12 Steps to Mr. Right

12 Steps to Mr. Right

by Cindi Madsen


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12 Steps to Mr. Right by Cindi Madsen

"A refreshing, modern twist on love! Madsen's smart and sexy banter had me hooked from page one – I never wanted it to end!" - Rachel Harris, NYT bestselling author

12 steps to finding Mr. Right, composed by dating coach extraordinaire Savannah Gamble

1: Admit to being powerless over your attraction to the wrong type of guy. (Like Lincoln Wells, who broke your heart after an unforgettable one-night stand.)

2: Believe Mr. Right is out there.

3: Take inventory of past mistakes. (See step #1.)

4: Make a list of qualities you want in a man. (Avoid charming baseball players/reason you made these rules in the first place)

5: Take charge of your own life.

6: Learn to love yourself.

7: Sort the hookup guys from the relationship guys. (Avoid a painful brushoff after an amazing night together.)

8: Never, ever settle. (Even if the chemistry is off-the-charts.)

9: Don’t believe you can change a guy. (Once a commitment-phobe, always a commitment-phobe)

10: Communicate your needs.

11: Open your heart & love fully. (Still working on this one…)

12: Don’t ever, ever stray from the steps.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781682813003
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Publication date: 09/19/2016
Pages: 330
Sales rank: 1,210,525
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.74(d)

Read an Excerpt

12 Steps to Mr. Right

By Cindi Madsen, Stacy Abrams

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2016 Cindi Madsen
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63375-737-0


When you're single, the scariest words in the English language go something like, "Hey, do you have a date for the such-and-such?" They always come heavy with a side of unspoken "You need to or everyone will think you're an undesirable loser." Or even worse, are followed up with, "Because I think I found someone who'd be perfect for you."

Spoiler alert: that person your well-meaning relative is planning on setting you up with? Probably not going to work out. I'd give it lottery odds.

Millions of women are looking for The One. A soul mate. Future spouse and father of their children. The problem is, a large portion of those women have the uncanny ability to walk into a room, find the most unattainable guy, and fall in love with him in ten seconds flat. These are the same women constantly in need of consoling because yet another boyfriend — the same guy everyone repeatedly told her was trouble/wrong for her/a player — broke her heart.

I've been there. My girlfriends have been there. I've even patted perfect strangers on the back in a bar as they cried over their failed relationships. So what do you do when you've had one bad relationship after another, your faith in love is faltering, and you want to give up, but the promise of Mr. Right being out there — possibly just around the corner — still calls to you? Tells you not to give up or you might miss him and some other woman will snag him?

That's where I, Savannah Gamble, dating coach extraordinaire, come in.

I'm here to tell you there's hope. Mr. Right is out there; it's just a matter of learning how to find him. Tricky? Yes. Impossible? No. The key is being trained to change the way you look at prospective candidates so you can find the one who'll give his all to land the position of your significant other.

Like several effective programs, mine involves twelve steps.

Twelve steps to get rid of old dating habits, work through past heartbreaks, figure out how to distinguish the Prince Charmings from the frogs, and find yourself in a relationship that's actually going somewhere.

Twelve Steps to Mr. Right.

* * *

My aunt had just asked the dreaded question about my parents' anniversary party. The are-you-bringing-a-date question. I'd known better than to answer the call, too, but I figured it'd be something simple like, "Hey, can you bring a cheese or veggie tray?" or "Will you go to the party store for decorations?"

This was what I got for running out of coffee. My empty fridge I could deal with, but without caffeine my decision-making skills were subpar at best, and in a moment of groggy insanity, I'd picked up.

I bet she hadn't called up my brother to ask him, even though Jackson turned twenty-eight last month and was two years older than me. No one worried about his dating situation. Then again, he probably would bring a date. Some sweet girl he wasn't even seeing seriously, who Mama would inevitably fall in love with and then — when she found out they were no longer together — would mourn as if she'd been in the relationship, too.

I sighed, deciding to go for straightforward and get it over with as soon as possible. "I haven't really thought that far in advance, but right now I'm not planning on bringing anyone."

"I just don't understand why, if you're such an expert at finding Mr. Right, you don't have a date for the party," my aunt Velma said, apparently thinking I didn't get the irony. She sighed and put a little tenderness into her voice, as if she realized she'd landed a low blow. "At some point, you're going to need to move on. It doesn't magically happen, you know. You have to make it happen. Have you even left your house this week? Or are you sitting around in those stretchy pants people your age are suddenly passing off as going-out wear?"

