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.
Each book in the Something to Celebrate series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Book #1 Ivy Entwined
Book #2 Permanent Ink
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
By Laura Simcox, Danielle Poiesz, Kate Fall
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2013 Laura Simcox
All rights reserved.
Ever since Marcus Weaver had gotten his driver's license, he'd slowed down his shitty car and bounced a penny off the town-limits sign for good luck. Today, he didn't need any luck, but he had been looking forward to flinging that penny again for years since he'd left. He pulled over, took off his expensive sunglasses, and stared at the wooden sign that tilted to the right on crooked legs. The paint was peeling, but the words were still readable:
Welcome to Celebration, NY.
Where every day is something to celebrate!
So familiar, yet strange at the same time. He'd heard that's what homecomings were like. But the churning feeling in his stomach? That was unexpected. He let out a slow breath and gripped the steering wheel. It was ironic to be returning in a car that was shittier than the one he'd had in high school, but if that was the only thing wrong in his life, he'd take it.
"You let her idle too long, and she'll stall out. Get a move on."
Marcus jumped at the sound of his uncle's voice, and he glanced toward the passenger seat. Herman Weaver squinted back at Marcus through puffy eyes. The old man let out a phlegmy, layered cough. "Whatcha waiting for, huh? A parade in your honor?"
Marcus snorted. "Hardly. But I'm pretty sure almost anybody in town will be happier to see me than you are." He slipped a hand in his suit pocket and pulled out a penny. When he rolled down the window, a gust of cold November air rushed into the car, and he stuck his arm out and threw. The penny missed the sign by an inch. Shit.
Herman grunted. "All right. Just move it along. I don't wanna be late for the meeting."
Leaning out the window, Marcus squinted at the sign across the road: For Sale. It was dwarfed by the flat, grassy expanse stretching for several acres behind it. The space was perfect. He smiled. "That the land you're selling me?"
"Yep. Hate to get rid of it, though." He scratched his gaunt cheek. "We ain't got time to get out and tromp all over a muddy field today. Now, c'mon. Let's go."
"Fine." Marcus rolled up the window, carefully shifting Herman's ancient car into first gear. He winced, bracing himself for a shuddering jerk. It happened quickly, this time accompanied by an ominous crunch. And then slam! The vehicle lurched forward.
"Son of a bitch." Herman threw his knobby, thin hands against the glove compartment and turned with a glare. "Shoulda let me drive. I know how to handle my own car."
Marcus laughed. "No way in hell. You damn near took out an entire family at the airport, Herman."
"Those fools were running all over the street like Ping-Pong balls." Herman scraped the side of his hand under his grizzled chin. "I don't like taking my vehicle into Syracuse with all them crazy drivers. This car's for my real-estate business. You just oughta be glad I came to get you."
But Marcus wasn't particularly glad. If he'd known that Herman was going to show up in a weird-ass rust bucket covered in peeling Astroturf with a molting chicken on the roof, he would have waited another day for the car-rental place at the airport to straighten out his reservation. He didn't have an extra day in town now, though, and this meeting in Celebration could make or break his future business. He stepped on the gas.
After cresting another hill and avoiding a couple of icy patches of pavement, he drove into the outskirts of town, the streets lined with small, two-story houses. As he came closer to the business district, his stomach jumped again, pissing him off. There was no reason to be nervous; he was here simply to present a plan. A plan to help the failing town — and it was foolproof. But that was just it — Celebration wasn't filled with fools, just people who needed jobs. He could hand them those jobs on a very attractive platter. That much he knew was true.
Herman let out a wheezing breath. "Speed up, dammit. The dip in this intersection don't like my car." He reached for the gearshift. "Push in the clutch."
"There's a school bus coming, Herman." Marcus pushed the man's hand away. "I'm not running a stop sign. Just relax." He eased the car to a halt at the crossroads and waited for the bus to pass. Several kids stared out the window and pointed at the chicken car. One of them gave the finger. Nice. Marcus chuckled and put the car in gear. It shuddered, groaned, and then promptly died.
