When famous author Luke Maguire decides to write his next novel in the small town of Burronga, Australia, he's sure he can ignore the fiery redhead next door. Not only has he just been burned from a high-profile breakup, but he's never been one to set down roots. No, he'll finish his novel and leave Burronga. And soon.
Tyler Jones just wants to run her business with her best friend, Ally, and take care of her three-year-old daughter, Chloe. She's never needed help from anyone, especially not a man, and the brooding, rugged writer next door can't tempt her. Not in the least.
Only Tyler and Luke can't stay away from each other. So they set rules. No staying overnight, no future plans, no sappy good-byes when Luke inevitably quits town. But the chemistry between them is too strong to contain in a rulebook. Are Luke and Tyler ready to risk their lives of independence for something more?
Book #1 Real Men Don't Break Hearts
Book #2 White Hot Holiday
Book #3 Real Men Don't Quit
Book #4 One Real Man
About the Author
Coleen Kwan has been a bookworm all her life. At school English was her favorite subject, but for some reason she decided on a career in IT. After many years of programming, she wondered what else there was in life — and discovered writing. She loves writing contemporary romance and steampunk romance. Coleen lives in Sydney with her partner and two children. When she isn't writing she enjoys avoiding housework, eating chocolate and watching The Office.
Read an Excerpt
Real Men Don't Quit
A Real Men Novel
By Coleen Kwan, Kate Fall, Stacy Abrams
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2013 Coleen Kwan
All rights reserved.
Luke Maguire stumbled into the kitchen, tired and disoriented after waking up in an unfamiliar house. Coffee — he needed coffee. Even instant would do. He shuffled to the sink to fill the kettle. Early morning sunshine streamed through the window, making him wince. It couldn't be more than six thirty.
Something small and pink flashed past the window outside, and he blinked. Was that a child? But whatever it was had already disappeared around the side of the house. He flicked off the tap and dashed to the big living room. Enormous glass sliding doors gave a sweeping view of the garden — and a small girl toddling determinedly across the lawn. Dressed in pink leopard-print pajamas with a toy rabbit clutched in one hand, she was definitely headed somewhere. Luke scanned the garden, and his body went cold.
The swimming pool. The kid was making straight for the damn swimming pool.
He leaped forward and grabbed the handle of the sliding door, but it didn't budge. He rattled the latch frantically, but it refused to unlock. He banged furiously on the glass. The kid stopped and stared at him, a finger in her mouth.
"Little girl, don't you move!"
Crap, why did he have to yell like that? He'd probably scare her off and make her run into the street before he could get ahold of her. But the kid didn't seem put off by a strange guy banging and shouting at her. Solemn-faced, she popped the finger out of her mouth and pointed at the swimming pool as if to say, Oh, yeah?
He dashed out the living room to the front door, wrestled it open, and hurtled outside. Cold stone tiles met his bare feet, then dewy grass as he charged around the side of the house. The girl was still there, standing beneath a maple tree, as if waiting for him. She was quite a moppet with her fiery red curls and cheeky blue eyes, and seemed about three years old.
Luke forced himself to slow down to a saunter. "Hi there. How ya doing? I'm Luke."
She mumbled something and hugged her stuffed toy closer. "Mr. Piggy."
Huh? He didn't look that seedy, did he? Slowly he hunkered down in front of her. "Who's Mr. Piggy?"
She huffed in exasperation and waggled the forlorn toy rabbit in his face. "He is. Mr. Piggy wants to swim." Once more, she pointed firmly at the swimming pool.
He glanced back at the pool in the far corner of the backyard. Thank God it was surrounded by solid fence, but this little cricket seemed to have determination in spades.
"Well, now. It's a bit early for a swim, don't you think? Maybe later."
The girl puffed out her cheeks, big blue eyes scanning him with suspicion. He couldn't blame her. Grownups were always saying "maybe later" when they really meant "no."
He edged a little closer. "I promise you can come for a swim later."
She pursed her small mouth. "Really?"
Her winsome expression had him grinning. This poppet was going to be quite the heartbreaker when she grew up.
"Really." He nodded.
She crooked her little finger at him. "Pinkie promise?"
"Uh ... sure." How could he resist such charm? He twined his pinkie around hers and pressed very gently. "Pinkie promise."
