Tuesday 26 January 2016

Review - LOVE on the Horizon by A.M. Madden

Title: LOVE on the Horizon
Series: Breaking the Rules #1
Author: A.M. Madden
Release Date: January 25, 2016


Love isn't always smooth sailing.

Graduating from college is supposed to be a promise for excitement and limitless possibilities. But for unemployed Rebecca Stanton, the highlight of her day is sitting in her parents’ home with a pint of Chunky Monkey while watching The Bachelor. Desperate for change and inspired by a late night commercial, she stumbles onto a job opportunity with a new cruise line, packs her bags, and sets sail toward her new destiny.

Life is full of an endless supply of exciting possibilities for Marco Puglia. The tall, dark, handsome, ITALIAN Cruise Director with Sunset Cruise Lines is practically a celebrity in the cruising industry. When Marco adds Rebecca to his staff, he soon discovers it is both the best and worst decision he's ever made. The beautiful siren has captured his attention and ensnared his heart. An intense attraction like theirs doesn’t follow the rules, even one that forbids a boss/employee relationship.

Will their blatant mutiny force their newly found love aground, or will Rebecca and Marco find love on their horizon?

Love on The Horizon is a feel good contemporary romantic comedy meant for readers who are 18+ due to mature content.

When you graduate from college, you’ve got your whole life ahead of you—you’re ready to get to work in the field you’ve been studying for the past four years or more. Ready become an adult—ready to take care of yourself. Be your own woman. Except when reality slaps you in the face and you end up working at Hooters—the only thing available while you continue to look for your dream job. Until you’re fired… then over a pint of Chunky Monkey, you find inspiration to look for a job on a cruise ship. That would be Rebecca Stanton. She’s left safety and her overprotective family in Jersey to head to Florida—determined to get the job and set sail heading for a new destiny.

Marco Puglia is the tall, dark and handsome Cruise Director for Sunset Cruise Lines. And he’s Italian, with that sexy accent too. Marco hires Rebecca, with the full support of the rest of his staff—a hiring that was both the best and worst decision of his life. She’s the perfect woman for him—smart, funny, beautiful, kind. Too bad there’s a strict “no fraternization” rule at work—especially taboo for a boss/employee relationship. But rules are meant to be broken, right? Until you get caught… then maybe it’s time to write your own rules.

Wow. I have to admit I struggled a bit in the beginning of this book but ended up really loving it in the end. Rebecca and Marco have an intense and palpable connection that just burns off the pages. Whoa, are they so sexy together. And don’t even get me started on Ricky. He’s the assistant cruise director who just happens to manage everything for Rebecca and Marco to spend time together. He’s an amazing friend to both Rebecca and Marco—I have a bit of a girl crush on him. 

Some of the best parts of this book are when Rebecca and Marco spend time with their individual families. Both sides are overbearing, overprotective and over-the-top! But that’s what family does, right? Wants what’s best for you? And sometimes it really sucks when you have to make a choice to be an adult and stand up for yourself and your beliefs, right? That’s just what Rebecca and Marco have to do—and it’s sad, funny, heartwarming, irritating, and awesome. I felt like I was home with my family telling them I was not moving home to Connecticut after college, but staying with my new boyfriend in Maryland. We’ve been married almost twenty years. I guess it’s worked out okay. 
~ Review by Missy

When Rebecca Stanton accepts a position with Sunset Cruise lines, she knows it's going to change her life. It's a new adventure, throwing caution to the wind and experiencing life. Love isn't even on her radar, so she's completely knocked for a loop when she meets her boss—tall, dark, handsome, Italian, and the first man to set Rebecca's heart aflutter…maybe ever.

Marco Puglia knows he can't get involved with the beautiful new hire. She's his direct report, and she's entirely off limits. It's incredibly inconvenient that he can't stop thinking about her and that his body reacts to her in a way that sometimes borders on painful. He's trying to do the right thing, but sometimes the right thing might actually be the thing you think is wrong and, as his feelings intensify, he must make a choice between the career he's worked so hard for, and the love he never even knew he wanted.

This book was a bit of a slow mover for me. I had some trouble connecting to Marco and Rebecca initially, and I can't put my finger on why, because I genuinely liked both of them. There were times I felt the story dragged a little bit, like things weren’t happening quickly enough. And then sometimes their relationship would progress in a way that would cause my eyebrow to raise because it seemed to be happening too quickly and felt rushed in a way that didn’t allow my feelings to deepen along with theirs. So, something about the pacing of this book put me off my game for a bit. However, by the halfway point, I was completely sucked in. I think the introduction of a whole slew of dynamic secondary characters helped tremendously and gave this book a depth that was missing for me in the first half. 

Speaking of secondary characters—I adored Ricky! He was the one constant for me throughout the book. What a fun, dynamic character! I also adored Marco and Rebecca's families—even when they were misbehaving. That's where the real charm in this book was for me. I felt like the interactions with their families helped deepen their love story, and show me bits of real feeling that allowed me to connect. 

And, oh! The love story! As I said, it took me a bit to connect to it, but once I started feeling that depth, and investing myself in their world, I was completely drawn into it. Sexy and sweet—I loved how they protected each other and supported each other when things got stressful. I adored how respectful and protective Marco was of Rebecca. I loved how supportive and understanding Rebecca was of Marco. I loved how there was no contrived drama, and these two handled themselves like grown-ups while navigating some emotional, sticky situations. 

In the end, this was a sexy, sweet, swoony, lighthearted book that read a tiny bit like a toned down fairytale. I am excited to get more Stantons in depth (especially surly Sam and swoony Cooper) and spend more time with their family in general! 
~ Review by Shelly

A.M. Madden is a wife, a mother, an avid reader of romance novels and now an author. In Back-up she aspired to create a fun, sexy, realistic romantic story. She wanted to create characters that the reader could relate to and feel as if they knew personally. A self-proclaimed hopeless romantic, she loves getting lost in a good book. She also uses every free moment of her time writing, while raising teenage boys.

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