Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Laugh by Mary Ann Rivers
Series: Burnside #2
Published by Loveswept on May 6, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Dr. Sam Burnside is convinced that volunteering at an urban green-space farm in Lakefield, Ohio, is a waste of time—especially with his new health clinic about to open. He only goes to mollify his partner, suspecting she wants him to lighten up. Then Sam catches sight of Nina Paz, a woman who gives off more heat than a scorcher in July. Her easy smile and flirty, sizzling wit has him forgetting his infamous need for control.
Widowed when her husband was killed in Afghanistan, Nina has learned that life exists to take chances. As the daughter of migrant workers turned organic farmers, she’s built an exciting and successful business by valuing new opportunities and working hard to take care of her own. But when Sam pushes for a relationship that goes beyond their hotter-than-fire escapades, Nina ignores her own hard-won wisdom. She isn’t ready for a man who needs saving—even if her heart compels her to take the greatest risk of all: love.
ICYMI is a post from my early days of blogging at Yummy Men & KickAss Chicks. Mary Ann Rivers writes with such a vivid tapestry and a texture I have found with no other. I hope at some point she goes on with this Burnside series. You can see the original review here
This is one of my must read authors. Mary Ann Rivers has such a way with words and characters. I can hardly wait to see what she has done whenever a new book or novella is released. Her other works including The Story Guy, Snowfall (review here) and Live are all excellent.
Laugh is the second in the Burnside series, about the family who lives in Ohio. This is the story of the oldest, Sam Burnside, who is a doctor. He works in emergency and also is a partner in a neighborhood clinic. Now here, Mary Ann Rivers absolutely shines. Sam is such a real human being. He is smart, hard-working, attractive and a complete mess. He’s a beautiful disaster, if there ever was one. He has ADD; he’s a total messy slob.
He can’t figure out how to deal with nearly all the people in his life. He is frustrated with them but he loves them. Oh how he loves them! His love is unconditional, unfailing, and because of that some of them take advantage of him. They know he won’t stop loving them.
Sam starts volunteering with an organic farmer who is also highly connected in the neighborhood. Nina Paz is beautiful, strong and hard working. She lost her husband to the war in Afghanistan. She has been very successful with her business and has chosen her friends and employees well. Nina has very close friendships but has held back on romantic ties. Sam is like a romantic tornado with her.
The way they both work on their lives and the challenges which happen during this time period are fascinating and heartrending. It is easy to feel real empathy for their problems. Some things are within their control and some aren’t. Sam, as usual, goes all in, thinking Nina is so amazing, and expressing his complete faith in her. Nina is also supportive of Sam, seeing his efforts, proud of his bumbling attempts which are not always appreciated by others.
We see the other family members and their friends, learning bits and pieces more about them. This is such a realistic world. There are good and bad things happening with such a rich tapestry of people and their lives. The feelings it gives are just so complex . It is so real, so raw. It’s easy to be frustrated with these people, cheer for their wins, laugh at their teasing, worry over their issues, be uneasy with their possible heartbreaks, and care about them.
These books are the real deal of life. I highly recommend Laugh, the rest of the Burnside series and pretty much anything Mary Ann writes.