That seemed to reassure her. Solemnly, she squeezed back.
"And what's your name?" he asked.
"Chloe," she answered after a moment's hesitation.
"Okay, Chloe," he said. "Now that I've sworn a solemn vow, let's see about getting you home." Standing, he kept hold of her hand, and Little Miss Moppet, apparently reassured with the sacred pinkie promise, curled her fingers around his, her baby digits making him feel like a giant.
They moved off across the garden. Last night, when he'd arrived just after midnight, he'd parked his Range Rover and neglected to shut the gates to the driveway. That must be how the girl had gotten in, because the rest of the property was fenced off. But where had she come from?
"Ow." As they walked over rough gravel, Chloe stopped, wincing as she rubbed her bare foot against her calf.
He stooped to pick her up, and she didn't murmur a protest. Instead, she curled one arm around his neck, thrusting her stuffed rabbit into his cheek. Mr. Piggy was threadbare and rather smelly, but Luke wasn't bothered. It had been a while since he'd minded a youngster. Not that he missed it or anything; God, no. He'd done enough babysitting of his numerous nephews and nieces to last him a lifetime. And after the Jennifer episode, he was even more wary of anything to do with kids. No, soon as he got this Chloe home where she belonged, that would be the end of his involvement, pinkie promise notwithstanding.
He walked out onto the footpath and stopped to peer up and down the road. He wasn't familiar with this neighborhood. They were on the outskirts of Burronga, a midsize country town in the Southern Highlands, halfway between Sydney and Canberra. It was about an hour's drive from his hometown, Goulburn, where he'd been until yesterday, when the growing mental pressure had suddenly reached a crushing point and he'd thrown his things into his car and fled. Like a thief in the night. Like his own dad.
Hell, that comparison soured his stomach. He wasn't anything like his dad. As soon as this moppet was taken care of, he'd call one of his sisters and tell her where he was.
"Which way is home, Chloe?" he asked. The blocks along the winding road were large allotments, and most of the houses were old-fashioned cottages sitting in rambling, country-style gardens. In contrast, the place he'd just spent the night in was severely modern, its sharp architectural lines matched by the geometrically landscaped grounds.
Little Miss Moppet sucked her finger, then pointed confidently to the left. "That way!"
"Okay then." He hitched her more firmly on his hip.
"Chloe!" A scream rang out, scattering the birds in a nearby tree.
Luke looked up. A woman was running along the footpath toward them, barefoot, her flaming, long hair streaming behind like a red banner, her eyes blazing ice, her face white, her red lips drawn back in a snarl. She looked like an avenging angel about to smite him. His heart skipped a beat and involuntarily he took a few steps back, his arms tightening around the little girl.
The avenging angel kept on coming. Semiclothed in purple lace briefs, cut high, and a matching camisole that barely contained her breasts, she was all voluptuous curves, endless long legs, and red-gold hair. Luke sucked in a breath. Whoa, this was one sexy angel. Could she really be this girl's mother?
The woman reached out and grabbed Chloe from him. "Where have you been?"
Her voice vibrated with panic and disbelief, and as she brushed his arm, he felt the tremble in her body.
Unperturbed, Chloe patted the woman's cheek. "Hi, Mumma."
"Uh, she's perfectly fine —" Luke began, then stopped as the woman whirled on him.
"Who the devil are you?" Fierce cobalt eyes crackled like thunderbolts. "And what the hell are you doing with my daughter?"
Luke held up his hands. "Hey, I was just —"
"What? You were just what? About to lure her into your car?" Her hair seemed to vibrate with hostility as she thrust her chin toward him. "Is that what you do? Prowl around the neighborhood waiting for unsuspecting kiddies? Well, if you come anywhere near here again I'm calling the cops."
What the hell? Hot indignation hammered the inside of his skull. "Lady, I don't know what you're on, but you should be thanking me. If it weren't for me, something horrible could have happened to your kid."
Her eyes widened, the angry crackle in them altering as a pink flush stole across her cheeks. "Horrible?"
He drew in a breath, about to explain, when Chloe interrupted. "Mumma, I gotta do a wee-wee."
The woman ran a shaky hand over her daughter's mop of curls. "Oh, sure, baby," she said in a completely different tone. "Let's get home right now." Without sparing Luke another glance, she hurried away.
