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Just the Way You Are by Beverly Barton with Excerpt and Giveaway

Welcome to my stop for this new contemporary romance Just the Way You Are by Beverly Barton. Please be sure to check out the other tour stops, and don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win one of 3 (Three) Paperback copies of JUST THE WAY YOU ARE by Beverly Barton.

Book Review:

I’m honestly torn with this story from Beverly Barton. I hadn’t read any of her earlier titles, so I’m coming at this as a total newcomer to her work.  What I discovered was a promising (if for me, slightly squidgy) start that quickly devolved into lost threads, character misses and dialogue that bordered on incomprehensible, if not stereotypical for poking fun at the south.  I do have to say that my DH is Mississippi born and bred, and is nothing like the misguided and ill-spoken characters that we encounter in this story, and my engagement and enjoyment of this story suffered greatly from that.

And then there is Mary Beth. OK – so your fiancé is cheating – but you run off to another man right away? Tit for tat much? That’s a childish reaction and her first instinct is to lash out – perhaps remotely acceptable.  But then Parr, her fiancé’s brother has NO CLUE who she is? And can’t see his brother for the piece of work he is? Yeah, still didn’t fit.

The connections to me were more hormones than emotional, and the back and forth that Mary Beth was experiencing only showed how unprepared for marriage or a steady relationship she really was.  Sad, but you can’t test the waters with serial ‘love’ like you can test drive a car.

There were so many misses in this story after the midpoint that it felt like a rough first draft from a novice author. If you enjoy a convoluted plotline that will just allow you to go along for the ride, this is the perfect lightweight entrant into that pile.

Just the Way You Are by Beverly Barton with Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: Just the Way You Are
Author: Beverly Barton
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Zebra
ISBN: 1420135589
Published on: 3 February, 2015
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 352
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 38 minutes
Rated: two-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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About the Book:

The South sizzles in New York Times bestselling author Beverly Barton’s sultry tale of a woman torn between two brothers…

Mary Beth Caine has always been the good girl in her small Mississippi town. But when a big, protective, shamelessly sexy stranger offers to console her on the night of her disastrous engagement party, Mary Beth lets him—only to discover that Parr Weston also happens to be the older brother of her fiancé, Bobby Joe.

Parr left Mississippi after years spent holding his family together. Now that he’s back, he can’t steal Bobby Joe’s woman, and he sure can’t offer Mary Beth the tidy happily-ever-after she deserves. But everything about the petite beauty—from her flame-gold hair to her artless sensuality—makes him crave her more. Love or lust, right or wrong, all he knows is that nothing has ever felt like this before, and walking away will be the hardest thing he’s ever had to do…

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

 

“A silver dollar for your thoughts,” Parr couldn’t resist whispering in her ear.

She jumped a little. The sound of his voice seemed to snap her back to reality. From where he’d been standing, buttonholed by his long-winded pal, she’d looked like she was a million miles away.

“I didn’t know thoughts were going for such a high price these days.”

“I’d pay more than that for yours, Strawberry.”

Her cheeks pinked slightly. “Is that my new name?”

“Until you tell me your real one, yes.” She seemed to like the sound of it. As far as he was concerned, it was definitely an endearment.

“Why?”

His huge hand lifted hesitantly to touch her hair. “This, for one thing. Beautiful. Never saw anything like it. If you don’t mind a mixed metaphor, it glows like strawberry blond fire.”

“Oh. No. Mix away. I don’t mind.”

“And I know it’s natural.”

She nodded. “My mother’s hair was the same color. She had all-over freckles to match. I only have them here.” She pointed to each shoulder.

The innocent gesture got to him, big time. His black eyes caressed those creamy, sun-kissed shoulders while his hand moved ever so slowly over the red gold curls to the bare beauty of her neck.

He stopped.

They were still in a public place, for all that the boisterous lounge crowd paid no attention to them. An unseen someone who controlled a light board picked her out of the crowd with a traveling spot. Inside the glowing circle, she was luminous for several unforgettable seconds. Parr was riveted.

The spotlight moved on.

