on September 19, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
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Mia Murphy may be married to the man of her dreams. But the man in her dreams is the one that got away—her high school crush.Mia’s stuck in a rut, just like every other stay-at-home mom, and the only thing saving her from her monotonous routine is her perfect husband, Declan. He’s gorgeous, he adores her, and the man stole her heart with his sexy singing voice. Mia feels like the luckiest girl in the world, until she discovers that Mr. Perfect is not Mr. Faithful. Mia is devastated. Everything she once believed about Declan and their marriage is now covered in a big cloud of doubt and regret. On impulse, she kicks the cheating bastard out, pushing them into a separation that could mean the end of the picture-perfect couple.But when Mia receives an invitation to her high school reunion, she finds herself abandoning the present for the oh-so-alluring pull of the past. Although her heart still belongs to her husband, inescapable thoughts of her crush, Noah, resurface. And ten years later, Noah isn’t afraid to make his move. When the build-up of fantasies and ‘what ifs' comes to a head, sparks fly and it’s Mia’s turn to question if her marriage is everything she wants out of life. Searching for answers, Mia dives head first into dating Noah, falling further away from her husband and closer to her old flame.
But Declan’s not giving up so easily. Mia is his one and only and he’s not about to let another man win her heart.
Cover designed by: Mae I Design
This review has been revised.
This is going to probably be my most confusing review. Confusing because the story pissed me the hell off and yet the writing was good and the character’s were great and even the plot itself wasn’t all that bad. It was how the characters acted it out that bugged me. This is a 4-star book. You will most likely really enjoy it. I would recommend it. I’m probably a minority in how this book made me feel. 🙂
One of things I enjoyed was the past and present chapters. It doesn’t always work for me. I like for it to be one or the other but for this book it totally worked. We had flashbacks to give us background on Mia and Declan and we had chapters to give us background for Mia and Noah. You are given an equal opportunity to decide how you felt about these characters moving forward. You’re also given insight to Mia’s home life. Her close relationship with her parents is always refreshing. Even Mia’s bff, Grace brings levity and reason to the story. She actually plays a pretty integral part in the story. Or at least in how it plays out. She is there for Mia and for Declan, together and separate, if that makes sense. There is not doubt that Grace loves them both.
Mia and Declan have two little girls and I always love it when families are in books. Especially, when we get to see them happy. These girls obviously love their mommy and daddy. There are some really sweet moments with them. I always feel those scenes more if written well and these were. This was a family who obviously wanted what was best for their kids. It was important for them to be happy.
I also found Declan to unlike other leading men in books. #1 he was a virgin! How unusual and refreshing that for HIM it mattered. So when Mia puts on the pressure, Declan is the voice of reason. I LOVED him for that. I loved that he took the time to make sure Mia was that person for him. That he loved her or saw a future with her. There is no question that boy loved and adored Mia.
So on to the story.
Do you have any regrets? Is there one person from your past that you feel is the one who got away? Are you married or have you been married? Do you feel like you had a chance to really “live” your life before settling down and starting a family?
If you had the opportunity would you do it all over again?
Or would you do something different?
What if the one who got away drops in your lap, do you pursue it, just in case they’re the one?
This is a story about a married couple. A happily married couple. A couple that has been together since college. A couple who married and immediately started a family. Declan and Mia ARE the perfect couple. Declan has a good job. Mia is a stay at home mom to two beautiful daughters. They own a home and drive nice cars. They love each other. They have it all.
They have it all on the outside.
On the inside they are tired, they are plagued with doubts, they miss being carefree, they miss the intimacy shared prior to children. Mia feels unappreciated. Declan feels neglected. So when Declan does the unthinkable, Mia immediately kicks him out. No discussion. She just kicks him out. Now I’m all for emotional outbursts. I’m all for being angry and wanting to kick him where it counts. But after being together for several years, like 7, doesn’t that deserve the respect to at least discuss what’s transpired?