Scowling, Luke stared after her, his blood pressure still thumping, hands fisted on his hips. The woman's long, smooth legs flashed as she motored away, the purple lace panties accentuating the rounded curves of her firm butt. He couldn't help staring after her. There wasn't an ounce of flirtation in her walk — quite the opposite, in fact — but she had him riveted.
Damn his stupid male hormones.
Luke blew out the air in his lungs. Some way to start his morning. His heart sank as he saw the woman disappearing down the driveway right next to his. A stout wooden fence divided the two properties, and her house was hidden behind a tangle of overgrown shrubs. Shoot. These were his neighbors: Little Miss Moppet and Crazy Lady. Crazy Sexy Lady. Crazy Sexy Rude-as-hell Lady. Who did she think she was, accusing him of being some kind of abductor? She was the one at fault. She was the one who'd let her daughter wander out. She was the one who should be trembling in her boots, not him.
Dammit, he wasn't going to let her get away with it. What kind of stupid rumors would she spread if he let her? Rumors could so quickly spiral out of control. Just look how all the innuendos over his messy breakup with Jennifer had landed in those trashy gossip magazines.
Admittedly, he had to wear some of the blame for the acrimonious split. He should have noticed the hints she'd dropped, so when she started buying bridal magazines and asking his opinion of private schools, it wouldn't have come as such a shock to realize what she wanted of him. What he couldn't give to her or to any woman, as much as it hurt him to shatter her dreams.
Since the breakup, he'd been much more circumspect. After eight months, the clacking tongues were finally moving on to fresh meat; he couldn't afford to feed them another morsel. He intended staying in Elliot's house for a while, and he didn't need more hassles when he already had enough troubles.
He tugged at the edges of his T-shirt and marched after his next-door neighbor.
* * *
Tyler Jones rushed into her house, arms wrapped around her daughter. She slammed the door shut and leaned against it. Her heart was going a million miles an hour, and her body was covered in a cold sweat.
"Sweetie?" She smoothed back Chloe's curls, her hand still shaking. "What happened out there? How" — she gulped, then forced her voice to steady — "how did you end up with that man?"
Chloe leaned her head into Tyler's shoulder and plucked at Mr. Piggy's ears. The solid weight of her small body sent a reassuring surge through Tyler's that nothing else could. It seemed an age since she'd woken, meandered into Chloe's room, and found the bed empty. As she'd called and searched fruitlessly through the house and yard, a heart-stopping chill had enveloped her, sending her into a panic. She'd run blindly out onto the street, fear and anxiety gnawing at her, only to spot her three-year-old in the arms of a stranger.
"Mr. Piggy wants a swim."
Chloe sighed at her mother's dimness and repeated more firmly, "Mr. Piggy wants a swim."
"Oh ... oh, no ..." Realization dawned on Tyler, sending her stomach plummeting. "Chloe, you didn't go next door to swim, did you?" Her little girl hung her head and stuck out her bottom lip. "Oh, Chloe, no. Not on your own!"
Tyler's knees wobbled. It was all her fault. All summer long, as one heat wave after another had rolled over the Southern Highlands, the unused pool next door had taunted her. It didn't seem fair that she and Chloe had to swelter in their creaking old timber house while the sparkling, icy cold pool next door went to waste. She didn't know the owner of the swanky new house very well. It was just a weekender for him. Occasionally a bunch of people would descend on the place, and there'd be music and chatter for a few days, but most of the time it sat there vacant.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, the owner, Elliot Elliston, had dropped by and offered for her to use the pool when the house wasn't occupied. When he'd departed, and the heat had lingered even though it was officially autumn, Tyler and Chloe had gone next door to cool off. They'd had a fantastic time. Chloe loved the water, and she was a lot less cranky when the heat wasn't tormenting her. It had become a habit of theirs, spending a half hour or so in the afternoon playing in the deliciously cool water. But those good times could so easily have turned to tragedy.
"Darling, promise me you'll never try to go swimming without me, okay?"
"'Kay." Chloe hung her head, her lower lip trembling as she sensed her mother's distress.
Tyler bit off the rest of the lecture. No way would she bawl out her daughter. She was too young to understand the danger. No, this was all her fault.
"Didn't you say you needed to use the bathroom?" Tyler asked. Chloe nodded and slithered out of her grasp to the ground. "Do you want any help?"
