Laugh: Burnside #2 by Mary Ann Rivers with Excerpt and Giveaway

Today I have a new release from Mary Ann Rivers, Laugh, Book two of her Burnside series.  Please be sure to check out the other tour stops, and while you are here, don’t forget to read the excerpt and enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win $25.00 E-giftcard to Book Retailer of Choice, Loveswept Mug and Tote Gift Pack, or Copy of THE STORY GUY and LIVE from Mary Ann Rivers.

Book Review:

Mary Ann Rivers never ceases to delight, I’ve enjoyed every title that I have read from her pen, and this was no exception.  Using characters that are real, with issues, hang-ups and even their own particularly amusing gaffes in relationships, her stories amuse, entertain and leave you with a smile.

Sam is a beautifully defined character with a boatload of issues: all stemming from his mother’s death when he was a young child.  He’s compensating for that early lack of control with an obsession to have the final say in every outcome: and at a farm – that will be difficult.  Animals tend not to take direction and orders particularly well, and Sam’s discomfiture with that fact, and many others make him enjoyable to watch even as you want him to loosen his grip.

Nina has had a rough patch after the death of her husband, and leaving all that she knew to team up with a friend in a new venture in Ohio.  Her loss-fears are increasing as her friend and business partner has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, but Nina is determined to move forward and do her best to ignore her fears to focus on the what needs doing now.
Effectively presenting the character’s point of view while not stinting on the interactions between them, Sam and Nina develop and grow as the story moves forward. There were also several inclusions that show the couple as they interact individually with other people in their lives, as their own relationship grows and develops, their other relationships do start to show changes as well.

Though not without a few issues in Nina’s often extensive navel gazing, and a few moments where it was necessary to go back and discover who was speaking as Rivers is not a “said Nina” sort of writer, did have me flipping back a couple of times: but in the grand scheme of things these were minor issues only annoying at the moment and forgotten soon after.

You do not have to read the first in this series to enjoy this title (I didn’t), but I cannot help but think if you are a fan of the series you will enjoy this book.  Contemporary romance readers looking for real characters that leave you with a sense of ‘I could see that”, this is the book for you.



Laugh: Burnside #2 by Mary Ann Rivers with Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: Laugh
Author: Mary Ann Rivers
Published by: Loveswept
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 281
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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Mary Ann Rivers continues her Burnside family series—perfect for readers of Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis, and Ruthie Knox—as two people try to share their hearts without losing their cool.

Dr. Sam Burnside is convinced that volunteering at an urban green-space farm in Lakefield, Ohio, is a waste of time—especially with his new health clinic about to open. He only goes to mollify his partner, suspecting she wants him to lighten up. Then Sam catches sight of Nina Paz, a woman who gives off more heat than a scorcher in July. Her easy smile and flirty, sizzling wit has him forgetting his infamous need for control.

Widowed when her husband was killed in Afghanistan, Nina has learned that life exists to take chances. As the daughter of migrant workers turned organic farmers, she’s built an exciting and successful business by valuing new opportunities and working hard to take care of her own. But when Sam pushes for a relationship that goes beyond their hotter-than-fire escapades, Nina ignores her own hard-won wisdom. She isn’t ready for a man who needs saving—even if her heart compels her to take the greatest risk of all: love.

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.


“Just, grab it. Wait, not by the—There you go. Got it!” Nina laughed, and Sam straightened up slowly, gripping the chicken as firmly as he dared.

“I’ve got it.” Sam held out the chicken, feeling oddly tender toward it as its tiny heart beat triple time against his palm.

Nina grinned, her hands on her hips, her shiny braids curling around her breasts, and Sam realized he would do anything to keep that grin on her face. “You sure do. You’ve got that chicken but good.”

“Now what?” The chicken had kind of melted in Sam’s hands, resigned, and its trust had made him feel weirdly affectionate toward it.

He wanted to pet it, smooth back the black-and-white feathers along its back he had ruffled. But he didn’t dare let go of it. Chickens, it turned out, were really fucking hard to catch.

Nina bent over and in one try scooped up a chicken racing by her legs.

