Book Review – Maybe This Time by Chantal Fernando

by Maryse on October 16, 2013 · 14 comments

in My Book Reviews

Maybe This Time
Apparently I’m on an MMA cage-fighting kick right now and I can’t help myself but jump on every single one that I find out about. I’ve already read two this week, with another one lined up… let alone the others that I’ve read over the last month. Oh and, let’s not even mention the ones I’ve been stockpiling in my iPad. No worries. I’m sure you’ll be hearing about them, soon. ;)

So this is a brand new release (in that genre), and in theory, has everything I look for in my guilty pleasures. Mega alpha-male that has a bad attitude, even to the girl (not so much cocky, just broody, angry and no-nonsense). The one that everyone says “don’t even bother with him. He hates everyone”. And then, out of the blue, he does (or says) something soooooo sweet and swoon-worthy. Ahhhh yes. That’s a quick way to my heart right there. ;) Trick it and make it think it hates you (or that you hate it) and then surprise it with sweetness. Er, wait. That’s not cool at all. LOL! Recipe for disaster, actually.

But in books for some reason, this always seems to work for me. ‘Cause wow, right? She must be something for a guy like that to break all of his own rules. And I dunno, it’s fun exploring that avenue. The one that can mend his broken-ness. Yep…I’m sure therapists everywhere are having a field day with this topic. LOL! Too bad for them. I’m readin’ ‘em!

So anyway, in theory, I said, right? Yep. ‘Cause I’m having a liked/no-so-liked relationship with this book. It managed to keep me reading with gusto, and yet all the while, in the back of my head, I kept thinking to myself… ugh!! Tooooo fast!! Too much unnecessary drama. Does a guy like him even talk like that? To… Ooooh wait… nice and growly…what he just said there was perfectly “him” for that part.

Being flung around back and forth from good, solid, true-to-character reactions to more “uncharacteristic” moments.

We went from feeling like this guy had NO true interest in her (he was outwardly hostile and distant), to an almost immediate intense pursuit and claiming of her. While I’m good with that direction, I needed the space in between so that I could have believed his sudden change of heart, grown with it and pined for it. Of course there were a precious few “building-up” sweet scenes along the way, but much too fast in the grand scheme of them (for me). Maybe in their world (their “timeline”) it wasn’t so sudden, but reading-wise, it was pretty much… immediate. Stuff like that kept me distracted. Like I was watching a movie in fast-forward, only stopping at the “bigger” scenes.

And yet, stuff like THIS is what kept me reading —> example: a super-sweet moment where he had a need to sneak into her room and snuggle with her as she slept after one of his cage fights. Yep, stuff like that (those little touches and that kind of build-up detail) gets me every time. I love that secret look into a “bad-ass’s” vulnerability.

So what’s it about?

Summer’s mom just died and she moves to another state? City ? (I can’t remember, in fact I even somehow missed that she moved because her mother had died…) to live with her half-brother and her biological father. She barely knew them due to animosity between her parents, but this was her time to get to know them, now.

And living with her brother means pretty much living with his motorcycle riding, bad-ass friends. Including a gorgeous set of identical twins (the sweet, cocky, flirty one, Ryan and the scarred, moody, uninterested in being friends-EVER one… Reid).

“Anyone ever tell you it’s rude to stare?” the scarred twin says with a growl. “Reid,” the other twin says, a warning in his tone.

Of course she can’t help but hate Reid off the bat ’cause he pretty much shuts her down from the start.

I don’t normally give a f&%k what others think of me, of my scar. But when Summer was looking at me, I couldn’t help but lose my temper. When there are two exact versions of a person, and one is scarred, who do you think the women go for?

But as they all become friends, she forms attachments… and they all start getting closer (while Reid continues to try and keep his distance). But of course, like all great-alphas go, Reid starts getting possessive.

“So, kissing means nothing to you? Maybe I should go and kiss the next guy that walks by and see how you like it?”

“If you want to see a fight, sure,” he says, narrowing his eyes a little.

Plus… there’s all this secrecy stuff going on that they (including her biker father) are all shielding her from.

… there’s just a few things she doesn’t know about this town.

About her father.

About us.

I think someone needs to update her, and quick. But hell, what do I know? This is their decision to keep her in the dark, and it’s not really my business. I suppose if she was mine, I’d want to keep her safe and away from all of this, too.

Don’t even get me started on the secrets. Everyone had a secret and Summer kept getting herself in trouble, in the process. *sigh* Nobody would speak, they would just all react. Badly. Which would make things worse.

Sounds good, right? LOL!!!

And it was… and yet… I’m left feeling unfulfilled, for some reason.

I dunno. It held my attention even though I was exasperated for the most part, and had that feeling (just in it’s speedy progression and all of the eye-rolling I was doing) that I’d probably not be “feeling” it by the end. But I had this urge to keep reading (barely putting it down in the process).