"They're called yoga pants." And they're comfortable and totally acceptable for going out. From what I'd heard, guys were fans, too. Or maybe that was wishful thinking, considering I planned on wearing mine to run down to the coffee shop as soon as I got off the phone. Which needed to be ASAP, because I still had some prep work to do for this evening.

My eight-week Twelve Steps to Mr. Right workshop had started off small, but thanks to multiple success stories, working with local dating sites, and one huge endorsement, it now booked several sessions in advance. Which was a big part of why I didn't have a boyfriend at the moment — there were only so many hours in a day, and currently most of mine were filled helping others with their dating lives. The other part had to do with my last break-up and the time I'd needed to recover from the loss of the guy I'd thought was the guy.

Determined to not let another failed relationship make me doubt myself or the dating truths I held to be self-evident, I focused on my career during the post-breakup mourning period — which was totally normal, by the way. In fact, jumping right from one relationship to another could be hazardous to truly moving on, because it didn't give you enough time to analyze and learn the lessons you'd need to apply to make your next relationship more successful. Really, compared to how boy crazy I'd been in my earlier dating life, it showed how in control I was now.

And the busier I was with work, the easier it was to drag my feet and cling to the excuse I simply didn't have time to date. That my own search for Mr. Right could wait.

After all, knowing what to look for and what to avoid didn't make the search less time consuming. It's not as if you could just walk into the Guy Store and order exactly what you wanted.

If only ... An image of good-looking guys in life-sized Ken doll boxes popped into my head, shelves and shelves of them. Yes, I'll take motivated and passionate about his career, but not willing to leave me because of it. Oh, and could you throw in a side of unfailing loyalty? I've had a few faulty models that didn't come with enough, and I can't deal with it again.

I shook off that fantasy — if that were the case, I wouldn't have a job, and I loved my job. I could also go into how real life love was better than fantasy, but I didn't have time for that right now. I didn't have time for a speech about moving on, either. Especially from Aunt Velma, who was on husband number three.

"Aunt Velma, I've really got to go," I said, interrupting her lamentations about my generation's definition of style and how there was nothing wrong with putting a little effort into looking your best, which naturally opened the door to more opportunities. "We can discuss the preparations for the party as it gets closer." And after I've had caffeine.

The problem with being a creature of habit was that when my schedule got off, even if only by twenty minutes, not having coffee in my hand went from an inconvenience to a dire situation that could start World War Three.

"Fine. I was hoping you'd bring a veggie tray."

Well, at least I'd been right about one thing. I agreed to bring the veggies no one would eat — because who ate veggies when platters of fried food were within reach — and told her to have a good day. Then I pulled my crumpled brown waves into a messy bun, found my black ballet flats, and charged out the door of my Midtown loft, thoughts on my favorite coffee shop down the block.

Maybe I should add a thirteenth step to my program that includes moving away from your family so if it takes time to find the right guy, you don't have to constantly hear about it. Definitely not conducive to the positive affirmations I instruct women to tell themselves while putting the program into practice.

I had one of those huge families with lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins, who had weekly dinners together and a desire to know exactly what was going on in everyone's lives. If I moved, they'd only call more, each one taking a turn at trying to pry out details, so I'd also have to rid myself of my phone. That'd make dating tricky when I met a guy I wanted to give my number to, though. I could just get a new number and not give it to my family ...

That was an evil thought. Fun, but still evil. Wasn't that the way it always went?

In spite of their not knowing what the terms "I need space" or "that's not any of your business" meant, I'd never be able to leave them or what I'd built here in Atlanta. A few months ago, I'd nearly considered it. Mason, the ex-boyfriend I apparently needed to move on from, was relocating to Washington, D.C. for a new job, and I'd been sure he'd ask me to go with him. I was so conflicted, but lucky me, he never asked me to make that decision.

A pang went through my chest and I hated that it still stung. That I misjudged how committed we were to each other, even with all the tools I had at my disposal. Ugh, I should be over this by now. I really do need to move on.

As much as I hated to admit it, Aunt Velma had been right about not leaving my place all week. Working from home was glorious that way, but it did leave me a bit isolated. My best friend, Ivy, kept leaving messages asking me to come visit her at Azure, the bar where she worked. Admittedly my life was getting a bit off balance, all work and no play.

That always happened before the start of a new workshop, though. I'd get caught up thinking about empowering women in their dating lives, and despite nearly having my slides memorized, I tended to over-prep. Once I get through tonight's session, I'll make time to go out again.

There might not be a convenient Guy Store, but I had the roadmap to find a real possibility guy. Like any journey, there'd be twists, turns, and a few bumps, but it'd get me there eventually. Who knew? Maybe I'd even find a date for the party so my family, who liked to tease me about my self-help-guru status, would need something new to channel their worry and gossip into.

