Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Sharing is Caring - Books: "Ready or Not" by Melissa Brayden

Note: This ARC was provided by NetGalley & Bold Strokes Books in exchange for an honest review.
To purchase this novel, please see links at the bottom of the review.
To view the entire review with the spoilers included, please visit GoodReads.

Okay, first off - we should all know by now that anything Melissa Brayden writes is pure gold.  This is fact, not opinion. Glad we got that out of the way.  

Now on to the review:

OH MY GOODNESS!!  This is such a bittersweet review to leave as I am SOO sad to see the Soho Savvy series come to an end! (Okay, fangirling tendencies will cease now) But, despite that feeling, Melissa Brayden has done it yet again and gone out with a bang with her final novel in the trilogy, Ready or Not.  After watching her three best friends find love, Soho Savvy leader Mallory Spencer is beginning to feel like the fifth wheel.  In walks Hope Sanders, "hot bartender" and owner of the Savvy ladies' favorite chill spot, Showplace.  Pursuing Mallory until she finally caves after a bet is won, Hope and Mallory begin a relationship that blossoms into the unexpected for both women.  While her friends watch the relationship pan out from the sidelines (with copious amounts of encouragement no less), Mallory and Hope tentatively step out of their comfort zones to pursue it to the utmost extent.

Aside from the obvious, let me explain what I loved about this novel.  I'll be upfront and honest in saying that Mallory hasn't exactly been my favorite character amongst the Savvy novels, or the women involved for that matter.  Truth be told, my absolute favorite character in the entire series is Jessica Lennox, Brooklyn's love interest and eventual girlfriend. <spoiler removed> However, that does not mean that I wasn't extremely happy with this story and the conclusion of the Savvy series.  Mallory's story was just as important as the rest of them, and the novel exuded the same charm, character development, wonderful dialogue, and quirky backdrop that graced the rest of the series. I enjoyed learning more about Mallory as I had the other Savvy ladies, as well as learning her faults.  And Hope was a fantastic character - all tough and hardy when first examined, but eventually seen as a softie with a big heart that was her true form.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially seeing as it lived up to my, admittedly, high expectations when going in to the novel.  Ms. Brayden has ended the series on such a high note, that I could only hope to see other series of similar caliber like this one from her in the future.  In truth, I loved how the romance build-up between Mallory and Hope wasn't the ONLY plot line to the novel.  Though I understand it was the primary one, it was nice to see other events play out in the background, but yet not out of the spotlight.  <spoiler removed > However, witnessing Mallory and Hope's relationship unfold over "mundane" things such as lobster rolls and business suits was still unique and beautiful in it's own, and in such a way that I have come to realize only Melissa Brayden can convey.

I'm sorry, but I do have to take a moment here to gush about Melissa Brayden for a second.  If you haven't read any of her novels, and somehow this one is the one that caught your eye - don't hesitate.  Read it.  I do think it is important to read ALL of the Soho Savvy novels, but Ms. Brayden makes it entirely possible to read them out of order if you feel the need.  However, if you're considering reading all of Brayden's novels - I couldn't recommend it more.  Take the time out of your life and really sit down with her books. Melissa Brayden is an author that can truly capture your soul with her words.  It genuinely feels as if you're listening to one of your best and closest friends tell you the story of her life when you read her works.  Her dialogue is funny and light, yet still important and essential to the story plot.  The women she writes about are unique, personable, completely relatable, and entirely crush-worthy in so many ways for any "type".  Her character development, her real-life situations, even the pets she writes about to some of her characters! - everything is spot on. There is no question that Ms. Brayden really deep-dives the novels she writes, spending the time necessary (plus some) to get it right.  Not just for her as an author, but for her readers as well. Melissa Brayden has quickly become my favorite author of this genre, and has even inched up to one of my favorite authors of all-time, sharing with other top contenders such as Jane Austen, J.K. Rowling, and Louisa May Alcott.

Bottom line: the book is fantastic.  And honestly, was there ever really any doubt that it wouldn't be? ;)

Rating: ⋆⋆⋆

You can purchase this novel on November 16, 2015 (Bold Strokes Books has made the novel available early!! Pick it up TODAY!) from Amazon and Bold Strokes Books.

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