Title: A Sure Thing by Marie Harte
The Donnigans Series Book One
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: C+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Meet the Donnigans
With the eldest Donnigan brothers adjusting to civilian life, their younger sister constantly in trouble, and their little brother clueless about life in general, falling in love is the last thing on anyone’s mind…
Can this Bossy Badass Marine…
The Marine Corps was everything Landon Donnigan ever wanted in life…until a bullet sent him home with a medical discharge. Teaching a self-defense class at the gym is old-hat for a marine, but when he meets sexy Ava Rosenthal, his combat skills are useless for protecting his heart.
Be her Mr. Right?
Ava can take care of herself and likes quiet, bookish men-not muscular warriors who think women need to be coddled. But Landon is more than he seems, and when they come together, the results are explosive.
A Sure Thing is the sexy, humor-filled first installment in Marie Harte’s new series, The Donnigans. Longtime fans will recognize a few familiar faces from the Body Shop Bad Boys and The McCauley Brothers series but new readers might find the guest appearances and mentions of these characters a little confusing. However, this should not lessen the enjoyment of the novel.
Now clinical psychologist Ava Rosenthal is established in her career, she is ready to move on to the next phase of her life. Armed with a list of what she is looking for in a man, she is giving internet dating a whirl in hopes of finding her Mr. Right. Focusing on physical characteristics such as a slender build and small stature and desiring someone who is her intellectual equal, Ava has been on a series of dismal dates that leaves her fearing she’ll never find the “right” man. When she meets brawny, muscular Landon Donnigan at her local gym, she is stunned by her intense attraction to a man who is nowhere near the type of man she is looking for. Even more surprising is how easily Ava capitulates to Landon’s efforts to convince her to go out with him. Will this seemingly mismatched couple live happily ever after?
Ava is quite analytical so she tends to over think most everything. She comes across as a little standoffish, closed off and emotionally distant due to her need keep her personal and professional lives separate. This carries over into her personal life which makes Ava a difficult character to get to know. She is close to her cousins and their interactions are pretty funny but it always feels like she is analyzing them instead of just enjoying their company. She also feels somewhat superficial since it is difficult to really know what makes her tick and her checklist for finding a man seems a little cold. Ready to settle down, Ava has absolutely no plan to deviate from her five year plan or her list of qualifications in a man, so Landon has his work cut out for him convincing her to go out with him.
Landon is a former Marine who is close to his family and loves to be in charge. His dedication to his siblings is endearing and he does not sugarcoat the truth when he thinks his brothers and sister need a (figurative) kick in the pants. Landon has had trouble adjusting to civilian life but for the most part, he is satisfied with his career change. While he has no interest in a serious relationship, he has been casually involved with a few women since returning to Seattle. Landon falls in lust at first sight when he spots Ava working out at the gym, but she refuses his invitation to go out with him. Running into her while she is on a date with another man, Landon manages to charm her into changing her mind. But can he convince her to continue dating him despite her reservations?
The relationship between Ava and Landon begins as insta-lust and their inner thoughts about each other pretty much revolve around sexing it up. There is plenty of sexual tension between them and once they give in to their passion, their sex scenes are raunchy with plenty of filthy talking and a dominant submissive vibe since Landon is a take charge kinda guy and this extends to the bedroom as well. Since most of the focus is on their intense attraction to each other, there does not seem to be much of an emotional connection between them. Their dates are filled with flirting and sexual innuendo so their relationship feels superficial since they never really have any type of in depth conversations. Ava and Landon do spend time with each other’s families so they do see one another interact in a personal setting, but these interactions do not yield any new information. These family get togethers are funny with plenty of banter but they tend to detract from the romance between Ava and Landon.
A Sure Thing is a light-hearted, sizzling hot first installment in The Donnigans series. Landon and Ava are a combustible couple and the glimpses of Landon’s siblings will definitely pique readers’ interest. It will be interesting to see what Marie Harte has planned for them and fans will be eager to read their stories.