"No! I'm a big girl now." Tyler wrapped her arms around herself and watched as her daughter hopped off.
Someone rapped on the door behind her, causing her to jump as her frayed nerves screeched. She yanked the door open and found herself staring at Chloe's would-be abductor. Damn.
The guy didn't look too friendly. "We need to talk," he said through clamped teeth.
Now that she wasn't so freaked out by Chloe's disappearance, the man made more of an impact on her. He looked a few years older than her. Tall and athletic, he had long arms and legs stretching out from his gray T-shirt and navy boxer shorts, and his black hair was all mussed up. He wasn't Prince Charming handsome, but his features were striking, distinctive. A spark of attraction tingled down her spine; she'd never been into princes anyway ... Then she met his eyes, and the expression in them made her suck in a breath. Hard and black like coal, they bored into her with barely concealed anger.
"Uh, sure," she said. "I'm Tyler Jones, by the way."
"Luke Maguire," he snapped. He didn't look like he wanted to shake hands. He glanced past her. "Is your daughter around?"
"No, she's gone to the bathroom."
With a curt nod, he took a couple of steps into the house, and she found herself faltering back. Damn, it wasn't like her to be so meek, but she seemed powerless to resist.
"Good. She shouldn't hear what I've got to say to you."
Tyler's stomach tightened at his grim tone. "Look, I'm sorry for overreacting back then. I didn't realize Elliot was back. We won't bother you anymore."
He frowned. "Bother me?"
"Elliot gave us permission to use the pool when he's absent, but we'll stay away now that he's here with guests."
"I'm by myself, using Elliot's house for a while. He's my agent." Luke sighed, scrubbing a hand over his face. "I've got a lot of work to finish while I'm here, and the last thing I need is you spreading goddamn lies about me to all the neighbors. I wasn't trying to abduct your little girl." He gestured with his hands, impassioned. "I was goddamn saving her. If I hadn't been there, she might have gotten past the pool fence and fallen into the goddamn water."
Her heart was beating fast again, thudding in her eardrums as her imagination went into overdrive. She swallowed and nodded, but Luke Maguire didn't seem to notice, too caught up in berating her.
"What were you doing while she was wandering outside by herself?" He cast a contemptuous gaze around the place. The living room was messier than usual, she knew, which meant to some people it looked like a bombsite. "Maybe it took you a while to even realize she was missing."
She gasped. "How — how dare you?" she spluttered. "How dare you insinuate I'm too careless to look after my daughter?"
He blinked, and his expression became rueful. "Well, you insinuated I was a child abductor, so we're quits now."
She blew out a breath. "I guess you have a point."
Their eyes connected, and for a moment there was breathy silence. Jeez, just like a corny romantic movie, she thought.
"But still, you should be taking better care of your daughter," Luke continued. "If you let her wander around like that, sooner or later something is going to happen to her. If nothing else, social services will come knocking on your door."
His words knocked the air from her lungs. She felt the blood draining from her face. "You're not ..." She swallowed some bile. "You're not going to report me, are you?"
Excerpted from Real Men Don't Quit by Coleen Kwan, Kate Fall, Stacy Abrams. Copyright © 2013 Coleen Kwan. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Last week I came upon an offer to review Real Men Don't Quit by Coleen Kwan and after seeing what the book was about I decided that it look like just the right book for me even though I'm not a contemporary romance fan in general. However, the good news is that this is one awesome contemporary romance novel. I had a feeling that I would really enjoy the book but was surprised at how much I ended up liking it when I read it the other night. As soon as I started the book I was completely sucked into Luke and Taylor's small town romance set in Burronga, Australia. Luke is our brooding writer who loves his gypsy lifestyle and moving around and single mom Taylor struggling to raise her daughter, live her life and is a business owner and their sweet romance. Real Men Don't Quit had me either laughing or smiling 95% of the time while I was reading and the other 5% of the time I was wanting to strangle Luke and Taylor and tell them to hurry up and get together already because them ignoring their feelings just wasn't doing it for me. I loved Luke even though he was rather reserved but what really endeared him to me was how he was with Taylor's three year old daughter Chloe who was such a cutie! I really liked Taylor too because for the most part she knew what she wanted and her devotion to her daughter was admirable. This was my very first read by Coleen Kwan but I can absolutely guarantee that it won't be my last. I loved how realistic the portrayal of all the characters in the book was extremely realistic and I could totally see a real life romance playing out like the one in Real Men Don't Quit. I thought Coleen did a great job infusing a sweet romance with a lot of humour and I really enjoyed this second book in her Real Men series which can be read as a stand alone. I would recommend Real Men Don't Quit to any contemporary romance lover. The book has everything that a well rounded contemporary romance novel needs. If you're looking for a romance that's a quick read and that will have you smiling I highly recommend checking Real Men Don't Quit out right away. *I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my free and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are 100% my own.
