Real Men Don't Quit

Coleen Kwan
Real Men Don't Quit
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Entangled Bliss
Release Date
April 2013
Book 2 of Real Men
Contemporary Romance

Serial bachelor. Celebrity author. Her perfect forever?

When famous author Luke Maguire decides to write his next novel in the small town of Burronga, Australia, he's sure he can ignore the fiery redhead next door. Not only has he just been burned from a high-profile breakup, but he's never been one to set down roots. No, he'll finish his novel and leave Burronga. And soon.

Tyler Jones just wants to run her business with her best friend, Ally, and take care of her three-year-old daughter, Chloe. She's never needed help from anyone, especially not a man, and the brooding, rugged writer next door can't tempt her. Not in the least.

Only Tyler and Luke can't stay away from each other. So they set rules. No staying overnight, no future plans, no sappy good-byes when Luke inevitably quits town. But the chemistry between them is too strong to contain in a rulebook. Are Luke and Tyler ready to risk their lives of independence for something more?

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
May 15, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
158 people found the following review helpful
Coleen Kwan has created a story that is both emotionally engaging and delightfully entertaining and will carry readers along effortlessly.

A worldwide sensation after his first book was published, Australian writer Luke Maguire has been struggling mightily to finish his second novel. But living in his childhood home following his mother's death and bearing the weight of memories and her expectations is keeping him from writing a word. In a somewhat desperate attempt to get the creative juices flowing, he moves to his agent's summer house, hoping the peace and quiet of a new space might be just what he needs.

What he finds in Burronga, Australia, instead, is a toddler outside his back yard—and a furious, scantily-clad young woman bursting out of the house next door to track her daughter down. Though their first meeting is inauspicious at best, Luke is immediately and helplessly fascinated by Tyler Jones—and her fuchsia underthings—even though he knows he can't afford to make connections in this new town. Still, with every passing day, Luke grows closer and closer to Tyler and her charming daughter, Chloe, knowing all the while he will eventually have to say goodbye.

Tyler left her wild days behind when Chloe was born, and is now the part-owner of a shop in town where she sells her handmade jewelry, working tirelessly to make sure her daughter has a happier childhood than Tyler ever had. She knows that her new neighbor has a reputation with women and an insatiable case of wanderlust. Still, that isn't enough to keep her from falling for his good looks and enormously kind heart. But even with their wildly different lives, Tyler and Luke find their mutual attraction deepening to something more—but will either have the courage to fight for a dream neither thought they wanted?

Luke and Tyler were both wonderfully engaging, complex characters that grabbed at my heartstrings from our first meeting. Both carry the scars of their difficult childhoods—Luke's father was a philanderer, and his fears about how much he may have inherited of the man's character dogs him wherever he goes. Tyler grew up hardly knowing her mother, and now lives in fear that Chloe's father's family will declare her unfit as well. But their genuine love for Chloe and their desire to make her feel safe and loved allows them a way to work through their memories and fight for more in their own lives. Despite the gravity of their issues, they are charming, funny and utterly loveable, and the reality of their lives and their relationship helped me feel even closer to them.

While there were certainly enough complexities in the characters and incidences in this story to fill a great many more pages, Coleen Kwan did an admirable job of condensing the numerous family drama, individual fears and romantic struggles into this shorter novel. Luke's issues with his father were heart-wrenching, not only because of the way his father tainted his memories of his childhood, but also because they so deeply influence and alter his present. Similarly, Tyler's issues with her family are well-portrayed, and certainly well-thought-out. Ms Kwan offers hope for even her most irredeemable characters, making for a story that is constantly surprising and consistently touching.

If the emotional lows of the story are so compelling, you can only imagine the highs. Tyler and Luke share a unique connection that is not only wonderfully tense and steamy, but is also built on a wonderfully genuine concern and respect. It is that connection that gives them both the courage to conquer their pasts and face their futures, and breathes a thoroughly engrossing life into every scene of the story. Though there are no explicit sex scenes in the book, the heat and desire that flare between our hero and heroine is patently clear and perfectly satisfying, conveying not only the characters' personal feelings, but their physical attraction as well.

The deep emotionalism of the story extends to each of the secondary characters and their storylines as well. Some of Tyler's friends will be familiar to fans of this series, but newcomers will be quickly drawn into the world of the story and the lives of its inhabitants.

While I would have enjoyed a little more exposition and development to this story, it's a clear sign of how much I enjoyed it that I wanted to know more. I devoured Tyler's romance with Luke and am now eagerly awaiting future stories from Coleen Kwan!
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