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A Mess of A Man Paperback – March 13, 2016
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“Sometimes, love isn’t enough.”
After reading Cruel and Beautiful by these two authors I fell in love with the way that these two write together and I was itching for this book. Although A Mess of a Man can be read as a standalone I do recommend you read Cruel and Beautiful first so that you can get an idea of the man that Ben Rhoades really is because the man in this book is quite frankly…a mess. While Cruel and Beautiful is not Ben’s story he does feature and you will get a greater understanding as to why Ben is the way he is for the majority of this book.
Ben Rhoades is going through the five stages of grief, except he hasn’t really moved on from stage one. Although it has been over a year Ben cannot move on from losing his best friend, a best friend he has had since child hood, he still goes to call him when he needs advice, he still talks to thin air in the vague hope that his best friend can hear and give him the impartial advice that he was renowned for, he feels him all around, yet he isn’t and Ben just isn’t coping very well.
His grief manifests itself in an intense work load and a manwhore type attitude. He daren’t get close to anyone just in case. He’s a heart breaker but he goes into liaisons letting the women know exactly what they are getting…nothing…just his dick. He is extremely closed off, extremely lost and flailing from day to day just trying to get through without losing his mind and trying his hardest to prove his self-worth to his Dad. His grief is deep and debilitating, as far as he is concerned there is no end in sight, he just desperately misses his best friend. As another “relationship” hits the skids because of their insensitivity towards his grief the last thing that is on his mind is another…but he hadn’t met Samantha…yet!
“He plows through women like a John Deere tractor.”
Samantha was beautiful on the inside and out, she is a hard worker, has her own business and is finding her way in the corporate world as an event planner and she is damn good at it. A random meet in the produce isle of the grocery store has Ben and Samantha crossing paths and while I would call this a bit of insta-lust, these authors make you wait for the real deal. Samantha is unlucky in love and the broken and damaged Ben Rhoades is probably the last thing she needs but there is something about him that has her coming back for more and more.
Trust is the biggest issue between these two and they are making each other earn it, which is no bad thing but sometimes being upfront about certain things is the safest option, even if you think the end result could hurt. These two have a lot of ups and downs and yes I am being vague but you need to experience their journey first hand. It is hard, it is heart-breaking at times but most of all you feel that these two need each other. These two were so well suited, Samantha is compassionate and Ben has finally found his soul mate, someone that understands him, settles and centres him and most of all loves him. He has a hard transition, he makes his mistakes, but he makes up for them.
“I love you so much that your happiness means the world to me, even if I’m not the one giving it to you.”
This is a book about grief and compassion, about finally “adulting,” a voyage of self-discovery and recognising and facing your demons head on. A story about loving wholly and completely and recognising it for the blessing that it truly is. A story about sacrifices for those you love and putting yourself second and being their through thick and thin. But most of all about a friendship that meant the world and even though they may be around in body they will always be there in spirit, ever present with their words of wisdom.
“My heartbeat slows and echoes from the other side of the chasm created between us when she unknowingly ripped my heart out of my chest and left with it.”
While this was a slow starter for me by the end I was totally invested. Another great read from these two authors.
“You make me less of a mess of a man.”
Sam Calhoun has had more than her fair share of disappointments when it comes to men. She's not sure what she's missing, but she can't seem to find the right guy to treat her the way she deserves. I really liked Sam, she didn't play games or be anyone but herself. She's independent, self-motivated and compassionate. Ben meets her and can't get her out of his head.
The real test comes when Ben and Sam get to know each other and have to decide if they want to just be casual or something more serious because Ben doesn't do serious and Sam doesn't do casual. Not to mention that Ben's past as womanizer keeps coming back at him and Sam has to follow up on a concerning personal issue that could drive Ben away. The relationship development was well paced and natural. For as annoying as Ben was, he did make up for it eventually where I warmed up to him. I really empathized with Sam's dilemma and what she went through, because that's a difficult situation to be in and she had to prioritize herself first. Interesting story overall, a few of the secondary characters felt overly exaggerated. However, there's a meaningful underlying message.
Can I also say that I love a story that involves close friends & strong families. Not to give anything away but when one of those characters punched Ben I almost spit out my lunch!
I hope we get Jenna's story next.
She deserves to be swept off her feet too. 💜😃😘
Buy the book. You won't be sorry.