He longed to trace her collarbone, then delve downward to the cleft between her breasts where they swelled above the strapless gown. Just to vary the fantasy, he imagined stroking upward to her shoulders with utmost gentleness. Like stroking a soft little cat until it purred with pleasure.

She sighed.

“I love the freckles too.” He wanted to kiss the copper-colored sprinkles, tease each and every one with his tongue. They were beautiful. Like all of her.

“Blatant flattery. But keep talking.”

Without hesitation he replied truthfully. “I’m not good at making pretty speeches. When I look at you, I say what I feel.”

“Oh.” Looking at him took her breath away. Unless it was the stuffy atmosphere of the crowded space that was doing that. But she knew it was him. The depth of emotion on his harshly handsome face rendered her pretty much speechless.

“I want us to get to know each other,” he said. “I want tonight to be only the beginning.”

Big, bold, romantic words. Sometimes you had to take a chance. She trembled just a little when he rested his hand on her shoulder. God, how he wanted to do more.

He wanted to kiss her but he couldn’t. Not here. Something very special was happening, though, and he wasn’t going to let her go until he was sure they could find each other again. If she wanted to. That was far from a sure thing.

“Yes. I mean no. Sooner or later, I have to go back to my”—she cleared her throat—“my fiancé. He has no idea where I am.”

“He doesn’t deserve to know.”

Mary Beth pressed her lips together for a few seconds. “I know he must be worried.” She didn’t want

to face the two-timing rat, but she knew she had no choice.

“Do you really have to? Tonight?”

“Yes, I’m afraid so. He probably has his whole family and my dad running around looking for me.”

Parr absorbed the information. If that was so, her father must have worked up quite a head of steam.

The man had to be outraged by what had happened to his daughter.

“So go tell your dad that you found a better man and you’re going to run away with him tonight,” Parr said jokingly. In his heart he meant every word.

 “Of course. Why didn’t I think of that?” She studied him, trying to suppress a wry smile. “Sounds like a plan.”

“With all due respect, you need one.”

“And if we ran away, which is the last thing I would do, because I’m not that crazy, what would happen?”

“Anything you wanted,” he said bluntly. “I’d make it unforgettable. You’d never have to tell anyone. Just one night. You and me.”

She looked into his eyes. Whatever she saw there was something she desired.

“I probably shouldn’t say this, but the idea is tempting.”

The urge to kiss her consumed him. He reached out to get her on her feet. Moving toward him. Her first, tentative step made his heart race with joy.

As if in a trance, she followed him outside into the shadowy moonlight of the patio.

Someone in the lounge closed the heavy glass doors in back of them and the loud music and din of voices were shut off as if by magic.

She led the way down a narrow path just wide enough for the two of them and turned to face him in the enfolding darkness. His arm stretched across her back and his large hands began to move caressingly up and down. He looked down at her beautiful face.

“Are you sure this is something you want?” He tried to control himself. He knew this was a woman who could not be rushed.

“Yes,” she replied honestly. For some reason, she seemed to trust him completely. Silently and passionately, Parr vowed never to take advantage of that trust.

“I want to kiss you.”

 “Then do it.”

The soft command made him smile as he lowered his head and claimed her lips in a tender kiss. After several seconds they both abandoned any pretense of caution. She moaned deep in her throat as she swayed against him when his tongue explored the silky wetness of her sweet mouth. His hold tightened as her pale, slender arms encircled his neck.

“You taste so good,” he murmured, savoring her, pulling her more closely to him.

“Don’t talk.” Her supple body was yielding and pliant but she was still giving the orders. Parr was secretly delighted. Whatever she desired, however she had to have it, he was ready to give.

“You want more, don’t you?” His tongue feathered a line across her pretty chin. “So do I. Much more.”

And then his mouth was on hers again, hard, hot, and demanding. His tongue pushed its way between her lips, thrusting with a need so great they were both shaken by the intensity. Expertly, he explored, retreated, plunged, and conquered as she clung to him, her entire body alive with carnal vibrations.

She was woman. He was man. It was as simple and as complicated as that.

 

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About Beverly Barton

Beverly Barton was an award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of more than fifty novels, including Silent Killer, Cold Hearted, The Murder Game and Close Enough To Kill.

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