When she does let Declan talk, she finds out that it wasn’t nearly as bad as she’s made it out to be. However, it’s the motivation behind his actions that drives her anger further. Declan admits to being resentful of only being with one woman (yep you read that right), he feels trapped by two kids. Mia refuses to allow Declan blame her for feeling like she trapped him or caged him in. So she tells him they need time apart.
This is hard for me because I’m a married woman. I’ve been married for 15yrs. I’ve known my husband for 27 years. My marriage has been far from perfect. So when I read these stories about adultery/cheating I tend to get all worked up. This by no means says the story wasn’t good. I gave it 4 stars. It’s a good story. It just means that I have opinions about how I think married couples should behave or not behave. It’s my opinion of what makes or breaks a story for me. Please bear with me on this one.
Mia has been harboring old feelings for Noah. She had a crush on Noah the entire time she was in high school. She refused to make the first move. He never made the first move. Therefore nothing every happened. However, Mia has been dreaming about him. Hot and steamy dreams. It just so happens that her 10 year high school reunion is coming up. So here she is newly separated from her husband. A husband who mind you has made it perfectly clear that he wants her and no one else. He absolutely adores her. I give Mia credit because she does admit that she’s torn about what to do. She loves Declan. She wants him back. She’s just worried. I get that. I don’t agree with how she handled the situation but I do understand her feelings about it.
This is a little spoilery so don’t read this next part if you don’t want to know.
All Declan does is kiss another woman. However, his intent was to do more he just couldn’t go through with it.
I know this hurt Mia. It would hurt me too. But she’s more upset with the words he uses than the act itself.
Mia decides to go to the reunion knowing Noah will be there. He arrives, they chat, and the flirting begins. Like heavy “you were the one that got away” type of flirting. Like I was so dumb to not date you it’s a shame your married type of flirting.
last night was incredible….my only regret is that it took over ten years to get there. I can’t let another ten years go by living in regret. That’s what got us here in the first place. – Noah
Mia, I’ll take you anywhere you want to go. I don’t want this night to end because tomorrow you go back to belonging to someone else. – Noah
Suddenly, Mia is Declan. Someone is showing her interest for her and it feels good. So she justifies her actions by blaming Declan for planting seeds of doubt and goes on a date with Noah.
She leaves Declan a message saying she needs more time.
She starts dating Noah.
I WAS PISSED.
What he did was so much worse than infidelity. He gave up on us, lost hope, trust and faith in me and everything we stand for. How do I know he won’t do it again? – Mia
I picked that quote because it was at that point where I realized that Mia was doing exactly what Declan did and only blaming him for it. She decided that she could do what she wanted because he did it first! Even though he regrets it and has tried repeatedly to make it up to her.
Noah is here wooing her and she still has that high school crush. And LIKE OMG maybe he’s the one and not Declan.
GROW THE EFF UP!
Look, Mia’s actions are in no way shape or form justified. Declan was wrong. Two wrongs do not a right. Mia had absolutely no business messing with Noah while her husband was trying to win her back. We’re not talking years people. We’re talking weeks. She found out about Declan’s screw up in December and by March she’s dating Noah.
Why don’t people talk things out anymore? What happened to respecting each other? What happened to respecting marriage?
Mia was Declan’s first love. When he fell, he fell hard. She never rushed him into anything. She was shocked when he proposed her junior year of college. She was shocked when everyone wanted them to get married right away. He never ran. He loved her. He still loves her.
I’m in love with you, Mia and I know we’re young, but I’m pretty sure I want you to be my first and my last. – Declan
I won’t give away the ending. I can’t because you’ll be left wondering right up until the very end, who she’ll end up with.
*A copy of this book was kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*
Buy Man of My Dreams on Amazon
EXCERPT ONE – DELAN
“Stop staring at her, bro. You look ridiculous.”
“Oh shut up, Carl. Like you don’t look ridiculous kicking around that fucking hacky sack, waiting for someone to come over and play with you.”
Carl continues bouncing the bead-filled ball off his foot. It’s so goddamn irritating. In ten seconds I’m going to chuck it across the lawn and into the huge fountain next to that gorgeous blonde. Maybe that’ll get her attention.