Okay, back to my intro tonight ... I liked to mix it up a bit so there were always new nuggets of wisdom sprinkled throughout the steps. Kept me growing and improving, too.

I quickened my pace and grabbed the door to the Daily Grind as a customer stepped outside. I groaned when I spotted the long line leading to the cash register.

On the bright side, it gives me time to choose the perfect affirmation to start my new session off right. I wanted to create that tingly, you've-come-to-the-right-place-and-you'll-soon-be-in-charge-of-your-life vibe.

Let's see ... Embrace the possibilities? Yeah. Maybe I'll start with that. As far as mottos went, it was a good one. I also liked the Avoid douchebags at all costs option, but most people got a bit more shiny-eyed about embracing possibilities. First I promised my attendees that good guys existed, no settling required, and after letting them experience that excitement for long enough they could see the faceless but perfect guy in their future, I transitioned to the tough talk. In order to succeed, they'd have to make that first step, and while it seemed easy in theory, it was definitely one of the hardest, yet most vital.

Step One: Admit to being powerless over our attraction to the wrong type of guy — that our dating lives have become unmanageable.

As easy as it'd be to claim guys were stupid and horrible and deserved all the blame, it simply wasn't true. I mean, some guys were stupid and horrible and some — cough — all had stupid and horrible moments. But until we as women admitted our fault in the situation, we'd be doomed to repeat our mistakes.

No one said my program was easy.

Bless the cashier and my regular customer status, because my order had already been put in before I reached the front. I simply added a banana nut muffin to my large cappuccino. By the time I paid and had my bagged muffin, the barista was calling my name.

"Savannah? Savannah Gamble?" a different, deeper voice said from behind me. Scooping up my coffee, I spun around.

And squeezed my cup so hard the lid popped off. Scalding liquid sloshed over my hand and onto the floor, barely missing my shoes. Hot, hot, hot.

Linc grabbed napkins and started patting my fingers, at which point I became fairly certain he wasn't, in fact, a mirage or figment of my imagination. I set my coffee cup and bag aside so I could help clean myself up.

Only I got caught up staring into familiar blue eyes instead. Hot.

That was the problem with Lincoln Wells. Between the light brown hair he usually kept on the buzzed to short side and those striking blue eyes, he was the kind of hot that'd scrambled my brain for an entire year in college.

"Sorry," he said, wadding the napkins into a ball and making a perfect toss into the nearby trash can. "Didn't mean to startle you."

One corner of his mouth curved up — oh the hours I'd spent daydreaming about that sexy crooked smile — and then he pulled me in for a hug. "I can't believe it's really you."

On autopilot — or maybe force of habit — I hugged him back. Like in college, he was all lean muscle, although he'd filled out a bit, broader in the shoulders and chest. My heart skipped a few beats, and I told myself to stop those rising tendrils of attraction right in their tracks. No thinking about how solid or warm he was, or how long it'd been since I'd been this close to a guy in general, much less a good-looking one.

I pulled back and grabbed my coffee and muffin so I wouldn't be tempted to reach for him again. "Wow, it's been a long time. Are you in town for a visit or —"

"Ivy didn't tell you? I moved back. Last weekend, actually."

Admittedly she and I had been missing each other lately, playing phone tag due to crazy schedules, but news like this? It deserved a meet-up involving alcohol at the very least.

Which is probably why she's been so persistent in trying to get me to go to Azure. But if he moved back to town last week ... Ivy had probably put off telling me, afraid of how I'd react.

Linc ran his gaze down me, and the only reason I straightened, patted my bun, and wished I'd showered and worn something besides yoga pants was because I wanted him to see what he'd missed out on. Not because I wanted to impress him or anything. I didn't want him to look at me as more than a friendly acquaintance. The cool girl he used to hang with in college.

Who he'd had drunken sex with one night.

"You look great," Linc said, and I opened my mouth and then shut it, not trusting my voice to come out as shaky as I suddenly felt.

Five years ago I would've given anything for him to look at me as more than a friend. I'd just known he would eventually see what I had the day I'd met him — that we were meant to be together. That night during spring break, when he kissed me and we ended up in bed, I'd thought he finally realized it, too.

Ivy had repeatedly warned me he wasn't a relationship guy and it was a bad idea to fall for him, so I don't know why I'd been so surprised to wake up alone the next morning. He'd left a note, but all it had scribbled across it was an ambiguous "Catch you later." I guess it wasn't all that ambiguous, because clearly it was a blow-off, don't-make-this-more-than-it-was letter.

