Friday, June 19, 2015

(Review) Anticipation by Sarah Mayberry

Title: Anticipation
Author: Sarah Mayberry
Series: Brothers Ink, #2
Published: April 2015
Rating: Staying in Tonight
Format: Digital review copy provided by author for honest review. (Thank you!)
Summary: Blue Sullivan knows a player when she sees one. And Eddie Oliveira—charm and sex personified—was born to play. She never wanted him to say goodbye, so for the last ten years she’s ignored the sizzling attraction between them and focused on being the best sidekick a guy could have. Smart girl, right?

Then Blue has a serious accident, and overnight Eddie changes. Suddenly he’s more intense and singularly devoted…to her. With all this sexy attention, it’s hard to stay within the boundaries she’s scrupulously drawn. The temptation, the anticipation builds and, finally, she has to have what he’s offering. Of course Eddie proves to be brilliant. Now, she worries he’s ruined her forever…and she might regret leaping from friends to lovers.
I love that the title of this book is Anticipation, because that is entirely accurate in regards to my feelings about it. I've been looking forward to Blue and Eddie's story since meeting them in Satisfaction last year. While it is not absolutely necessary to read that one first, I would recommend doing so. It is nice to see Blue and Eddie's dynamic from an outsider's perspective before getting a peek at what is really going on beneath the surface. Plus it's just a great book!

Anticipation does not disappoint! I have a serious weakness for I've-loved-you-forever books. From the very first paragraph, you know that is going to be the case with this one. Blue has had feelings for her best friend Eddie for years, but she is trying to move past them. Alas, she is not, much to her dismay, having very much luck.

This book does have a Big Dangerous Incident. That is common enough in romance novels, and it is usually used as the catalyst to make someone - quite often the hero - realize that he does, in fact, have feelings for the heroine, that he cannot go on living with out her, etc. etc. And I don't know about you, but I've been sick of that plot device since the first ten times I read it. BUT in Anticipation, the Incident actually happens in the first chapter. Blue is hit by a motorcycle while crossing the street, and she winds up in the hospital. While Eddie is extremely upset, obviously, the accident is not merely the hit over the head he has always needed to realize he loves her. He already knows he cares deeply about her; they have been friends for years. It is treated seriously, and it has repercussions. It also leads to her staying at his apartment so he can help her recuperate, which is a 100% awesome setup, let me tell you.

One of the reasons I loved this book is that I was so convinced of how Blue and Eddie knew each other inside out. They were friends - close friends, real friends - for years before the book even started, and that shows in all their interactions. They give each other crap. They joke. They fight. But you always know that there is that foundation of caring that will always remain.

I really enjoyed having Blue as a main character. She is an atypical heroine, definitely, and rather difficult. A talented tattoo artist who wears her hair in varying shades of blue, she has walls a mile thick. She is straightforward and blunt, and she doesn't take crap from anyone. I've seen reviews that said she interfered with their enjoyment of the book, but I personally loved her! My heart broke as she struggled against her natural instincts to run away from anything that might wind up causing her pain.

Eddie is a great guy as well, and it is clear that he cares very much about Blue. He also has a great relationship with his brother, a dynamic I very much enjoyed reading. Then there's the chemistry between the two of them (er, "them" being Eddie and Blue, obviously). Yowza! I thought my Nook was going to start shooting sparks at one point.

Overall, Anticipation is definitely a winner. It could be just a standard friends-to-lovers with lots of long-time pining, but Mayberry makes it so much more. She brings the tattoo parlor and the secondary characters to life. Blue and Eddie are flawed people, but she weaves their story together beautifully.

Her life would be so much easier if she could hate him.

Ground rules: anything I can do for myself, I do for myself. Period. End of story. You can, however, bring me food any time you like.

“I can be as gracious as the next person.”
“If the next person is a sleep-deprived rhino with anger management issues.”

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