Oh my gosh what a fantastic story I just finished today, which is Real Men Don't Quit by Coleen Kwan. I'm kind of on a book high. Don't you love that feeling. Real Men Don't Quit is book two in Real Men series. I have to say I really have enjoyed this series and this book. We actually met Tyler Jones in Real Men Don't Break Hearts. Tyler is the best friend of Ally who met the love of her life in the last book. So, Real Men Don't Quit focuses on Tyler even though she has a jaded view on love. Which I can completely understand with her luck on previous relationship. Of course she would meet a guy who doesn't really believe he's marriage material. Luke Maguire has come across writers block and so he's crashing at his agent's home to write the sequel to his next book. Yet, he's distracted by Tyler and her daughter, Chloe. Seriously, fantastic read. After reading Real Men Don't Quit, the story left me with a permasmile. I love Tyler and her mama-bear instinct when it comes to Chloe. She's so protective and guarded with her feelings too. Then you have Luke, who isn't looking for anything. Well, maybe some words for his future book. Overall Luke isn't looking for love, actually he's trying to avoid. Again he doesn't see himself as marriage material. I love how they complete each other, but don't want to acknowledge that they do. So, much fun with these two characters. I did love the story, because Tyler and Luke were fabulous together and made the story entertaining. The Bliss line is known for its sweet happy-ever-afters, and this story is no exception. So, if you are looking for a sweet toe-curling read, I would suggest Real Men Don't Quit. After all it left me giddy with happiness.
Reviewed by Aubrey Book provided by the publisher for review Review originally posted at Romancing the Book Real Men Don’t Quit was a cute and quick read. Tyler was a quirky and artsy single mother who was a bit scattered brained but had a strong love for her daughter. Luke is a famous writer who is an introvert with restless feet. An unlikely pair for sure but chemistry keeps them coming together. I really liked how feisty Tyler was. She knew what she wanted and what she definitely didn’t. In her chaotic life she had some order and she really did not need a guy like Luke causing a problem. Luke was a smart and witty character who needed to find out why he felt the need to run all the time. Together Tyler and Luke figure out their problems and realize they can’t keep their relationship as casual kissing relationship. I really liked how Luke started to become good friends with Tyler’ daughter. It was a relationship that was separate from the relationship Luke had with Tyler. I would recommend this book to anyone that likes contemporary romances that a quick reads. I will be reading the first one in the series.
Loved this book so much!! Great read!!
As posted on The Smutty Kitty 4 out of 5 Licks I really enjoyed this book. I had a hard time putting it down to go to bed and I snuck in some reading time at the EDJ (shhh don't tell anyone-he I'm allowed a break). It's also set in Aussie which always helps. When I read books set in Aussie I always hear the accent in my head. lol Anyway I like the Luke is a wanderer with no strings left behind anywhere. I find his brooding moodiness intriguing rather than off putting. Tyler's love for her daughter was apparent. Her abrasive feelings of independence could go a bit far at times, but I have an understanding of why she feels the way she does. Chloe (Tyler's daughter) added a nice bit of sweet innocence to the story. I enjoyed the fact that we got to have a little more of Ally and Nate's (Real Men Don't Break Hearts) story as well. I always love going back and peeking in on characters from a previous story. There is no outright sex in this story-they have it but it's behind closed doors, but that didn't bother me. There was enough emotional connection between the characters that it all still worked out. It sure feels like more books could be coming in this series, but I suppose we will just have to wait and see. For now grab this one and enjoy a sweet read with an ending that's all wrapped up in a pretty little purple package just for you-which is exactly how I like my books to end!