Stupidly I'd thought starting out as friends meant it'd be different with us. That our connection was undeniable and I wasn't alone on Team Together Forever. The way he went on as if lines had never been crossed crushed me, but I knew I shouldn't blame him, since we never officially dated. He'd clearly only seen our night together as no-strings-attached fun, but that was the point now, wasn't it? I fell for unattainable guys — er, used to.

After that experience, I changed, and honestly, the guy standing across from me was the reason for several rules in my program, including "Know where you're at with a guy before you sleep with him."

Realizing I was staring, I cleared my throat and took a stab at normal conversation. "So, did you move back for baseball, then?"


Excerpted from 12 Steps to Mr. Right by Cindi Madsen, Stacy Abrams. Copyright © 2016 Cindi Madsen. 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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12 Steps to Mr. Right 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
DaneWeimMama More than 1 year ago
I thought the 12 Steps to Mr. Right was a fantastic read. I loved how strong & career focused Savannah was & I loved how Linc totally threw her off her game & showed her what she was missing with all her rules. Savannah's best friend is Ivy & she was a blast. I can't wait to read her story (hopefully it comes soon) I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Mommaleena More than 1 year ago
New Beginnings Savannah is a dating coach, the one you turn to when you’ve had one bad relationship after another, your faith in love is faltering, and you want to give up, but the promise of Mr. Right being out there—possibly just around the corner—still calls to you? Tells you not to give up or you might miss him and some other woman will snag him? She teaches classes on 12 STEPS to MR. RIGHT. They help you get rid of old dating habits, work past heartbreaks, weed through the frogs to find your own Prince Charming and a relationship that'll actually go somewhere. Unfortunately Savannah has been powerless to her own attraction to the wrong type of guy, but now that she knows how to avoid letting it get in the way she could manage her own dating life. Ivy, Savannah's best friend since college, neglected to tell her that her cousin Linc returned after an injury thus ending his baseball career. He's the reason for several of her 12 rules. What really sucked was she lost the friendship they had together and all the time they'd spent laughing and talking after their one night stand, so she doubly experienced the rejection. With his blue eyes, he is sexy and strong, who hugs you so tight you can't stop thinking about him and the spark he caused that you haven't felt in a long time. He wants to rekindle their friendship, but if Savannah lets him in and trusts him again he could not only break her heart, but destroy her business. Is she willing to do that? You'll have to read 12 STEPS TO MR. RIGHT to find out. The banter between characters was funny, genuine, very well developed. I laughed out loud, cried, wanted to reach through the pages and choke a character, and thoroughly enjoyed their crossword puzzles and electrifying chemistry. Could they have it all, best friends and a love that'll actually go somewhere? You'll have to read 12 STEPS TO MR. RIGHT to find out, but it'll be worth the time you take to read it. This is a contemporary second chance romance, pretty steamy toward the end, but in the end a HEA. Although this is my first Cindi Madsen book, it won't be my last! Due to sexual situations, this book is recommended for readers 16 and older. I received an ARC copy via IndieSage through NetGalley in exchange for a blog tour review. FAVORITE PASSAGES: -the right guy would walk into my life and make me see why it never worked with anyone else. -“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
The romance in this one is sloooow moving, and it seems a little strange now to read an adult romance with a single POV (I want to know how he's feeling, and I want to know NOW, darn it!;)) but ohmygoodness, the last 10% of this one made up for every bit before it when I didn't get what was up with Linc or wanted to tell Savannah what she could do with her rules. So. Good. There were tears. More than one batch. I might have even crossed over into sloppy crying, if I hadn't been in a public restaurant and trying really, really hard not to embarrass my poor unsuspecting teenaged son. Don't get me wrong--I didn't spend the first 90% in perpetual aggravation, and I really did enjoy Savannah's voice from the first page to the last. I love her business (why, oh why isn't it real and why isn't she operating right here in my town?) and what she does for women, and her rules really do make a lot of sense. (#12 is the one that started the tearfest, BTW. It sounds good on the first page, but later on...? Sigh.) But we wait an awfully long time to find out exactly how her and Linc's first time really went, and even longer to find out what the heck he was thinking then and since. There's all kinds of good stuff in between about holding out for what you deserve, and friends and family goodness (Ivy and Jackson! Tell me they're getting a book, please!) and learning to truly know and trust yourself--all good things. But it was frustrating to have Savannah and Linc moving sooo slowly and feel like the truth was out there, but just out of reach. But that last 10%? Was killer. Loved. Every. Page. Except then I wasn't ready to let go... (So...Ivy and Jackson, yes? Soon?) And for the record, I totally agree with Savannah. Baseball games are way too long, and their pants are totally like Regency-era silk breeches. I can't believe I've never noticed before! Rating: 4 stars / A- I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
JulieMaguda More than 1 year ago
