Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Something Great, Something Wonderful, & Something Forever by M. Clarke

She didn't know what she was missing...until he found her.

Maxwell Knight was dangerously good-looking, seductively charming, and definitely trouble. He was everything Jeanella Mefferd did NOT need now.

Fresh out of college, life was predictable and comfortable for Jeanella. She had the strength of her friends, the security of her job, and she was dating a reliable man; it was all smooth sailing. That was until one night, when she met someone who made her feel things she'd never felt before—dangerous, heart pounding, breathless heat. 

Never imagining she would see him again, Jeanella has no idea what to do when fate steps in and thrusts Maxwell Knight into her life, just as things were beginning to change around her. When she lands her dream job and travels to New York for Fashion Week, can she focus on her career instead of on Maxwell? 

Will she ignore all the danger signs and jump straight into his arms; or would she miss out on the chance of finding something great?

Once again I have found a great trilogy of books through that dependable and ever productive service called "Book Bub."  And this first book in the series was free to boot.

It is the story of a woman who has been very limited in her dating life, especially since finding her almost fiance in the bed of her roommate in college.  Add to that the fact that the affair had been going on for several months.  Since then Jenna (as her friends called her) had been definitely reluctant to date and most certainly wasn't interested in any many who was less than steady, who was low risk, etc.  She had found that in Luke, a man she had met through her contacts in her present job.  They had a very low key relationship--Jenna hadn't even allowed him to kiss her until challenged by her friends.  (It's about time you found out if he makes you sing the "Hallelujah Chorus.")  It is then she meets Maxwell Knight, totally unaware that he is about to become her new boss.

Maxwell is a man who is one of those guys who could be featured on any GQ magazine cover in the world.  He makes the women in his company swoon just in his daily business suits.  Yet he is more than willing to admit that he really doesn't know what love feels like.  When he first encounters Jenna over a series of random meetings, he is quite "taken" with her and pursues her even after she becomes one of his employees.  He is a man of principle, has lovely manners, and doesn't seem to  harbor any scandalous secrets.  Yet Jenna is still worried that he will be "too much" for a low key girl like herself.

This story is really about two people who have tasted disappointment and who are both wary of what it might be like to take an emotional risk.  Even as a a high profile character in the high-powered world of fashion publishing, Max is still not sure he can ever find a woman who will love him for himself and not his money or contacts.  So their story is full of ups and downs, miscommunications and misunderstandings, hard lessons learned and a number of important "ah ha" moments about themselves and each other.  

The background characters in this story are important.  Max's brother Matthew is a man who is working so hard to gain back a life that is not mired in grief over the loss of his fiance.  Becky, Jenna's best friend and present roommate is a far more experienced woman sexually, yet she and Jenna have become sisters in every way and are equally important to one another as each must journey toward their destinies.

This trilogy is a really delightful set of three stories, and each is important in fleshing out the journey that Jenna, Max, Matthew, and Becky must take toward the future.  There are other good friends who are present and who compose the context of these books.  Each is so well written and I am delighted to have found another author who seems to have such a good "handle" on what life can offer, how people interact romantically, and how the rough and tumble universe of human love and be endured and sometimes bring the joy we all ultimately seek.

This second book is really about how Max and Jenna now move into a more mature aspect of their growing relationship.

Sometimes falling in love means letting go of the past…

Jeanella’s confidence and trust in Max continues to grow, and life seems to be on track. Then Crystal decides to pursue a sexual harassment lawsuit, and Jeanella’s world turns upside down. Once again, she wonders if she will ever be enough for Max. Jeanella is forced to make a decision; stay and fight for her man or leave him for good. 

Becky's unexpected friendship with Matthew continues to blossom, as they try to define the boundaries of their relationship; but a one-night stand threatens to ruin it all. As Matthew’s feelings for Becky grow, he’s torn between guilt and heartache over his deceased fiancĂ©e. Can Becky break through his wall and help him heal?

This third book definitely has some unexpected twists and turns for both Max/Jenna and Becky/Matthew.  There are still the old hurts of the past and the shadows of ghosts that haunt Becky and Matthew.  And life hands Max and Jenna a surprise they may just not be able to move beyond.

A heated moment.
Desperate decision.
Life altering choices.

Max and Jenna are forced to test their relationship. Will they be able to embrace the challenges life throws their way? Secrets can ruin the foundation of a relationship. Will Matthew choose to withhold vital information from Becky that could consume her with doubt about their future?

When it comes to love, Something Great can turn into Something Wonderful, but can it be Something Forever?

All in all, this is a terrific set of books and one I highly recommend.  They have made their appearance over the past months of 2014 but their subject matter is as contemporary as ever.  I highly recommend them and hope some of you will search them out and enjoy them as much as I did.

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