Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sharing is Caring - Books: "Just Three Words" by Melissa Brayden

Note: This ARC was provided by NetGalley & Bold Strokes Books in exchange for an honest review.

Let me start off first by saying that I have always enjoyed Melissa Brayden's novels.  From "Waiting in the Wings" to "Heart Block," I am always interested in her stories and look forward to any opportunities I have to enjoy them.

I was first introduced to Melissa Brayden through Audible.  "Heart Block" was recommended to me a few days before I moved (and drove) across the United States from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles, CA.  That novel got me through half of the trip as I drove for 8-10 hours a day, playing it whenever I could.  Since that trip, I have devoured all of Brayden's novels.

When I received the notification a month or two ago about Brayden's new novel, "Just Three Words," becoming available for review, I immediately requested the opportunity.  A few weeks back, I was rewarded with it becoming available in my reading list on NetGalley.

"Just Three Words" is the 2nd installment to the SoHo Loft Series that Brayden began last July (2014) with "Kiss the Girl."  Focusing on a new set of the ferocious four-some that makes up the Soho Savvy Advertising Agency, "Just Three Words" follows accountant Samantha Ennis through her New York lifestyle, including her work at Soho Savvy with her 3 best friends, her breakup with the woman she believed to be "the one," and the unexpected individual she finds herself falling for in the wake. Navigating through the tumultuous turns of new love while finding direction in the Big Apple gives Sam a good run for her money.  But as with all wonderful romances, it's more than enjoyable to watch Sam find her rightful place, next to the right person of course, in her busy SoHo life.

As you may have already guessed, I absolutely loved this novel.  Despite a semi-slow start pushing through the first few chapters, I was handsomely rewarded with a beautiful and down-right hilarious tale about two very relatable women looking for love.  Brayden's language is realisitic, as if you're listening to a true conversation being told by your best friends.  Throwing sarcasm and "breaking fourth wall" as it were in paragraphs unrelated to any dialogue, as well as adding tidbits of miscellaneous information specially for the reader only, makes it feel as if Brayden is telling you a story right across the table over a cup of coffee.  The characters are fantastic and true - full of faults that are one may think are stereotypical, but soon evident of being well-thought out and paired with the appropriate character.  While reading, I must admit that I felt as if I went through every emotion possible.  I felt angry when the characters were angry (and for good reason!); I felt the anxiety around their tip-toeing and "enie, meanie, minie" decision making tactics; I laughed, loudly at times, at their stumbles and truly authentic life conundrums; and I cried - and I mean really cried (like how I cried when Dobby died in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows") - at one of the most heartfelt, and heartbreaking, scenes in literature I have ever read.  Brayden was able to pull on every single one of my heartstrings, and I loved every minute of it.  Reading "Just Three Words" and following Sam through her work life and love life; her personal journeys of maturity, self-realization, and new appreciation for those around her; and then watching her and "the unknown soul-mate" see each other in new lights to discover what love is really all about - was easily one of the most fantastic reads I have had in a long time, and one I know will be difficult to beat in 2015.

Bravo, Melissa Brayden - you've done it again!

Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆

"Just Three Words" by Melissa Brayden will be released on April 20, 2015 from Bold Strokes Books.  Click on the links below to pre-order and purchase copies!

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