12 Steps to Mr. Right is a second chance romance about a girl that had been hurt by her friend and longtime crush, and instead of letting that ruin her she decides to learn from it and uses her lessons to help other women to not make the same mistakes she did. This was my very first time reading a book by Cindi Madsen, and I would give another one of her books a try in the future. There were parts of this book that I really enjoyed and some parts that I didn't so much. I really loved that Savannah was very dedicated to helping these other women with her dating tips. Learning her different dating rules was really fun and getting to read about her coaching someone was fun too. She was a very caring person and I enjoyed her friendship with her best friend Ivy. I would call this one a "slow burn" because they don't actually "get together" until around 80% in the book. They do, however, have A TON of chemistry together, so you knew that as much as she pushed him away it was inevitable that she was going to break down and let him in. I thought the story moved a little slow for a while and I found myself losing interest a time or two. I loved reading about the moments between her and Lincoln but there weren't enough of them towards the middle section when she was pushing him away. I also really didn't like that when Savannah and Lincoln FINALLY have the long awaited talk about the "morning after" incident it is brushed off like it didn't really mean much to him, when he's saying it did. If you knew you were going to be leaving to pursue your career then why even start something with her in the first place. That is cruel and extremely selfish, and he thinks a simple "I'm sorry" should suffice. No. ** I received an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. **
Maria-Rose More than 1 year ago
Savannah Gamble runs a successful 12 step dating program, helping women avoid sabotaging their chances at a happy ever after by providing a series of rules to follow. It’s something she developed after her own particular heartbreak, a friendship in college that ended with one night that stepped over the line and broke her heart. To her dismay the man in question has shown up back in her life again. Lincoln Wells is her best friend Ivy’s cousin so avoiding him is out of the question, especially when he gets a job at Azure, a bar she frequents. Linc wants to rekindle their friendship, and despite knowing that she could be in for heartbreak again, she can’t resist the urge to see whether they can get back to the easy camaraderie they once had before sex ruined their friendship. But the attraction between them hasn’t dissipated in all these years. Will Savannah’s rules keep her on the straight and narrow or prevent her from taking a second chance on love? This is a sweet slow burn romance with the friendship between Linc and Savannah taking center stage for most of the story, and the actual sexy romance part limited to the last third. I’d say it’s a combination chick-lit/romance story, as there is equal time given to Savannah’s dating clients (and her own dates initially) as there is to the relationship with Linc. But the author’s trademark sense of humour and lighthearted writing style makes it a very enjoyable read. Savannah takes her job very seriously (unlike her last boyfriend, who dumped her for a job in DC) and has used her own past experiences to shape her program. She’s had several successful matches come out of the program, and we get to see glimpses of one of those relationships as they prepare for their wedding (where she’ll unfortunately have to face her ex-boyfriend as he also knows the couple in question). We also get to see a new client find herself a partner. So there are several happy endings in the story, not just for Savannah and Lincoln. Lincoln comes across as a fun loving, friendly, charming guy. He might have been a player in college, but he has changed those ways, even though Savannah is reluctant to see it. We find out why things ended between them the way they did in college, and it’s clear that both of them were at fault in not communicating better. There are several fun scenes where Linc takes Savannah to various venues so she can check their potential as places to meet new people, including some baseball themed outings as Linc is a freshly retired ball player, still missing the career he thought would be a longer term option before injury changed his plans. He coaches a little league team and seems intent on putting roots down and wanting Savannah to be part of his new life. I loved seeing the development of their relationship, from re-establishing their friendship to becoming more. The story is an entertaining one filled with some funny moments and poignant ones too, but with an overall lighthearted romantic feel. In the end Savannah owns up to her own mistakes in misjudging Linc and we get a sweet ending for the couple (and some sage dating advice!). 4 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a second chance story with Lincoln and Savannah. They were best friends in college until one night changed it and them especially her. From that heartbreak she evolved a 12 step program for women to acknowledge and appreciate the good guys in the world. This is more like a chick lit fiction. I love the quick witted monologues in her head which remind me of Alice Clayton with a bit of snark like Kristen Higgins. I enjoy the first person narative here even if I miss having the male POV which adds to the chemestry in most cases. It's a lot of fun reading the trials and tribulations of dating thru Savannah's exeriences as well as her observations of "red flags" of people arround her. This was a great story. I love Cindi Madsen even though this book strayed a little from her recent new adult books. Both Linc and Savannah are wonderful and lovable characters. And the secondary characters like Annabeth and Amy Lynne were fun and refreshing too. Overall, each added to the happy feels I got and THAT is the best!