And yet despite my primal need to read it, my overall impression is that the story felt rushed. “Biggish” things had potential to be developed and “truly felt”… explored, adding depth and true emotion, but instead, seemed to be sped along to move onto another drama. And some “big things” that should have been explored, were barely even touched upon (her father’s background, let’s just say…). The storytelling was somewhat choppy (I seem to have “missed” important parts that were brought back up again later and I was all… Oh. I didn’t even know that!??). And important stuff that was brought up was often quickly swept away. Blink and you missed it.

Mostly, kind of exhausting like an over-the-top soap, and yet… when I think back to it, nothing TOO crazy happened.

Just… I dunno. And yet there was something about “Reid” and his reactions and how he spoke that had me (despite some of the stuff he said that seemed uncharacteristic). But mostly, his alpha-growls held me captive.

I dunno. Hehe. ;)

There were big feelings and strong reactions, but not enough depth (for me) in the follow-through. Good potential, but technically… it just lacked a certain something. And yet, it still had enough *something* that I felt a need to let it out, in a review.

3 stars (4 stars for the parts I liked and 2 stars for the parts that I not-so-liked).


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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan Nelson October 16, 2013 at 6:40 PM

That is exactly how I felt about it!!

Angel October 16, 2013 at 6:41 PM

100% agree with your review.

Maryse October 16, 2013 at 6:41 PM

*phew* okay good. It wasn’t just me…

Many good *oomphy* parts and yet feels like it was missing the in-betweens and the depth into the real important stuff. *sigh*

Carrie Marie October 16, 2013 at 8:44 PM

i’m w/ you in the … currently having grabby hands for all the MMA/fighter books i can get my digits on! *laugh* and despite knowing this is apparently going to be a choppy read… i want! *laugh*

Val October 16, 2013 at 10:03 PM

Just finished reading this about 10 minutes ago. And I feel mad. I liked him. It had potential. I liked the other guys. It insinuated other, deeper things with her dad, her brother and the group as a whole. Then nothing. Then crazy baby drama and then it was done. And I just thought what?!

I don’t know. I may not be far enough removed. I love fighters and ps naturally I loved him. But something was missing. It wasnt enough for me.

Agree with you completely.

yashira October 17, 2013 at 1:58 AM

So I just finished this book and I feel like the story had so much more potential.. I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop and when it did I though (really that’s it!!) But it some how still keep me interested. I really got a feel for Tab and Ryan’s characters but other than Reid’s Alpha attitude I dirint feel like his character was developed to his full potential. So Maryse I completely agree with your review. But I am looking forward to Ryan’s story.

Stacy @ Books Unhinged October 17, 2013 at 3:35 AM

Thanks so much for the review Maryse! The blurb had me wanting to read it like now! It sounds like the foundation for the story is good but the execution didn’t quite impress you. The one thing that bothers me about books more than anything else is when I have the need to eye roll. Ugh. So it won’t get that front of the line pass on my TBR. ( ˘ ³˘)♥

karen October 17, 2013 at 4:28 AM

I just finished this too and thought the same. The characters for me had a solid foundation, had me guessing what they were into (knew it was fighting but hoped for…more) and then it was over. I loved Reid’s brooding rough personality, but felt no reward at the end. I just felt like I kept reading wanting to see things progress. Wanting it to give me the drama and make me want to be ‘there’ but it didnt come for me.

But I trek on to find the next MMA book :)

ljiljana October 17, 2013 at 6:39 AM

yee… finished two days ago, mostly waste of time :( (

jodiem October 17, 2013 at 1:51 PM

I totally agree with you guys on this book feeling rushed, I caught myself going back a couple of times to see if I had missed some “important” conversations somewhere when I would feel a little lost. I had finished Consumed right before this one and I guess had higher expectations. Dont get me wrong I loved Summer and Reid just wished it would have been more in depth and not as rushed. But it seems, like some of the rest of you, I was pulled in just because it was a MMA book and that seems to be what I am seeking out at the moment.

I have read several lately but seem to be running low in that category if anyone would like to give me a couple of suggestions on the next ones I should read I would greatly appreciate it. I need my MMA and Alpha-Male fix please. Thanks!

Lisa M October 17, 2013 at 4:28 PM

I still enjoyed it and agree that it had so much potential and left us hanging especially what her father was really into. Just loving the mma books and the marine books I can’t get enough of them. Loved Fraternizing!!! Just read The Wager. So hilarious light read. You need to read The Bet first by Rachel Van Dyken. Laughed and cried !!! I should clarify that it’s not a mma or marine book.

Danette October 17, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Yeah, I’m with the majority here. Really craving “fighter” books, but this was just too … rushed. He definitely had his swoon worthy moments. But then he would screw up, say sorry and that was that! Really?? There are a couple of times he really needed to grovel. And who the heck, in this day and age, doesn’t request paternity testing when a child appears you never knew existed?? And to just take his word for what happened with the chick in the bar after he disappeared for a month?? Uh… no. Let the groveling and winning my heart back commence.Yep, the story had potential, but fell flat. The h came across as a doormat to me.

kim October 19, 2013 at 8:26 AM

Just a little to immature and silly. Not deep enough.

Jodie October 26, 2013 at 12:37 PM

I felt this exact way and I’m relieved I’m not alone with my opinion

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