"Well, hell. Now you've done it." Herman flapped his arms in a huff and fumbled with his seat belt. "Get out and push, Toothpick. I'm driving."
"Don't call me that." Marcus rubbed his forehead. "This is really not how I envisioned coming back to town." When he'd left at age seventeen, he'd been restless and itching to prove to himself that he could rise above his less-than-ideal upbringing, and he'd done it. But now he was about to come back as the guy pushing the butt-end of a chicken mobile? He sighed.
"Yeah, well. Too bad." Herman eyeballed Marcus's new tailored suit. "But it don't matter how you come back. I think you've got an uphill battle in Celebration."
"Why?" Marcus's fingers froze on the door handle. "I told you not to say —"
"Calm down, Toothpick. I ain't stupid. The town council and the mayor don't know anything beyond that I'm bringing in an investor to look over the town. And I'll tell you what. The minute I told them that they started treating me with some real respect. 'Bout time, too." He grunted. "Come open this door. It's stuck."
Marcus stepped out. He walked around the car and wrenched open the passenger door, leaning in. "Did you say anything about the Megamart?"
Herman clambered out. "Nope. I'll leave that piece of unwelcome news for you to dump on 'em."
"Unwelcome? Plenty of small towns build Megamarts. When I was a location scout, I helped negotiate a dozen of them in towns just like this all across the Midwest."
"Then why are ya so worried, Toothpick? Huh?"
Marcus smoothed his tie. "I'm not. And stop calling me Toothpick, old man. I'm not a skinny kid anymore."
"You've got some nerve." Herman wagged a finger and walked to the driver side. "Don't forget — I'm doin' you a favor by selling you that land." He got in and slammed the door.
"So you've reminded me over and over," Marcus muttered.
It was a pain in the ass dealing with Herman, but Marcus had to have that land. It was the only available property that would work — a large, undeveloped field right near the interstate. Flat land with plenty of room for parking, and big-box stores needed a lot of that. And if he didn't get it, he couldn't build his own Megamart. And if he couldn't build his own Megamart, he'd be screwed.
When he'd approached Megamart corporate about building his own store, he was well aware of company policy. It dictated that new franchise owners had to be personally connected to the towns where Megamarts opened up. Something about giving it that downhome kind of feel to hook customers. For Marcus that was only one place — Celebration. And it was in prime position for some fresh blood: economically depressed, plenty of workforce, and no competition for miles. No Walmart, Target, or Kmart. Hell, there was barely a grocery store in Celebration. The Pick 'n Shop was a typical small-town grocery — no match for the variety and low prices a Megamart could provide.
He'd promised himself a franchise, and he'd told himself that by the time he was thirty, he'd have invested, saved, and scraped together enough money to do it. And he had — with a small cushion to spare. That was the funny thing about wanting something so much — when the time arises to grab at it, only a coward hesitates. Marcus had never been a coward.
He smiled to himself and splayed his hands on the car bumper. Just above his fingers, on the trunk in crooked stick-on letters were the words "Weaver Realty. Your nesting expert." He glanced up at the scary chicken in a nest held onto the roof by rusted bailing wire. It swayed in the breeze, and the chicken nodded as if to say "Damn right, Marcus." Creepy, but somehow encouraging.
"I'm ready!" he yelled to his uncle, digging his new wing tips into the gravel road.
With a giant grunt, Marcus pushed as hard as he could. The car rolled across the intersection, past more houses and onto Main Street. Down the road he could see a few people milling around the sidewalk in front of city hall. Shit. He didn't want to make his grand entrance like this, running behind a car that looked as if it belonged in horror movie about a killer clown. Panting, he thumped a fist on the bumper. "Start it up!"
He heard the engine turn over once. Twice. And then it caught with a roar, shortly followed by an insane chicken cackle that he could only guess was the horn. By now city hall was a block away, and Marcus grimaced, ducking his head as he ran to the passenger side of the car. But just as he reached for the door handle, Herman sped up, mouthing something that looked like, "I can't stop."
