Book Review & Excerpt: Man Card by Sarina Bowen and Tanya Eby

{BOOK REVIEW}
Title: Man Card (Man Hands #2)
Author: @SarinaBowen &  Tanya Eby @Blunder_Woman
Reviewers: @PoisonIvy70 & Grace
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Length: 244 pages
Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis

Nothing ventured, nothing banged…

Ash
I still don’t know how it happened. One minute I was arguing with my arrogant competitor–our usual trash-talk over who deserves the larger commission. But somehow I went from throwing down to kneeling down… 
It can never happen again. I don’t even like Braht. He’s too slick. He’s a manipulating mansplaining party boy in preppy clothes.
So why can’t I get him out of my head? 

Braht
There are two things I know without question. One: Ash and I are destined for each other. Two: never trust a man with a unibrow.
Ash is my missing my piece. She’s the sweet cream to my gourmet espresso. And nothing gets me going faster than her contempt for me. They don’t call her the Ashkicker for nothing. 
Eventually I’ll win her over…if my past doesn’t ruin everything first.

Ivy & Grace’s Review

Grace: With the pantry sexcapade ending in Man Hands, you had to know that Ash and Braht’s story would be next.

Ivy: I was concerned about this because I wasn’t sure how I felt about Braht, and Ash pretty much treated him like poo on her shoe.

Grace: That’s true.

On paper, they are opposites.
Ash is polished and professional. A classic.
Braht is a pastel wearing, manscaped, loafer wearing HR nightmare. Sexual innuendos are his specialty.

Ivy: And with a name like Braht, I’ll admit I wasn’t sure how the hell I could possibly take him seriously. I mean….

But hell if Ms. Bowen and Ms. Eby made me love the Braht! I really wish he’d go by his real name, but I can live with this.

Grace: Girl, you are reading my mind. Interesing little detail on how his name tied to his . . .  bratwurst, that Ash can’t ignore. Speaking of bratwurst . . .

Ash and Braht have a sexual attraction that can’t be denied. The sex is unforgettable, but can Braht convince Ash that they have more than a connection in the sack?

Ivy: Their sex is pretty hot, but it’s the way that Braht absolutely adores Ash that really takes their sex to another level of hotness. I was impressed by the emotional component in this book, because I thought the first book was straight up screwball comedy. This is a very good mix of rom com, with some funny situations with good heartfelt scenes.

Grace: There are several backstories in this book. The first being the battle for real estate. With Braht moving to Ash’s branch in her company, she now faces new competition. What was interesting was how the two changed the game over time. Initially, they tried to outdo each other to win the sale, but with time, they found joining forces wasn’t so bad. And that plays out later in the story.

Ivy: I thought the way Ms. Bowen and Ms. Eby handled the meshing of the romance with their individual journeys was well done. I liked that their work is important to the story and that they have a real solid connection through their dialogue.

Grace: Then there was the second backstory is Ash’s shady ex, Dwight, who nearly destroyed her career. How this all tied to Braht’s past, added some angst to the otherwise light comedy feel of the story.

Ivy: True, though I’ll say that it wasn’t my fave. Not to say that it didn’t work in the story, and I did appreciate that it was a necessary bit of tension, but Dwight is such a dumbass…sigh. I’m torn. I do think he brings something to the story, even if he’s a jackass lol.

Grace: Like the first book, this one is told from alternating POVs, I liked the internal cat and mouse game they played. Ash doesn’t want to like Braht, yet her nipples can’t seem to get on the same page as her brain. She is weak for his bratwurst.

Ivy: I loved that she struggled with him, but the way he kept surprising her and being there for her. I also liked that she didn’t drastically lose her edge to make this work. She was the toughest of all the girlfriends and I can see her being a ballbuster, but I always liked her.

Grace: As for Braht, it is clear he only has eyes and a boner for Ash. Now he just needs to convince her to get on the same page.

