts, carved wooden toys, or tooled leather purses, but they seldom bought more than a postcard or a bagful of sweets to munch on the bus back to Sydney or Canberra.

"You have such beautiful things here." A mauve-haired lady wearing a Canberra Raiders scarf beamed at Ally.

Then why don't you buy something? Ally nipped off the remark in her head. No point being snarky when these people couldn't afford her pricey wares anyway. Maybe if she started stocking cheap coasters and beer koozies she'd make more money, but what would be the satisfaction in that? And besides, her nana would have a seizure at seeing her beloved gift shop so bastardized.

Still, every dollar helps, Ally thought as she waved good-bye to the last stragglers. Opening the till, she dolefully dropped in the final few coins, the worm of unease that had taken up residence in her belly a few months ago doing its heave and wiggle. She was behind on her rent two months now. Mr. Cummings, her mild-mannered landlord, was being very accommodating about it, but she couldn't put him off forever, and neither did she want to. She needed to show everyone she could run a business. A year and a half ago, after her grandmother's heart problems had forced an early retirement, Ally took over running The Giftorium. Her nana had worried she wouldn't be able to cope, so she'd thrown all her energy into the business, working like a demon and sacrificing all her spare time, and she didn't want to see her efforts go down the drain.

The doorbell jingled.

"Crap. I almost got trampled out there by a herd of squawking biddies."

"Hey, Tyler." Ally grinned as her friend hustled in, her auburn hair streaming behind her. "You just missed them in here."

"I don't suppose they bought any of my stuff?" Tyler cocked her head toward a glass cabinet stocked with intricately crafted jewelry.

"'Fraid not." Tyler's eye-catching necklaces and earrings were eclectic and exquisite, but just too expensive for retirees on a tight budget.

"Damn. I could use some extra cash."

Ally sighed. "Couldn't we all?" She picked up the second notice electricity bill she'd received that day, grimaced at the amount owed, and sighed again.

Tyler rested her elbow on the counter. "Hey, are you all right? You seem kinda down."

Ally chewed on her lip, contemplating Tyler's concerned expression. The two of them had both grown up in Burronga and had gone to the same school, yet they'd only been friends for about a year. Tyler had been part of the Goth set in high school, while conventional Ally had found all that black eyeliner, ghostly pallor, and raging angst intimidating. A year ago, five years after high school, when Tyler—minus her Goth alter ego—had come into Ally's shop wanting to sell her jewelry on consignment, Ally barely recognized her. Tyler had moved back to Burronga with her little daughter, and she'd dropped the grungy look, though she still retained the rebellious attitude. They'd become friends, but Ally had yet to confide her financial problems.

Noting her friend's concern, she decided to do so now. "I'm two months behind on rent," she confessed. "I've talked to Mr. Cummings, and he agreed to give me an extension, but he wants to sell this building and retire to Queensland. If that happens I could be in deep trouble."

"Hmm. Well, does he have any interested buyers?"

"Not yet, but it's only a matter of time."

"Damn. There must be some way out of this." Tyler drummed her electric-blue nails on the counter for a while before her face brightened. "Well, hey, I might have some good news for you! Guess who's getting married?"

Ally pulled a face. "I don't know. You?"

"Like hell, me." Tyler snorted. "No, Crystal Kerrigan's daughter is getting married, right here in Burronga."

"Oh. Okay." Ally began to restack a pyramid of lavender soap, which the tourists had pawed through and left in an untidy heap. "Sorry if I'm not more enthusiastic about some minor celebrity's wedding." Crystal Kerrigan was the host of a popular TV talk show. She lived on a multi-million-dollar spread just outside Burronga, but as far as Ally knew she'd never once visited The Giftorium.

"It's not Crystal who's getting married. It's her daughter, Paige. She's in PR, does the occasional piece on her mother's program about the social scene in Sydney. You've seen her, haven't you?"

"No, I don't watch much TV. But what does this have to do with me?"

"The wedding will be covered by all the best women's magazines. It's going to be a huge bash. Hundreds of people invited." Tyler leaned across the counter and grabbed Ally's hand. "Hundreds of people all loaded like the Kerrigans, wandering around Burronga looking for ways to unload their fat wallets. It's got to be good for business."

"Ah." Ally glanced up, her interest finally piqued. "Yeah, that sounds great, but it won't happen for quite a while, right?"

"Nuh-uh. Wedding's in four weeks."

"That soon? Seems like pretty short notice, especially for a big, fancy wedding. Where'd you hear about it, anyway?"

"My aunt's the Kerrigans' housekeeper, remember? She got it all from Crystal Kerrigan herself. If you ask me, sounds like the daughter's pregnant, and they need to get married in a hurry."

The stack of soap collapsed under Ally's hands. Clumsily she began to rebuild it. "So who's the groom?" she hurriedly asked. "Some hotshot from Sydney?"

