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#Book Review #Vanessa Jared’s Got a Man by LaQuette #Romance #Small Town #Second Chance @St.Martin’s Griffin

From the blurb:

A debut sexy romantic comedy about a woman getting her groove back and getting a second chance at love.Vanessa Jared, a 40-something divorcee, decided that the best way to pull herself out of their post-divorce slump was to form The Savvy, Sexy, Singles Club and start the “Do Me” portion of her and her friends’ lives.

But on the two year anniversary, a sexy sheriff shows up on Vanessa’s doorstep wanting her to help him keep his little sister from marrying her no-good ex. Vanessa is not down for this at all. She wants nothing to do with her ex…until she spots a photo of her ex’s new fiancee wearing her grandmother’s ring–which he clearly stole from her. So now it is on. Vanessa is ready to take this trifling (fill-in-the-blank) down. What she does not expect is to fall in love along the way.

Publisher: St.Martin’s Griffin
Publication date: September 20th, 2022
ISBN 9781250773395, 1250773393

272 pages
Purchase Link

My thoughts:
Can we just admire this hot and sexy and sensual cover for a moment? gorgeous!!!

Two years after her divorce, Vanessa Jared is still trying to find her feet and her purpose in this new life without her manipulative and abusive husband Karl. Luckily for her, she’s made two fantastic friends Cree and Janae, both of whom were attending the same Post-Divorce Support Group, and founded their own fabulous Savvy, Sexy, Singles Club. Vanessa is approached by the Sheriff of the small town of Monroe Hills, where incidentally both of her friends live. Michael Park’s much younger sister Cindy has just got engaged, but Michael’s intuition told him the man is not to be trusted, so he did a little investigation and decided that a little help and a friendly talk from this so called widower Karl Scott’s ex-wife might be exactly what is needed. Reluctant as she is to intervene and break another woman’s heart with the sad truth, Vanessa finally agrees and it isn’t just about getting back her grandmother’s engagement ring stolen by her good-for-nothing ex, it is about doing the right thing. Little does she know that this trip is going to change her life…

I was immediately drawn in the story and my heart went to the protagonist. Vanessa reminded me so much of one of my friends with all the turmoil and emotional pain of her divorce and how difficult it was for her to re-build her confidence and start her new life. LaQuette shows life as it is from the courage it takes to file a divorce and walk away from an abusive partner to how hard it is to start trusting people, how even a simple comment can rub you wrong way because you don’t want to be patronised or taken advantage of. We also see other aspects of divorce through the secondary characters and their challenges. My admiration for creating realistic, relatable characters in an age group which doesn’t get enough representation in romance and not shying away from portraying real life problems.

While Vanessa is rediscovering her independence and what it means to take care of yourself so that you can love and take care of others, Michael is also doing his own balancing act of being a strong, protective older brother without either spoiling his little sister or never letting her spread her own wings. There’s also wonderful cast of supporting characters- fully developed and well-differentiated with their own unique voices that add more humour and genuine emotion to the overall story.

The chemistry between the protagonists- oh my gosh! Normally I don’t go for anything insta, including instalust, but here there’s all this immediate powerful attraction Vanessa and Michael feel for each other, all this tension that keeps building up. When they do act on it, it feels natural and it’s hot, hot, hot, it’s like fireworks going off on a New Year’s Eve. Once again, I am so happy to see the author showing that asking for and expressing consent is crucial.

LaQuette’s writing is engaging and I could almost hear my friends talking and teasing each other on a night out. With all that, there is a certain gravitas- she knows that the issues she’s raising are important and have to be dealt with in a sensitive way.

All I can say, I can’t wait to come back to Monroe Hills for more hot and sizzling romance!

Thank you to NetGalley and St.Martin’s Griffin for the review copy, provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

About the author:

2021 Vivian Award finalist and DEIA activist in the romance industry, LaQuette writes sexy, stylish, and sensational romance. She crafts dramatic, emotionally epic tales that are deeply pigmented by reality’s paintbrush. This Brooklyn native’s novels are a unique mix of savvy, sarcastic, brazen, and unapologetically sexy characters who are confident in their right to appear on the page.


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