Lori-Gonzo More than 1 year ago
I loved this story and the premise of it. There were times I felt Savannah's thoughts were so like my own. This book kept me entertained the whole time. I loved Linc the whole book. He was genuine, a lot of fun, smart and super sexy. But I could understand Savannah's hesitation, again so similar to myself. The ending was very sweet. My only complaint was I really would have loved a dual point of view. I really wanted inside Linc's head. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
IreneC More than 1 year ago
4 stars 12 Steps to Mr. Right was fun, sweet and entertaining second chance love story. I loved watching Savannah and Linc come together, it warmed my heart how patient and sweet Linc was. He knew it was going to take time for Savannah to be in the same place as him and for her to put past hurts behind and truly open her heart to being loved. I found myself my turning the pages late into the night as I couldn't put it down. Being in Savannah's head was both fun and at times a little tiring as she liked to argue with herself about her feelings for Linc. It was very satisfying when Savannah finally gave into her feelings and letting Linc in. I loved these two together, they had a beautiful friendship and a deep love that lay the foundation to a life full of love ahead. I'm a big fan of Cindi Madsen's writing, she writes with heart and gives her readers entertaining storylines with characters that bring out all the feels.
Musings_of_Madjy More than 1 year ago
This was a really fun read! I really liked the tone and felt it was very fitting for the title. It was almost like Savannah was actually telling the story, including quite a bit of her philosophy. This does mean that there were a lot of monologues where the various steps were explained in depth, but I thought those helped the tone and that they were interesting ideas. This story is told all from one POV, Savannah's, which made a lot of sense, though it would have been fun to get Lincoln's side to everything. I absolutely adored Linc and how he was obviously totally into Savannah from the beginning. I never doubted him for a second, and was amused at how Savannah was missing the forest for the trees. Or, I suppose, it was that she was so focused on self-preservation that she neglected to follow her own rules about letting her past color everything. I am glad she seemed to eventually get that she was too strict with her rules, but I didn't care for the game-playing that she suggested. Many of the things she suggested to Abigail, the nerdy girl who enlists her services, were very "The Rules" or PUA-type things. Don't be too eager; Don't talk about your cat (even though your cats are a big part of your life); Wait 3 days to call; Don't hangout after 9pm on a whim because that's obviously a bootycall; If a guy can't tell you on the first date that he is looking for commitment, move on. As someone who broke practically every single one of those rules when she was dating, it irks me when I hear that type of advice. I'm an "all-in" kind of person who is a nightowl, so if I followed those rules I would have wound up with guys who didn't necessarily like ME. These messages aren't super strong throughout though, so don't get me wrong. Just a bit of a pet peeve! The sexual tension between these two was great, but I wanted a little more sooner. I adored their non-dates though (and how sneaky technically Linc was), and their playfulness over crossword puzzles was seriously so cute!! I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This is no way influenced my review. My opinion is my own.
Anlenhart1 More than 1 year ago
Savannah has built a career on the pain she felt when Lincoln broke her heart at the college. He became a professional baseball player and she gives dating/relationship seminars for women. Linc's career ends and he returns home determined to win back Savannah's heart. She reluctantly agrees to be friends, but is very resistant to move beyond their shared past. Will Linc find a way around Savannah's defenses and restore her faith in love? I really liked the premise of this story, but must agree with other reviewers that the Savannah was hard to relate to. Linc was a great hero with a heart of gold. Overall I wish the pace of their reconciliation was faster and and they started communicating earlier in the book. It was a cute read, and I would recommend it to fans of second chance romance. I as given a free copy for an honest review.
Erani_Kole More than 1 year ago
*received an ARC via NetGalley* This is definitely a fun read I recommend to those who love the RomComs. Gamble is a dating coach who helps girls to avoid disasters by recognizing the signs, the "red flags" that immediately mark them as 'Somedays', commitment-phobes, and smooth talkers just looking for a one-night stand. These 12 steps to finding your Mr. Right are derived from a mysterious (okay not that mysterious) past that forever changed how she saw love with another potential. Add that, with a blast from the past, and a few other unknown variables, and you've got yourself a butt load of trouble and mischief. I really liked this because of how light and funny it could be while still being able to put in those serious little deep scenes. Gamble came off as a very intelligent and put-together woman when I first read this, so it was interesting to see her slowly unravel and lose herself... or rather, rediscover herself, as in the person she truly was before she hid under all those safeguards. At times she was annoying and I was totally on Linc's side, but that's one of the things I love about this book, that it could make me feel so many things like happiness and frustration. It definitely wasn't boring lol
Rhondaz More than 1 year ago
