The Best She Ever Had, A Gibbons Gold Digger Novel by Shelly Ellis with Excerpt and Giveaway

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Book Review:

Romance is sweeter the second time around, especially when the mercenary heroine finally realizes what is important in life, and grows up a bit, at 40. 

I’ve read a few of these stories, Shelly Ellis builds amazing characters that are sure to make you love or hate them equally. This storyline is further laden with conflict as all of the sisters have been raised with an eye to the ‘bottom line’, not the character or kindness of the men they target.  While I won’t moralize on the wrongness of that trait, I will say that making me enjoy a book despite that major deficit as I enter the story is a testament to the writing.

Cynthia is a 40 something divorced woman, with a 19 year old daughter.  Time is coming for her to find her next meal ticket, and goes to some fairly outlandish steps to set up her conquest. But, it all goes horribly wrong when her first real love from high school reappears in her life, seemingly still inappropriate for her ‘black card’ dreams.

Korey is also divorced with a 19 year old son, but he’s worked hard to get what he has: a chain of successful auto repair shops, but he still prefers simple and honest to Cynthia’s snobby ways. He’s never been able to get her out of his head though, and these two have TONS of baggage and bad feelings to get past.  And they have to get past them quickly – since their kids have eloped to Vegas to marry, against everyone’s wishes.

What Ellis does with great style is bring us into their history and present, as they battle and make up – with Cynthia’s dramatic overreactions and Korey’s doing his best to NOT lose his temper.  Their relationship from anger and avoidance to speaking terms, and more.

We also get a chance to check in on the sisters: Stephanie, Lauren and Dawn and see what a bit of maturity and ignoring the “gold digger rules’ has actually done for their own lives.  Full of little and not so little dramas, tension, heart and above all, growth for Cynthia that surpassed even what I could think possible, this story was a winner.

The Best She Ever Had, A Gibbons Gold Digger Novel by Shelly Ellis with Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: The Best She Ever Had
Author: Shelly Ellis
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Dafina
Published on: 30 December, 2014
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 366
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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One by one, the infamous Gibbons sisters of Chesterton, Virginia, are giving up their gold digging ways--except the eldest, who's holding out for her seven figure man. But her heart may have less expensive tastes. . .

Thanks to her cold-hearted ways with men, Cynthia Gibbons doesn't blame the folks in town for calling her the "Ice Queen." They don't know the secret she's kept for twenty years--that she once fell crazy in love with a guy who had no money, a guy who broke her heart in the worst possible way. But now Korey Walker is back in town, and Cynthia isn't sure how much longer she can keep the biggest secret of all--that she still loves him.

With a divorce behind him, and his new auto repair shop thriving, Korey is looking to the future--until he sets eyes on Cynthia and the past comes roaring back. Even now, Korey doesn't understand Cynthia's hostility--after all, she's the one who broke his heart. He decides to ignore her--until he discovers that his teenage son has fallen for Cynthia's daughter. Determined to stop history from repeating itself, Korey and Cynthia will have to band together. But will keeping their kids apart bring them closer--or destroy their lives for good?

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Tasty Excerpt

“Looks like my friend’s here,” Derrick said.

Cynthia turned to follow his gaze. She spotted a tow truck gliding toward them with its engine chugging loudly, drowning out the other roadway noise.

The truck was haloed by the afternoon sun. Cynthia raised her hand to her brow to block out the blinding light. She squinted. When she recognized the man in the driver’s seat, her bright smile faded. Her mouth fell open, aghast.

That’s your friend?” she squeaked.

“Yeah, that’s Korey.” Derrick noticed the change in her facial expression. “Why? What’s wrong?”

Cynthia glanced nervously at Derrick as the truck came to a stop not far from where they stood. Her pulse started to race. Her throat went dry. Sweat instantly formed on her brow and underneath her arms. She felt cornered, like a bank robber who had flubbed a getaway after a robbery, had hit a dead end, and now saw red and white flashing lights swirling behind her.

“Are you okay?” Derrick asked, touching her shoulder. “You look flushed.”

“I’m fine,” she lied, clearing her throat. She shrugged off his hand. “I’m fine . . . really. I’m just a little h-hot . . . th-that’s all.”

Derrick stared at her warily.

The driver of the tow truck killed the engine and threw open his car door. Cynthia fought the urge to bolt. Her car wasn’t that far away. She could make it before he even reached them. Instead, she forced herself to stay put and watched as he climbed out of the truck and stepped onto the asphalt. After slamming the door shut, he casually strolled toward them.

God, he hasn’t changed! Even after all these years, Cynthia thought.

Korey Walker still looked the same way he had looked almost twenty years ago when they were in high school together, except now he had a few sprinkles of gray hair on his head and in the beard stubble on his russet-brown cheeks. But he was still tall, still muscular, and still handsome as the devil, which was one reason why she had avoided going anywhere near his auto body and repair shop in Chesterton since he had opened it a little more than a year ago.

Back when they were younger, Korey had been the kryptonite to her Superman, and she had been powerless under his spell. Though decades had passed since those days, Cynthia feared she would be powerless again if she got near him—and she didn’t need the confusion he could bring to her life. Korey was not the right man for her now, just as he hadn’t been the right man for her back then. But there was no avoiding him today.

“Thanks for coming, man,” Derrick said, stepping forward. He and Korey embraced, then shook hands and slapped one another’s backs.

They were quite the contrast: Derrick in his chic, immaculate suit, and Korey in his oil- and greased-stained navy blue shirt and pants, with grime on his hands and dirt under his nails. But even in his shoddy attire, Korey was by far the sexier of the two.

Hands down, she thought.



About Shelly Ellis

As long as she could remember, Shelly Ellis (who also writes under the name, L.S. Childers) has wanted to be a writer. In college, she studied journalism and started out as a crime reporter for a small local newspaper. Now she is an editor at a trade journal in Virginia.

She is married and lives in Prince George’s County, Maryland with her husband, their daughter, and their tabbie cat, Barty. She loves to paint, read, and watch movies.

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