“I will hand over my man card and be your minion everywhere you want, except in the bedroom. In here, I want you to surrender, just a little bit, and let me take the lead.”

Ivy: I have to admit, Braht has become my favorite in this series. He is secure in his masculinity, he’s not intimidated by a strong woman, and he’s protective without being a complete tool. He’s not perfect, and he makes mistakes, but ultimately he’s super sexy because of his confidence in himself.

Grace: With this book, we get updates on book 1’s couple, Brynn and Tom, as well as the drama brewing with their friend Sadie (who will get her story in book 3). She is definitely due a good time and I’m looking forward to it.

Ivy: Not sure who Sadie’s guy is going to be but agreed, definitely looking forward to the next book in this series.
And that’s it! If you’re looking for a fun rom-com to start off your year right, try out Man Card 🙂

– Ivy & Grace

*An ARC was received for an honest review.

PURCHASE LINKS
Book 1, Man Hands: Amazon USAmazon UK
Book 2, Man Card: Amazon USAmazon UK

“Name your other favorite movies,” I challenge Braht.

“All of them?” He chugs his margarita.

“Hmm. Top ten? Top five?”

“That’s totally easy,” he says. Somehow I’ve gotten closer to him on the floor. When he sits back, I actually snuggle in beside him. He’s wearing a ridiculously soft shirt that feels good against my skin. And I watch with fascination as he ticks off the names of films on his fingers. “When Harry Met Sally. The Devil Wears Prada. Roman Holiday. Clueless. And Working Girl.”

I burst out laughing. I can’t help it. “Those are all chick flicks. You should just hand over your man card right now.”

“Not a chance.” Braht’s expression grows intense. “In the first place, I gave you a very thorough demonstration of my man card last week. I don’t remember hearing any complaints.”

I swallow hard, because this is certainly true.

“And secondly, you’re looking at this all backward.”

“I…am?” And why can’t I look away? He has the most beautiful, intelligent eyes.

“Yeah, you are,” he whispers. “It’s the guy who has a firm grip on his man card that can hold your purse. He’s not afraid to be seen with that Tory Burch you like to carry—nice color, by the way. He’ll free up your hands because he likes your hands, and he remembers all the terrific things you can use them for.”

“Oh,” I say slowly. Now my fingers itch to reach out for him. I have to make fists with both hands so I won’t do it.

“Furthermore, he’s not afraid to quote Working Girl. Because Joan Cusack is a genius. And who wouldn’t want to say Melanie Griffith’s best line out loud?”

I can’t help saying it with him, and together we sound like the world’s horniest Greek chorus: “I have a head for business and a body for sin.”

Sin sounds pretty good right now, actually. But Braht’s not done with his speech. “Any man who tells you that chick flicks are for pussies can’t be any good in bed. Because that man does not speak the language of women. He doesn’t know that a little luxury can erase a shitty day of worrying about your ex…”

Braht takes my hand in his and begins to massage it. He has a great technique, applying gentle pressure between each joint. I relax just a little bit more against him.

“…That man doesn’t speak the language because he’s afraid of sounding like a girl. But fuck that noise, honey bear. If a man doesn’t have the vocabulary to describe a satin teddy with peekaboo lace and mother-of-pearl snaps at the crotch, he can’t buy it for you and then strategically ask you to wear it. He can’t plan ahead to blow your mind sometime by lifting your skirt somewhere semi-public and dangerous. And he can’t get down on his knees and kiss that lace and then pop open those snaps while you bite your own hand to keep from screaming when you climax.” Braht takes a deep breath and lets it out in one hot gust. “Fuck. What was the point of this speech?”

“Um…” My voice is hoarse, and my face is suddenly very hot. Let’s not even mention my nipples. “Man cards, I think.” But I’m not sure, because everything tingles.

“Right,” he says with a sigh. “Still got mine. Shall we watch Working Girl next?”

“Okay,” I breathe, sinking a little further into his comforting embrace.

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