12 Steps to Mr. Right by Cindi Madsen....This was a fun sweet read when you are trying to escape a bad day. There was so much bantering and enjoyable page turning book. I loved watching Savannah and Lincoln's story unfold. This is a must read, do yourself a favor and downloaded. I was given a complimentary book by publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.
Lorizen More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars Going with the story line, this book had too many red flags. I like the author and know how she writes a story. This one had far too much unnecessary dialogue along with a mix of characters and not enough meat about the MC's. That said, the plot was great, Savannah a dating coach after a one night stand in college blew up a relationship with her best friend and crush, Lincoln. Linc is headed off to be a baseball player, hopefully major league, the story tells us he ends up in the minors and comes back to Georgia with a career ending arm injury. He's bartending part time with his cousin and Savannah's best friend. This book had an overwhelming amount of dialogue which almost ended up being a first person narrative by Savannah. Her endless interventions and rescues of her students in distress in her dating program. I loved the whole 12 step dating program thing. That could have been expounded on a little more, in a personal way, it was not. I really did like Savannah, and Linc. Linc much more, as he was funny, cute as hell with his crossword puzzle fetish and was so sweet that this was something they did together. He did try to make things right, and to renew their friendship. When he tried to explain that one night, she blew him off. Huge mistake. And it take 300 pages to get to the point of why. Sigh. Do I think you should read this book? You bet! Because Cindi writes a great story and this one does work, it was just a little longwinded for me. Do you want to know those 12 steps and those red flags she's so quick to point out... good grief read this book!! She's so spot on!! Do you want to know how to avoid becoming like Savannah? Read the book!! Rules are almost always made to be broken in the game known as love. **arc from NetGalley and Entangled** in exchange for an honest review
Laura_F More than 1 year ago
A friends-to-lovers, second chance romance with a unique spin! Savannah was devastated in college when her close friend handled their morning after so poorly. That experience led her to becoming a dating coach and creating her 12 Steps to Finding Mr. Right. Just when Savannah is ready to get back into the dating game, Linc, her friend from college, returns to town. Linc was supposed to become a professional baseball player but an injury ended his career in the minors. Now Linc has returned home to Atlanta and is ready to make amends for the way he handled things with Savannah in college. If only she could see past the man he was to the man he has become. I loved Savannah and Linc!! Even though Savannah is clinging to her steps, they are no match for the chemistry that she and Linc have. This book has laughter, angst, and plenty of swooning throughout the entire story. *I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Jazzy629 More than 1 year ago
~I was given an ARC, in exchange for an honest review~ Savannah is a dating coach, who has come up with a list of 12 steps in to finding Mr. Right. After going through a bad break up, Savannah decided to make these rules, and help others in finding love. But, will she ever find love herself? 5 years ago, she met Linc……now Linc is back in town, and wants to rekindle….well win over Savannah’s heart again. This book was well written. Loved the romantic comedy! I swooned over Linc, and I am sure that you will too!!!! If this is your first time reading a book by Cindi Madsen, I definitely recommend this book and her other books!!!!!!!!! Enjoy!
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
Rating: 3.5/5 This is a humorous second chance romance, told from the point of view of Savannah Gamble, who became a dating coach and consultant after her hook up with her best friend at college was followed by him leaving a note on her pillow and then essentially disappeared from her life, leaving her heartbroken. Actually she’s still not over it. She used the experience and created a 12 step program for women to meet potential life partners, a program that has had success for many of her clients but not for herself. When the villain ex-best friend returns to her life and wants to be friends again she needs to keep reminding herself of the rules she created as she tries to protect herself from further heartbreak. There are many additional romances in this story, including those of her clients Annabeth and Amy Lynn, as well as family drama and trauma. There are laugh out loud moments in this story, especially as Savannah tries to talk herself into - or out of - certain actions. It is easy to relate to Savannah as she tries to sort out everyone else’s love life for them but really struggles to sort out her own. Sometimes rules are, after all, just made to be broken - aren’t they? I was gifted a copy of this book by the publishers, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
kgagnon More than 1 year ago