“Okay, we bring these ladies over here”—Nina walked over to a drop-down table built out of the chicken coop—“and while you keep one hand around her legs, use the other hand to follow some of her larger feathers down to the base. Kate’s worried her girls have lice, so the easiest thing to look for is a white cluster of lice eggs where the feather inserts into the skin.”

Sam watched Nina hold the chicken away from her face when it flapped after she let its body go. Then the chicken resettled, and Nina showed Sam how she pulled back the feathers and checked. He moved in next to her at the table, and the feel of her bare arm against his made him melt just like the chicken clucking in his hands.

He checked his chicken carefully, relaxed by the objective, methodical nature of the work, not unlike a physical exam.

“You’re a good chicken doctor.” Nina let her chicken go, and moved around Sam to grab another.

He looked at her, at her quick and pretty smile at him before she tended her chicken. She was wearing a white, sort of see-through cotton blouse thing today. It was small. It was driving him crazy. “Maybe I’ll give up people and only take on chicken patients from now on.”

He watched her laugh and let her chicken go, effortlessly grabbing another. His chicken had settled in for the duration, making some kind of cooing noise, and Sam realized he had started to pet it.

“I think she likes you.”

Sam leaned against the table. Looked at Nina, how the outside curl of her eyelashes pointed to the wingtip of her eyebrow. He wanted to rest his mouth against the soft inch of temple they framed. She glanced up from her chicken and met his look; he watched as she recognized it. “Yeah? I think I kind of like her.”

Nina bumped his hip with hers and looked away.

Sam gently set his chicken down by the coop ramp, where it shook out its wings and started pecking the ground. Washing his hands by the outdoor spigot decorated with a soap-on-a-rope redolent with lavender, he had a moment when he felt nothing but the sun on his neck, the cool water sluicing over his forearms.

He leaned back against the table, shaking his hands dry, refusing to analyze why he thought Nina checking a chicken for lice was sexy.

She laughed. “I can see I’m going to get good work out of you today.”

“I provided excellent bedside comfort to my chicken, I’ll have you know.”

Dios, I’m sure you excel at bedside comforts.”

He reached over and traced her eyebrow with his index finger all the way to the spot he wanted to kiss. She kept her eyes on her chicken, but he watched her close them, just for a moment.

She let her chicken go. “Kate’s one of the egg producers I have a commission with.”

“That’s what you said. She’s on vacation?”

“Yes. This week, I look after her ladies and can take the eggs to the café for free. Did I tell you how I met her?”


“Kate was in my grief support group.”

Now Sam closed his eyes, but not in pleasure. When Nina had told him about her husband, tried to make him talk or see something, he wanted to tell her to stop.

Just stop.

That he would never be the right man to talk about any of that with. If she wanted him to fuck her, he was good for that. He would make it good, so good, for them. He would grab her strong, sleek hips and enter her body in rocking thrusts. He would slip his finger over where she was stiff and swollen and press and worry and rub through the slick wet of her until she tightened hard around his cock.

He would brace himself over her and he would run his mouth over her neck and he would work their eager bodies rough and fast and make it so good.

He would give her that.

If she wanted.

“Her husband had been feeling tired, but they thought he was just adjusting to retirement. Turned out he had lymphoma. After working nearly every day of his life, he died sixteen weeks into his retirement. All the plans they made together, for all that time, gone.”

He ground his back teeth.

Closed his eyes.

Her eyes were there waiting for him when he opened his. Her face so serene he wanted to shout at her. Break it into anger or tears. Slam his fist on the table between them. Make her flinch, recoil.

Kiss her.


About Mary Ann Rivers

Mary Ann Rivers has been wearing a groove in her library card since she was old enough for story time. She’s been writing almost as long—her first publication credit was in Highlights magazine. She started writing and reading romance in the fifth grade once she stumbled on the rainbow of romance novel book spines in the library’s fiction stacks.

She was an English and music major and went on to earn her MFA in creative writing, publishing poetry in journals, and leading creative writing workshops for at-risk youth. While training for her day job as a Nurse Practitioner, she rediscovered romance on the bedside tables of her favorite patients.

Mary Ann lives in the Midwest with her handsome professor husband and their imaginative school-aged son. She writes smart and emotional contemporary romance, imagining stories featuring the heroes and heroines just ahead of her in the coffee line.

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