I stared at the screen for… hours. Okay, it was probably only a few minutes, but long enough for him to notice when I reached for my tablet and the insanely addicting game on it.
“I thought you’ve been looking forward to reading that book.”
“For weeks, right?”
Could he have dug the knife in any deeper? I shrugged. “Yeah—ever since I signed up to read it, actually.”
“So why aren’t you reading?”
I closed the tablet and stared at the screen again, the title taunting me.
“It’s not going to be as good as the first one I read. How do I review a book fairly when it has something that amazing to follow?”
Once again, he proved why I should just talk about stuff when I’d prefer to ignore it. “So pretend you haven’t read the other one. Give this one a fair shot—like you’d want someone to give your next book after the one they think is the best you could ever write.”
Remember those “stick-your-head-in-the-freezer” kisses? Yeah. You’d better buy a commercial walk-in for this one. Just sayin’. Or maybe menopause just finally arrived. Oh, please, Lord Jesus. Let it be that.
Ya know what? The book was charming, though. It was.
Note: Links in this post may be affiliate links that provide me with a small commission at no extra expense to you.
Just What Makes Troublemakers So Crazy Charming, Anyway?
Maybe it was the fact that I just got back from this part of the country—no, really. I just drove through the beautiful hills of Appalachia from Atlanta all the way to Johnson City, Tennessee and back down again. I spent four glorious days in the heart of it all—a tiny, barely-on-any-map place called Buladean.
At my annual retreat. At The Barn. Heaven on earth, I assure you.
But I don’t think so.
I think it’s because somehow Pepper Basham manages to take all the things that make me cringe in books and not even care about them. You know, kisses, and tingles, and warm fuzzies, and those never-ending kisses. Did I mention the kisses? Seriously, Fred Savage didn’t have to put up with anything in The Princess Bride.
No, I’m not exaggerating. Seriously, how many times did I have to swipe the screen to get past kisses that sizzled more than bacon in a cast-iron skillet? Oh, and let me tell you: Rainey can wield one with skills that would totally impress Rapunzel. Just sayin’!
But she did it. The ornery woman did it. I sat there riveted to a screen that only got quick swipes when the spit-swappin’ got a little heavy for these innocent mother-of-nine’s eyes.
She did it with things like characters who steal your heart.
Like little girls who are just too sweet for words—little girls who remind me of a combination of both of my granddaughters. Or how about heroes who are flawed but oh, so willing to brandish a sword anyway? Spunky girls who are just broken enough to make you want to give them every bit of drippy romance they probably need to get past their… well… pasts!
She did it with a supporting cast that makes you feel right at home. Seriously, I am convinced Mama Mitchell is behind the reason that my trek to Denny’s at 2:30 a.m. in our cold wind (my version of the freezer, I assure you) failed. Bug night.
Can’t have food for another hour, so here I sit back at the Lighthouse, writing this review to earn some food. She wanted it done right. I’m sure of it. And she’ll make sure the cook over there gets my BLT right. I’m sure of it. (Note: 3 hours later. Mama Mitchell failed me. She actually did. No avocado. She’s fired. Just sayin’.)
And she did it with lines that made me snicker: Lucky for him she spoke fluent jerk.
Guffaw: She twirled her pen in her hand. “Coffee? Tea? A conscience?”
And even managed to throw in one of my favorite movie lines… a nice little ditty about fitting into pants… and my most hated movie ending line ever. Yeah. Rescues him right back. Seriously? She did that?
And dad burn it, but she made it work.
Okay, not really. But kind of.
And then she tied it all up in one lovely, perfect little one-liner bow: “I suddenly feel ready to fight a novel full of dragons.”
Look, if you hate mush as much as I do, and you really hate skipping over kisses because you can’t stand to read them, this isn’t the book for you. It just isn’t. Then again, I would have to tell you this book isn’t for me. It’s not.
But it so is. Only Pepper Basham can write almost 300 pages of utter mushy drivel and make me glad I read it.
In fact, only Pepper Basham can do that and make me eager to read her next one—mush and all.
But if, after reading this review, she gets the deluded idea that she’ll convert me to utter romantic nonsense… well, she’ll be one very disappointed lady.