This is a fun, and sexy second chance romance. I really loved Lincoln right from the start. He was sweet, charming, honest and sexy. After a career ending injured playing baseball, he came home to Atlanta to reconnect with friends, family and Savannah. He and Savannah were good friends in college. After one drunken night they hooked up. When things didn't go well the morning after, Savannah was left brokenhearted. This is how Savannah eventually started her business as a 'Dating Coach Extraordinaire and Consultant' with her 12 step program. I loved how she helped other women change their views on the men they chose and recognizing the 'red flags' before they have their heart broken again. Of course it is easier to coach others than to follow the rules yourself. That is what happened when Linc came home and wanted to rekindle their friendship. No matter how wonderful Linc was to her, Savannah believed that if she trusted him again, and he broke her heart, he could destroy not only her but her business as well. I really enjoyed their time together, whether it was working the crossword puzzle, visiting possible locations for her work or just having coffee. Their banter was funny and their chemistry was electric. I really wanted more of them together and not so much focus on her business and her clients. They were enjoyable, but for me it could have been scaled back and still benefited by the 12 step principles. Savannah is intelligent, devoted and caring. I really liked her most of the time, but wanted to shake some sense into her at times when she was being a little too rigid and judgmental. But other than those couple of things I really enjoyed this book. The characters were well developed, funny and genuine. The banter was witty and the story was very engaging. I love a book that can make me laugh, cry and swoon and this did all that and more. This is the first book I've read from this author and I will definitely read more of her work.
BookishThings More than 1 year ago
I adored this book, and breezed right through it. It’s fun, sweet, and pretty funny at times. Savannah and Lincoln are pretty awesome. I love how easy the banter is between them. You can tell there is a lot of history between these two, and how much Savannah feels for him. Even when she tries to deny any feelings at all. Both are in a place of doubting who they are, and I appreciate how real it feels. Lincoln is dealing with no longer being able to play baseball. Savannah feels like if she lets herself fall down the rabbit hole with Lincoln, that she’ll be a hypocrite. You can feel their struggle and can’t help but hope they figure it out. And this is sort of a second chance romance, which we all know are my bread and butter. I love them, and I love seeing how characters reconnect. Savannah does everything in her power to not fall for Linc’s charms and it’s ridiculously hard, and hilarious. I love her inner pep talks, even when I think she should just go with it, and see where it goes. I also love how hard Linc tries with her. He knows she’s wary of having anything to do with him, but he thinks of fun things to do just to be around her. I loved every minute of this book, and I think you will to. It’s lighthearted and a quick read that will have you swooning and going all in with your heart.
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
3.25 stars----12 STEPS TO MR. RIGHT by Cindi Madsen is a stand alone, contemporary, adult romance focusing on dating coach Savannah Gamble, and former baseball player Lincoln Wells. Told from first person point of view (Savannah) 12 STEPS TO MR. RIGHT follows ‘board certified’ dating consultant and coach Savannah Gamble as she struggles with her attraction to former friend and one-night stand Lincoln Wells-the man who triggered Savannah to ‘write’ the 12 Step Program for women in the dating world. Linc’s return to Atlanta Georgia comes with renewed heartbreak for our heroine as the memories of the past continue to control her current way of life. Five years earlier Savannah fell for her best friend Ivy’s cousin Lincoln Wells, and following a drunken one-night stand Linc walked away without a backward glance. Fast forward to present day and Linc has returned to Atlanta Georgia, his baseball career never amounting to stardom, and hoping to reconnect with our story line heroine. As Linc continues to pursue Savannah, Savannah adheres rigidly to her 12 Step Program and is unable to get past the heartbreak of the past. Savannah’s strict adherence to her rules of dating make some for uncomfortable moments throughout the story as she is constantly applying the rules to her own relationships, and isn’t willing to step away or give benefit of the doubt. The romance between LInc and Savannah is very slow to build as our heroine refuses to accept that Linc has changed; Linc is a man who is unaware of Savannah’s hurt, or what it is he did to destroy her faith in all men. The $ex scenes are implied and fade to black. We are introduced to Savannah’s brother Jackson Gamble who has some sort of history with her best friend Ivy. Ivy refuses to acknowledge Jackson’s existence, and in this there is plenty of tension that adds to the already tense relationship between Savannah and Linc. Savannah’s extended family of aunts, as well as her own mother, complicates the matter as they see our heroine as a lonely spinster, without any prospects to settle down. 12 STEPS TO MR. RIGHT has moments of fun and humor; heartbreak and romance; realization and letting go but I did have some difficulty liking the heroine with her strict adherence to her own set of rules so much so that it affected her own relationships, and oft times that of those she coached. The 12 Steps seemed more like laws to be enforced rather than suggestions for a happily ever after.
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
Being burned more than one Savannah Gamble has devised 12 easy steps to spot the red flags that will surely lead to heart break and help women find that perfect one they are seeking. Now she's a dating coach teaching others her methods. So why then is she still all alone? And why can she not resist the devilish Lincoln?? Lincoln is about to turn her world upside down and there's doesn't seem to be anything she can do to stop it. This is a really cute fun read but I felt like the romance part was a little light for my taste. A little closer to chick lit than romance. That doesn't make it a bad read though and it's one I would definitely recommend.