"A Sydney stockbroker, but apparently he grew up here in Burronga, too. Name's Seth Bailey."

"Seth Bailey?"

Ally's hands spasmed, and several soap bars shot off the counter. Tyler jumped back as one thudded into her leg. "Seth Bailey?" Every muscle in Ally's body quivered. "Seth Bailey is going to marry Crystal Kerrigan's daughter?"

"Ye-ah ..."

"Right here in Burronga?" Blood pounded in Ally's head.

"Uh-huh ..." Tyler backed away.

"In four weeks?" A frightening ache pulsed against Ally's temples. It felt as though her skull might burst.

"Uh, Ally, you look like you're going to pop a blood vessel." Tyler put her hands up, eyes wide with consternation. "What's the problem?"

Ally pressed her palm against her heaving stomach. She thought she was going to be sick. "Oh, no problem. No problem at all. Or maybe ... just a teeny tiny problem." She sank into the ladder-back chair beside the counter. "Six years ago, I was supposed to marry Seth Bailey. Until his damn cousin Nate convinced him to jilt me at the altar."

* * *

"Nate, you've made me a very happy man today." Mr. Cummings's egg-smooth head bobbed toward Nate Hardy as he reached across the table to shake hands on the deal. "I always knew you weren't afraid of making a quick decision."

Nate inclined his head. "In my line of work, quick decisions are the norm."

As an investment manager, his quick decisions could make or break hundreds of thousands of dollars for his clients. He'd ridden to meteoric success on his nerves of steel, yet the deal he'd just struck with Mr. Cummings made him more nervous than any other in his career. Was he doing the right thing? Not the act of buying Mr. Cummings's property—for his own private reasons he'd always wanted to do something for the man, and even if he took a loss on it, by no means would it wipe him out—but what it signified. Quitting Sydney. Moving back to Burronga. Turning his back on his high-powered job and instead, reviving an old, not very profitable business. He'd done his math, made his plans, mulled it over for months, but buying Mr. Cummings's property on a whim today was a concrete sign to the wavering side of himself that he meant it.

"I'll contact my lawyer to exchange contracts as soon as possible," Mr. Cummings said, still grinning like he couldn't believe his luck.

Well, the old man was lucky. Who would have thought he'd sell his investment property to a bloke having a drink in the Red Possum? He probably thought Nate would renege on the deal when he had a moment to reconsider, hence the rush to exchange contracts.

"Of course," Nate assured him. "But you don't have to worry. We shook on it, and my word is my bond."

"Capital! Shall we have another round to celebrate?" Mr. Cummings heaved himself out of his seat and waddled over to the bar on the other side of the room, his tartan suit stretched tight around his hips. He started talking to the bartender, gesturing toward Nate with a big grin split across his moon-shaped face.

At least someone around here was glad to see him, Nate thought. These days he didn't come down to Burronga too often, but people here had long memories. Years ago he'd been evicted from this very bar for underage drinking, and later he'd been thrown out more than once for starting a brawl. No wonder the dour bartender had looked askance at him when he'd first entered the pub. Despite his slick city suit, Nate's bad reputation lingered on him like a rotten egg smell.

Mr. Cummings returned to the table with two whiskies and offered one to Nate. "Here's to my glorious retirement in sunny Queensland, where I plan to do a lot of fishing and not much else." He raised his glass. "And to your canny investment in one of Burronga's finest buildings."

I wouldn't go that far, Nate silently quipped. He was well aware that he was paying top dollar for the heritage-listed, nineteenth-century former post office. Burronga was a prosperous midsize town, situated between Sydney and Canberra, with a growing population. But a brand-new shopping mall on the outskirts of town had depressed the price of retail property, and he knew without a shadow of a doubt that Mr. Cummings would have lowered the price if Nate had bothered to haggle.

Mr. Cummings gulped his whisky in one swallow, smacked his lips, and set down the glass. "Now," he announced in a voice that wouldn't brook argument, "why don't we wander over to the building, and I'll introduce you to your soon-to-be tenant?"

"Sure." Nate stood and re-buttoned his jacket. He had an hour or so to spare before heading for Robbie's house. His house, he ought to say, since it had been his for almost a decade, but he still thought of it as Robbie's, even though his older brother had been gone all these years.

On his frequent business trips to Canberra he sometimes checked the house en route. He never stayed more than a couple of hours, but this time the place needed a thorough inspection, and he planned to stay overnight. For some reason he'd felt reluctant to go directly there. He'd arrived in Burronga midday Friday, but instead of heading straight for the house, he'd cruised around the area for a while, ended up at the Red Possum to kill some time, and by mid-afternoon had bought himself an old post office.

Talk about stalling.