“You just want that chick to play with you. Finally get that tiny pecker of yours some action.”
My jaw tightens and my hands squeeze into fists. I hate being reminded of my lame sexual status. Status as in, there is none. “Gimme that fucking thing. You’re such a prick, you know that?”
He kicks the ball up and catches it in his hands before pulling it close to him, like I’m about to steal his fucking beloved blankie or something. “I have a better chance of getting someone to kick this little ball around with me than you do of getting your balls played with.”
I’m starting to regret agreeing to have Carl as my dorm mate. This guy’s supposed to be my friend, my wingman. Not the one making jabs at my manhood, or lack thereof.
“Douche. You’re a real douche.” I shake my head, ignoring Carl’s smug look and dragging my hands through my hair to remove the strands that have fallen in front of my face. Damn floppy hair is obstructing my view of Blondie.
“She is pretty cute, Dec. Let’s go over to her. See which one of us she picks.”
That’s it—fucking ball’s mine. While Carl is busy musing over my new obsession I swipe the hacky sack from him and toss it over to a bunch of stoner-looking freshmen. The pattern on the ball resembles Bob Marley’s Rasta hat—they’ll like that. One Love and all that free spirited shit.
“Hey. What the fuck, man. Why’d you do that?”
“Eyes off my girl.”
“Your girl?” he laughs so hard it’s almost maniacal. “You’re delusional, bro. And I’m willing to bet my fake ID that she’ll never be your girl.”
EXCERPT TWO – NOAH
Noah interrupts my thoughts with a husky whisper, “I should have done this a long time ago, Mia. I was so dumb back then. I can’t believe I let you slip away.”
His admission makes me stagger; all of a sudden I have two left feet. I can’t just let his remark slide. “Yeah, you were pretty dumb. I practically followed you around like a puppy dog waiting on you to ask me out. But you never did.”
Our song is over, but he continues to hold me in his arms, surveying me and everything I just said. “Really? I swear I had no idea. You mean to tell me if I had played my cards right and stuck my head out of my baseball cap for a damn second I could be the one taking you home tonight?”
His words shock me. Does he mean it the way I’m thinking or is he being sweet? Like, take me home to screw me or take me home to our house, where we could have lived as a committed couple? I clench my eyes shut, trying to figure it out.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that.” He nods his head in the direction of the bar. “And the guys from the team have been eyeing me since I walked in. Hopefully they’ll cut me some slack when I tell them I chose to catch up with the one that got away instead of them. ” He winks and escorts me back to our table.
Every one of my senses are on overload from his touch, his scent, the sounds of the things coming out of his perfect mouth. Ten year old regrets flood in, drowning any bit of my remaining sanity. In this moment I know what Declan felt when he let that girl from the hotel kiss him. Face to face with temptation, my love for my husband isn’t strong enough to make me turn my back on the what ifs.
“Let me toss back a few drinks for old time’s sake. Can I bring you back anything?”
“No, I think I’m good.” I say, even though I’m far from it. There is not one ‘good’ image running through my head. In fact they are all bad. Naughty. Mischievously wicked.
And they’re making me brave.
“Hey, Noah?” I call out to him, stopping him in his tracks to the bar.
“What’s up?” he cocks his head, smirking.
Can he read me that well? Is the act as a disloyal wife giving me away? The flirting is one thing, but what I’m about to do crosses so many lines it feels criminal. I scan my surroundings to make sure no one’s watching. When I’m positive, I pull him by his collar. Closer to me.
His breath catches. His eyes widen. Our lips are inches apart. If we weren’t in a room full of gossipy people I would get it over with and kiss him right here. They could never understand what that kiss would mean. An answer to so many questions about my past. A retaliation—an eye for an eye—for what Declan did to us.
I forgo the kiss, but lick my lips for effect. “I hear there’s an after party. Will you take me?”
Noah raises an eyebrow, channeling me to focus on those smoldering green eyes. His lips curl into a satisfied smile. He speaks in a growl of a whisper. “Mia, I’ll take you anywhere you want to go. I don’t want this night to end because tomorrow you go back to belonging to someone else.”