Marcus stumbled to a halt and bent over, gasping. Damn, his trench coat was in the car still, and it was freezing out. But it was just as well. He'd been dreading riding into town in that car since the moment he'd laid eyes on it. Straightening, he took a couple of deep breaths and shaded his eyes. The chicken car swerved down Main Street, bumped over a curb, turned the corner, and stopped with a jerk halfway into an alley.
He shook his head and pulled his suit collar up before stepping up on the cracked sidewalk that ran in a large rectangle around the town commons. The brown grass covering the park crunched under his feet and dead leaves blew past, gathering at the base of the sagging gazebo. He grinned, wondered if kids still huddled down on the benches that ringed the inside and sneaked smokes after school. He'd been nabbed more than once, hauled out of there by whatever nearby adults took it upon themselves to discipline delinquent teenagers.
The last time he'd been caught, Jim Parliament had put the fear of God into him. The man had hustled Marcus down the commons and across Independence Street to Parliament Bakery, where he'd grabbed a pack of menthols from the plant manager and told Marcus to smoke what was left. Right then. There had been twelve cigarettes in that pack, and Marcus had blown chunks all over the place. It was the last time he'd ever lit up.
He paused next to a park bench and looked down the block toward the very spot where the puke fest had happened, right in front of Parliament Bakery. The three-story sandstone factory building was shuttered now and stood like a behemoth shrine to failure with a large For Sale sign on the front doors. It was a shame that it had closed and that Celebration was suffering because of it. The hallmarks of unemployment were everywhere.
All along Main Street behind him, empty buildings were plastered with yellowing rent signs. The same was true for Enterprise Street, which he faced now where the green paint on the old-fashioned streetlights was chipped and peeling. Outmoded Thanksgiving decorations hung limp at the top of the poles. The tinsel turkey on the pole nearest him had broken free of its strapping and dangled upside down by one leg. This town had never been much to speak of, but damn. Even the decorations had given up.
Celebration had nothing to celebrate. Until today. Marcus allowed himself a small smile, even as he shivered in the cold air. Who would have ever thought that the skinny teenager who swept floors at MacNamara's drugstore would return fifteen years later to turn the town upside down? Or as current circumstances dictated, right side up.
It wasn't as if he was really coming home, since he'd only lived here during his high school years. But as far as Megamart corporate was concerned, Celebration was his hometown. And he remembered this close-knit community well enough to know that some of the locals wouldn't embrace change easily, despite the fact that most of them needed jobs. They needed him. Marcus took a deep breath and blew it out in a cloud of steam.
As he stepped off a curb to jaywalk across Enterprise Street, a black sedan pulled up to the curb in front of city hall, blocking his path. The horn tooted once, and the people wandering the sidewalk converged on the car, cheering and clapping. He stopped in the middle of the street. What the hell? Who got that kind of welcome for a town-hall meeting? Scanning the crowd for a familiar face, he spotted Alberta Fields, his old English teacher. Perfect. He jogged across the street and stood behind her.
"Excuse me, ma'am. Would you mind telling me what's going on?"
When she jerked her head up to look at him, he couldn't hide a smile. She still wore those round, black-framed glasses, which perfectly magnified her round eyes. Owl-berta is what the kids had called her behind her back. But he hadn't.
She blinked at him for a moment and then recognition dawned. "Good Lord! Marcus? Marcus Weaver?"
He nodded, still smiling.
"Well, I'll be." Alberta wrapped plump arms around his torso and squeezed. "You aren't a beanpole anymore, young man. In fact, you're solid as a rock." She squeezed his biceps and laughed. "You here for Thanksgiving?"
Marcus grinned. "I'm here on business. I'm here to invest in Celebration."
"You are?" She frowned for a moment and then her eyes lit up. "Ohhh. I get it now. That was sneaky of Herman not to tell us that the 'financier' he'd found is his own nephew." Alberta inclined her head. "But good. I'm on the town council now, don't you know. Are you presenting something at the meeting today?"
"Uh, no. I thought I'd just sit in on this one. I'm seeing the mayor later this afternoon."