This book is about a famous author named Luke Maguire who has decided to retreat to a small town in Australia to try and focus on his writing as he has been suffering writers block in the house that he has been trying to write his next novel in. What he does not expect when he gets to that small town is the fiery redhead next door named Tyler. He tries his best to stay out of her life, however, he finds himself being pulled in again and again. One thing that he finds himself drawn to is her adorable 3 year old daughter Chloe, she makes quite the impression on him the first time that they meet. Tyler strives herself on being independent and not needing help from anyone as this is how she has had to be for as long as she can remember. She is unprepared for the events that keep coming up where she does find herself in need of help from someone, and that someone keep turning up to be the gorgeous next door neighbour Luke. There were a few obstacles thrown in the plot to make me keep reading, and this was not a bad book by any means, however, it was not a great book for me either. It is another heart warming romance that I have come to expect from Entangled, the writing is always great. 3/5 overall.
Tyler Jones and her daughter Chloe were first introduced to readers in Real Men Don’t Break Hearts. Tyler is a single mother to her three- year-old daughter, whose father has never been in the picture. Tyler is a woman who comes off being stronger than what she is. There are times when she needs help but is afraid to ask, thinking that asking will make her less than the mother she thinks she should be. She also has the pressure of her ex’s mother constantly trying to take Chloe away from her, and saying that she doesn’t deserve to have Chloe. Luke Maguire is a popular and well known author who moves into his agent’s house, next to Tyler’s, to work on writing his next book. His highly acclaimed book wasn’t who he wanted to be as an author and he can’t seem to write its anticipated sequel. He’s terrified that people will look at him as a fraud. Add to that, the pressure of recently losing his mother. Luke has simply lost his way and doesn’t even realize it. Luke doesn’t like putting down roots. In fact, he hasn’t had a permanent address in four years. All he needs is his car, laptop, and whatever clothes will fit into his suitcase. Luke’s life is simple and that’s just the way he likes it. Or so he thinks. Tyler and Luke are alike in so many ways. Neither is looking for a permanent lifetime commitment but that’s just what they both need. They each have serious family issues that have contributed to them having inner self worth issues. But they manage to be strong enough for each other to push the other into taking leaps of faith and doing what’s right no matter how scary or hard it is. I think one thing which makes this book so likeable and enduring is the relationship you see develop between Luke and Chloe. From the very start, Luke is a natural when it comes to taking care of Chloe. There is just something extremely sexy about a guy taking care of a kid. I love the Real Men Series books because of the sweetness of their romances. Real Men Don’t Quit is the second book in the series but is completely standalone. It’s a great read with characters you’re going to immediately fall in love with. Source: Publisher Reviewed for Read Your Writes Book Reviews
Real Men Don't Quit is a fantastic read! The plot was nicely paced & the characters were everything you'd want in a romance! I loved seeing the relationship develop between Luke, Tyler and her little girl, Chloe. This story had lots of laughs, but still managed to remain intense...it didn't turn into a "romance fluff", which was very much appreciated! I'm definitely adding Coleen Kwan to my list of "must reads" for the future!
Luke Maguire is a famous writer who has decided to hole up in his agent’s house to finish his manuscript. Tyler Jones is his feisty, sexy neighbor. When they first meet they get off on the wrong foot. Luke finds Tyler’s daughter Chloe wandering around near his pool. Afraid for her safety, he goes grabs Chloe and takes her home. A frantic Tyler meets them halfway, and half dressed. Assumptions are made, tempers flare and libidos flare to life. To say that sparks flew would be an understatement. Getting involved with a single mother would be a very bad idea, or he reminds himself daily. But the more time he spends with Tyler, the harder it becomes to resist her. Tyler is fiercely independent and her world revolves around her daughter. She doesn’t need a man to complete her, and she’s certainly not looking for love. With Luke as her temporary neighbor, resisting him becomes more difficult each day. Especially when her daughter takes a strong liking to him, and he seems to have a great rapport with her. A little no-strings attached fun wouldn’t hurt, but she’s about to find out that love happens when you least expect it. Both characters come with a chip on their shoulders and a lot of family drama. Combine the two and you have two people who seem to get each other, but they’re too wary to admit that they’d make a perfect pair. Tyler resents her mother for walking out and leaving her in foster care. As a young mother herself, Tyler fights tirelessly to make sure she never becomes that woman. Her jewelry making isn’t the most lucrative job, but it means stability, pays the bills and ensures