Review: A Sure Thing by Marie Harte (The Donnigans #1)

Note: This ARC was provided by Sourcebooks Casablanca in exchange for an honest review.

He stared into her eyes, his body still joined with hers. “You have seriously ruined me, you know that?”
“How did I do that, Major?” she teased and caressed the nape of his neck.
He closed his eyes in pleasure, then opened them to glare down at her. Except the glare wasn’t real. She saw the mirth he tried to hide. “You’re a menace. You seem soft, pliable. But you’re not. You make me think I’m in charge, but then you hold me.” He paused to gasp when she clenched her body down tight. “And you clamp down around me. I come so hard in you, Doc. So fucking hard.” He kissed her again, still so gently. “I want to fuck you, and I want to protect you. I think about you all the time.”

If you're looking for a book with that perfect balance of heat and heart with wicked wit and humor, look no further than the Donnigans series starter from bestselling author Marie Harte, A Sure Thing. This series is a spin-off of the author's McCauley Brothers and it's also connected to the Body Shop Bad Boys series, which, in itself, is also a spin-off of the McCauley Brothers. But I've never read that series, although I have read the two novels in the first spin-off, and while I am as curious about the McCauleys as I was while reading the Body Shop Bad Boys series starter (and yes, it's already on my to-be-read list), I was able to read and thoroughly enjoy A Sure Thing independently of whatever else may have come before it. This novel has become, hands down, my favorite Marie Harte read so far.

A Sure Thing introduces readers to the Donnigan family, consisting of siblings Landon, Gavin, Hope, and Theo, and, of course, their parents Van and Linda. Both Landon and Gavin are former Marines while Hope and Theo have been flitting from one job to the next, which has caused their parents to be worried, with their mother getting on Hope's case and Theo's their father. But this is a close-knit clan and it's clear that there's a genuine love that goes hand in hand with the care and concern they have for one another. Being the eldest in the brood has Landon very protective of his siblings and he isn't at all hesitant to order them order and put them in their place if he feels the need to so. His being the way he is helped achieve the rank of Major in the Marines but one bullet ended his plans.

At thirty-four, Landon isn't exactly looking for permanence or commitment, but when he meets psychologist Ava Rosenthal, his interest and curiosity are immediately piqued by the confident woman. She's already thirty and the need to maybe be farther along her list of goals has Ava going on blind dates, seeing if any man fits the bill as far as preferred traits in a mate are concerned. She's pretty sure that Major Bossy, aka Landon Donnigan, doesn't come anywhere near her requirements, but there's no denying how drawn she is to him, even if he does have a habit of getting on her nerves. How is it even possible for her to be attracted to someone who is absolutely wrong for her? But Ava is in for a few surprises when she realizes that maybe, just maybe, there's more to Landon than she thinks.

We're only one book in and I'm already hooked! This was the perfect series starter--we have ourselves a snarkfest of sizzling sex and offbeat romance in the love story of Landon and Ava as well as have as get bits and pieces about the three younger siblings, enough for us to nibble on and then want desperately more of. There were two things I loved best about this novel, the first being the close yet complex Donnigan family dynamic. There's a lot of teasing and taunting but everything comes off as rather endearing, with the relationships among the siblings reminding me of my own relationships with my four siblings (middle child here!). Each one's got their own neurosis to deal with, but I loved how it was plain to see they would drop everything to be there for whichever one needed them.

The second thing I loved was the quirkiness that was Landon and Ava's romance and its ability to surprise the heck out of me. Nothing about this love story followed some previously established pattern. Nope, Marie Harte gave me exactly what I wanted in a romantic comedy--love, lust, and laughs--and then some--complications, and not just those limited to the main characters. Curled up with this book was such a fabulous way to spend a couple of hours of my Saturday. I can't even come up with one thing about it that I could nitpick. I'm not saying the book is perfect because, let's be honest here, no book ever is, but A Sure Thing more than satisfied me and I can't wait to read the rest of the series, plus Working Out and Zero to Sixty due to a couple of interconnected characters. Five-plus stars! ♥

Date Read: 12 November 2016

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