"Very good. So you're having a big turkey dinner with your uncle tomorrow?" She glanced toward the black car.
Thanksgiving with Herman? Marcus suppressed an eye roll. "My plans aren't firm yet, Mrs. Fields."
Alberta nodded, but her attention was on the car again. A big smile creased her face. "Excuse me." She pushed her way through the crowd.
Just as Marcus started to follow her, Herman appeared at his elbow.
"You left your fancy coat in my vehicle," Herman said with a wheeze.
"Just a second." Marcus craned his neck, looking for a big man with sandy hair. He wanted to talk to Brian Callahan before the meeting. Callahan had been the mayor for over thirty years, and Marcus remembered him as being a pretty tough nut to crack. But he didn't see him among the people crowded around the car.
"Herman, what the hell is going on? Who's in that car ...a celebrity?"
Herman cackled. "Ain't no celebrities in Celebration. Go get your coat. Besides, I need you to help me push the car again," Herman muttered. "That old biddy Alberta threatened to call a tow truck on me, so I've gotta park again."
"It is blocking an alley, Herman." Marcus moved away from him, intent on slipping into city hall before the meeting started. Maybe the mayor was in his office.
Herman grabbed his arm. "Oh, hell. I own both buildings on either side of that alley. If anyone's got a right to complain about a car parked there, it's me. And I ain't complaining."
Marcus looked down the block. The buildings were just like most of the others — empty, with For Rent signs. One of them had junk piled in the window.
Marcus gritted his teeth. "You should really move it. Just give me a minute." He shrugged off Herman's hand and turned to go, but now he was stuck right in the middle of the crowd. He watched as the black car pulled away and in its place stood a woman. A beautiful woman in a red coat and a red hat. Petite and blonde, and she was still as a statue.
For a long moment he watched her as she stood in the street, the briefest hint of a smile on her lips, staring after the car. Then she stepped forward, her gloved hands outstretched, and she began to shake people's hands. A small silver bracelet on her wrist caught the light as she turned from one person to the other. She leaned close to a middle-aged woman, who whispered something in her ear. And then she threw her head back with a throaty laugh. That laugh revealed a world he wanted to step right into. It was confident, sexy. He didn't have a clue who she was or why she was getting rock-star treatment, but he meant to find out. Clearing his throat, he maneuvered his way to the curb and stuck out his hand as she got closer.
Excerpted from Ivy Entwined by Laura Simcox, Danielle Poiesz, Kate Fall. Copyright © 2013 Laura Simcox. 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Don't let the cover deceive you, for Ivy Entwined not a romantic suspense, paranormal, or even erotic romance! This book is a contemporer romance that set in small city, called Celebration (don't know if it exist) and a mix of drama, humor, a little bit angst and a tight community who know each other. Ivy Entwined is a story about Ivy Callahana, the mayor of Celebrate even she still 26 y.o. Now you wonder why a woman so young like Ivy become Mayor and I never see a mayor that in her/his twenties. But well, I'm not live in USA and this is just a fiction, so I will take it. Ivy replace the last major, her father, and now have a plenty of problem in her hand because Celebration need a fresh start from being an almost abandoned city. Enter Marcus Weaver who are big franchise localist and he want to build Megamart on Celebration even he know the citizens will objects him. Ivy of course decline Marcus's proposal, even Marcus is her teenager's crush. But she offer Marcus to sponsor for the downtown renewal and they become close. Yet, Marcus still insist to build the Megamart, knowing the risk that he will lose Ivy's heart. Both Ivy and Marcus are lovable characters and I like that I can feel their chemistry. Ivy sure is perfectionist but she has a vulnerable side especially with all problems that become her burden, some are from her annoying ex-fiance (who sometimes can be a comic relief). Marcus is alpha, but not too alpha, and like a fact that he doesn't hesitant to use his charm to won Ivy's heart. He's man of my heart! But, the winner is Ivy's family, the Callahans. Ivy is lucky to have a supportive family, from her own father, than her mother Delia, and last, a granny that I'm sure will won "grandmother's favorite award" if there's any. Colleen like to cuss', even she's so old, but she's so funny and wise. I really want to have granny like her, and I like a fact that family play a large role in this book. I got the arc of this book July ago and realize that this title just had re-released. While the old cover is silly and have a badcase photoshop, I prefer the old because it's catch the atmosphere of Ivy Entwined. The new cover look too mysterius, too sexy and can be misleading. Ivy Entwined is simple and perfect if you want to read a light romance story. Also, if you love romance that set in small city, you will love the dynamic that Celebration citizens have.