However, thanks to great characters and witty dialogue, she’s converted me to hers.
Charming the Troublemaker is on tour with Celebrate Lit!
About the Book
Title: Charming the Troublemaker
Author: Pepper Basham
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 1, 2017
Troublemaking never looked so good…
When Dr. Alex Murdock is demoted to a university in rural Virginia, the last thing he expects to find is a future. But country charm never looks as good as it does on Rainey Mitchell.
Rainey Mitchell doesn’t need a high-class flirt in her wounded world, but trouble and temptations wafts off the new professor as strong as his sandalwood-scented cologne.
When circumstances thrust them together to save her tutoring clinic, can the troublemaker find the hero inside and encourage the reticent Rainey to open her heart again.
You can buy the book HERE.
About the Author
Guest Post from Pepper Basham
I have a thing for underdogs.
Lots souls who desperately need to find where they belong.
I can’t help it! Call it a ‘fix-it’ mentality or an awareness that God rescued me and now I want to rescue other people…even fictional characters, but I’m definitely a softy for those characters that people are less likely to root for. Catherine from The Thorn Bearer/Keeper became my first rescue…and I just HAD to find another.
I guess that’s how Charming the Troublemaker came into existence.
Dr. Alex Murdock desperately needed to be rescued.
In a bad way.
If you’ve had a chance to read my first book in the Mitchell’s Crossroads series, A Twist of Faith, you’ll know that Alex doesn’t seem to be made up of much hero material. He’s a flirt, a little arrogant, and…well, kind of like a lost puppy.
As book 1 grew and came to a close, I knew Alex and Rainey’s story would be next…but I immediately ran into a real problem.
Who in the world was Alex Murdock? We really didn’t get to know him very much in book 1. He zoomed in a few times, ruffling feathers and then finally showing off some interesting kindness/compassion in the end, but…he was still a big-time flirt.
So the question emerged: Can a flirt be a hero?
What is Alex hiding behind that ready smile and sense of humor? Why does he seem so lost?
The answers were surprising!! Just wait.
The Mitchell family draw him right in, as they did with Dee, and his world is forever changed.
And then there’s Rainey. Strong-willed and independent, she is deeply wounded by her ex-husband’s betrayal. Though she gives off all these ‘confident’ vibes, she hides her insecurities behind a tough exterior in a desire to keep people at a distance – well, everyone except her family.
Alex rocks her world with his ready charm.
And she sees beyond the plastic grin to recognize another wounded soul.
Throwing them together into a book has been a hilarious and heart-stirring adventure, I wasn’t prepared to encounter. They’re so much fun!
AND…he’s ADORKABLE!! Seriously!! He is SUCH a dork, but makes me grin. And…he looks like Armie Hammer ?
Let me just give you a hint to some of my favorite scenes:
Anything with Sarah!
All of the scenes in Rainey’s house
And those in Mama Mitchell’s
Okay, I like the WHOLE STORY…and I can’t wait to see what you think too.
By The Book, November 14
Just the Write Escape, November 14
Avid Reader Book Reviews, November 15
Reading Is My SuperPower, November 15
Moments Dipped in Ink, November 15
Fiction Aficionado, November 16
autism mom, November 16
Fiction, Faith, and Fun, November 17
Inklings and Notions, November 17
Faithfully Bookish, November 18
Radiant Light, November 18
Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 19
The Power of Words, November 19
Cordially Barbara, November 20
Red Headed Book Lady, November 20
Smiling Book Reviews, November 20
Kat’s Corner Books, November 21
A Greater Yes, November 21
100 Pages per Hour, November 22
Splashes of Joy, November 22
Carpe Diem, November 23
Bookworm Mama, November 23
A Baker’s Perspective, November 24
Daysong Reflections, November 25
Rachel Scott McDaniel, November 25
Remembrancy, November 26
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, November 27
Karen Sue Hadley, November 27
To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away a grand prize of a paper copy of A Twist of Faith, a mug from the Blue Ridge Parkway, one driftwood scented candle, one mango scented candle, and a Troublemaker snickers ? highly appropriate. Chocolate with a nutty personality :)!!
Learn More at Celebrate Lit.com
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c1f1