They left the pub and stepped into a mild spring afternoon. Nate's new property stood a few hundred meters up the road, at the intersection of what had once been a main coach road. They passed the electronics store where years ago he'd been busted for shoplifting. He pushed ahead until the two-story former post office came into sight. The ground floor had been converted into a shop, while the upstairs was a small apartment.

"You'll only be dealing with one tenant," Mr. Cummings said to Nate. "She rents the store and the apartment above it. Lovely girl. Took over the gift shop after her grandmother couldn't continue. They've been my tenants for ages, and the girl works so hard. Terribly hard. It's not her fault she's behind on the rent."

Nate slowed down. "Excuse me? She owes you money?"

Mr. Cummings started to blush. "Oh, not very much, and she's good for it, I'm sure. Not that any of this will affect you," he hurried to assure Nate. "I'll take care of it with her directly."

Yeah, but that still meant she was a lousy tenant. Damn. He didn't want to make a fresh start in Burronga by evicting longstanding renters. Everyone would just shake their heads and say, Well, what can you expect from Nate Hardy? He wasn't going to fall into that trap, but neither could he support a charity case. If the store owner couldn't pay her expenses, then she had no right to be in business.

"I'm sure we can work something out," Nate said smoothly.

"Capital!" Mr. Cummings beamed at him again like Father Christmas.

Nate studied the front of the shop. He'd passed it a thousand times before but had never gone in. THE GIFTORIUM, it said in delicate gold script across the glass. The store window held a tasteful arrangement of the kind of stuff he'd never think of buying. Wind chimes, leaded glass lampshades, embroidered cushions, painted pottery. Clutter, that was all he saw. Dust-collecting clutter.

"So who is she?" Nate moved toward the glass-paned front door. "My new tenant?"

"Ally Griffin."

Nate's feet stuck to the pavement. A cold shock ran through him. "Ally Griffin?"

Mr. Cummings gave him a puzzled little frown. "You know her, then?"

"Y-yes," he managed to choke out.

Ally Griffin. The last time he'd seen her was on her wedding day, when he'd had to tell her there wasn't going to be a wedding after all. And now she was his new tenant? Oh, shit.

* * *

Ally leaned back in the chair and rubbed her throbbing temples. She hadn't felt this pole-axed since ... well, since she'd been left high and dry on her wedding day.

Tyler stood in front of her, incredulous. "You were supposed to marry Seth Bailey?" she demanded. "When? Why didn't I know anything about it?"

"You must have heard about the wedding. I was the talk of the town for months."

"It could have been after I left. What happened?"

Ally took a breath and crossed her arms. "Seth and I were together since we were fifteen. When we were nineteen, we wanted to get married. At least, I wanted to get married, and Seth said he wanted to get married, only it turned out he didn't, because on our wedding day he never showed up at the church."

"Wow." Tyler let out a soft whistle. "He really did that? Just left you there waiting?"

"Yup."

"It's like something out of a movie."

With a deprecating laugh, Ally stood from the chair and bent to gather the fallen bars of soap. She wished she hadn't needed to sit down to recover herself. She didn't want to give Tyler the impression that she still cared about her aborted wedding day. Because she didn't. It had happened six years ago, and she wasn't a silly nineteen-year-old anymore.

"It's not a movie, because I'm well and truly over Seth." She rose to her feet with an armful of soap. "It's just that you gave me a shock when you said he was getting married."

Tyler's silver bangles chimed as she rested her hand on her hip, her expression narrowing. "He's got some nerve wanting to get married here in Burronga."

Sure, that was a slap in the face—Seth brazenly planning to have his wedding here. Again.

"Did you ever speak to him afterward?" Tyler asked, obviously unable to hide her curiosity.

"On the phone, a day after the non-wedding. And then I saw him a few weeks later when we had to return gifts and separate all our stuff." She paused, emotion ambushing her as she remembered the last stilted meeting with Seth. She'd wanted to scream at him, to vomit out all her rage and hurt, but he'd shifted around, avoiding her eye, mumbling apologies, and she hadn't been able to focus her fury. Everyone assumed being jilted at the altar would be her worst memory of Seth, but it wasn't. That last meeting, when she'd finally seen her years of hopes crushed under the heel of reality, had knocked her like nothing else had.

"He apologized for embarrassing me in front of all my friends and family, but he said he was too young to get married, that he only realized it on the morning of the wedding and didn't know how to tell me, and then he panicked and ran out. Spent our wedding day holed up in a bar an hour from here."

"What a jerk!" Tyler's face screwed up in disgust.

"Yeah." Ally drew in a deep breath, indignation filling her with strength. "But the biggest jerk was the guy who talked Seth out of marrying me. His cousin, Nate Hardy. He's the real jerk."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Real Men Don't Break Hearts by Coleen Kwan, Stacy Abrams. Copyright © 2012 Coleen Kwan. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 1, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    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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