Ivy is back in town to take over as Mayor after her dad's heart attack. Marcus is back trying to help his home town but mostly because he wants to open a big box store and that's one of the requirements for a franchise. Ivy had a crush on Marcus in school...he was the 'upper classman''. She's still attracted to him, but doesn't trust him. Her ex-fiance is trying to get her back and her grandmother is playing match maker. He's very attracted to her but he's not sure he could just love her and leave her, or if she would even let him. His uncle's pulling a 'fast one' on him. Ivy's not being completely honest and Marcus just wants to succeed. Good story, interesting characters. Ivy's a doll.
This was a cute story between Ivy and Marcus. I enjoyed both characters. Ivy was a spitfire, which I love. Marcus was hot, down to earth and seemed genuine. Any man who shows his emotion is one I will become a fan of. The supporting characters, for me, stole the show. Gramma as well as Ivy's parents were hilarious and delivered the swift kick in the rear that Ivy and Marcus needed at times. The story was a slower read but held my interest to the end. I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Ivy Entwined, Laura Simcox Review from jeannie zelos book reviews I thought this sounded fun. It was one of those though that's an OK book, a decent read, well written and yet didn't quite make any more that that for me...I'm looking for drama, emotion, a storyline that tugs at me. I need to like the characters too and here I just didn't quite belive in them. Marcus seems to get the flack for deceit and yet Ivy was doing the same thing so I couldn't see why she was so righteous.... Clearly town planning in US is different to here in UK, as it takes years sometimes for new stores to get passed. We've had our own Megamart style battle here – all the same arguments trotted out as Ivy and co give against Megamart – it took fourteen years for Tesco to get permission in our town, and yet here in the book its done in days? Ditto the land sales/exchanges – here it takes weeks and papaers in mutliple copies, there its just a simple pop in to office and its done...Still, maybe its just artistic licence? Whatever it was, it lead to a feeling of unreality for me, when I need to feel the story is real. I did like the chemistry between Marcus and Ivy and that certainly brought some heat and action to the story and the twist at the end – I didn't see that coming. Stars: three, its a decent read but not one to really get the heart racing for me. Still, if you like simple small town romance this could be a winner for you. ARC supplied via Netgalley and Entangled publishing.
Written with humor and a little raunchy on the language side, this book was entertaining. Ivy has good intentions for the town and her life but things don't always go as planned. The scene where she's in the kitchen, has been on the wrong side of a hammer, then the freezer door hits her on the head followed by the coffee grinder spilling all over her is so much real life. Haven't we all had those kinds of situations where everything seems to go wrong? "He still sounded like a tool. Good thing she hadn’t married him because by now, he’d be taking a dirt nap and she’d be in prison." Ivy Callahan is the new mayor of Celebration. She has big plans to revitalize the downtown area of Celebration. Marcus Weaver is ready to invest in Celebration by bringing big box Megamart into town which will help with the huge unemployment rate. Ivy and Marcus both want success for Celebration but don't agree with how to get there. They do agree that there is considerable chemistry between them and can't seem to keep from thinking about the other. Or keying their lips and other body part from bumping together. The lies and complicated schemes abound and feelings are hurt multiple times. Both know the other doesn't want their plan to go through yet they are both surprised and hurt when overhearing it flat out. Why? A little depressing with so much anger and hurt and lies. I enjoyed the humor in this book. I look forward to reading future books by Laura Simcox. I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
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.
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.
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.
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.
****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
***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.
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.
This book made me wish I lived in a town like Celebration. This book made me smile and laugh.
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!
Good Book! 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.