that the mother of her ex, Gretchen Stafford, can’t take Chloe away from her. I liked Tyler, especially when her feisty side would come out to play. In dealing with her attraction to Luke showed us her more vulnerable side. It was fun seeing her be treated with respect and her subsequent reactions. Her character went through a favorable, steady growth throughout the story. Luke hates his father for leaving his mom to raise five children all on her own. Her death six months prior to when the story takes place leaves Luke gutted. He is beginning to despise the book series he’s famous for penning, and the deadline for his latest installment looms over him like a dark cloud. His family troubles and his current lifestyle effectively chase away any thoughts of settling down. Until Tyler. He fights his own battles around the exact same time as Tyler, and they seem to be on the same trajectory for emotional growth. That’s what I liked the most about the execution of this story. Ms Kwan teases with a lot of sexual tension. The love scenes are mentioned, not consummated for us to witness. But going by Tyler’s reactions, I’d say they were very good. The story didn’t feel rushed, and like I mentioned before, Ally and Nate are also in this story and have their own mini drama to deal with. I loved Nate in book one, but after this, I love him even more. The ending was perfect for everyone involved. I started this book with a grin, and when I turned the last page, my grin was still in place. If you love sweet romantic comedies with a bit of drama to keep things rolling, then definitely pick up this series. Disclaimer: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Real Men Don't Quit by Coleen Kwan: Luke Maguire has a massive case of writer's block. He's blaming his troubles on trying to write in the house where he grew up, a mere six months after his mother's death. In an effort to break that connection, he jumps at the chance to use his agent's house in Burronga. Tyler Jones is a jewelry designer and small business owner, who happens to live next door to Luke's agent in Burronga with her daughter, Chloe. She has her fair share of emotional baggage. Her mother dumped her in foster care, her daughter's father chose to use his inheritance to get high, and her would-have-been mother-in-law keeps trying to take her daughter away. Their first meeting is less than cordial: Three-year-old Chloe sneaks out to go swimming next door. When Luke stops 'Little Miss Moppet' and carries her down the walk toward home, Tyler comes running. He sees an unfit mother; she, a molester/ kidnapper. Luckily, their relationship does improve; by leaps and bounds. But both, despite strong feelings for each other, are afraid of commitment. They have been hurt by family members, who made them question their ability to have a permanent relationship and, as the story progresses, keep popping up to further complicate the situation. Luke and Tyler are believable characters. Their fears and situations are realistic. The families are, as families are wont to be, a source of endless annoyance and frustration. For every step forward the main characters take, their families knock them back a step or two. One of the things I loved best was the 'voice'. Set in Australia, the phrasing and language just feels ... right. It wasn't heavy with slang or indecipherable idiom, but simply sounded authentic. Although I've read and reviewed more than a dozen books from Entangled Publishing, this is my first venture into the Bliss imprint. I, honestly, wasn't certain what to expect. Frankly, I can only hope that every other book is as well-written as Real Men Don't Quit. ~*~*~ Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary electronic copy of this book from the publisher [...]. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
I'm such a sucker for these fun, adult contemporary romances. The Bliss line from Entangled publishing has so many fantastic ones. They are quick to read and reel you in. Tyler was a pretty present character in the first book, Real Men Don't Break Hearts, so I was excited to get her story in this book. She was really great to get to know, and I loved her story and how her relationship with Luke went from a pretty bad start, to one that was totally swoon worthy! Tyler is a single mom, who has a bit of a hard time with commitment. She has no problem with having a good time with men, but she has been down the failed relationship path, and doesn't want to do it again. The only way she sees to protect herself, and her daughter, is to not get too involved with anyone. That's until super sexy Luke comes into the picture. She is very into him, and falling fast and hard, but she is worried about how attached Chloe, her daughter is getting to him. Her daughter is everything to her and everything she does is for Chloe. She is sometimes a bit over protective and isolating, but I totally get that. Momma bear instincts are fierce. I really liked Tyler and I loved how she was able to let her guard down a little and open up by the end of the book. Luke was fun and charming, and had a bit of a mysteriousness to him. He doesn't do commitment either. That's the fault of his father unfortunately. He fears commitment. He is a wanderer, never staying in one place too long. He has no desire to put down roots and settle. He is also in a rough spot with his contract for his books sequel month over deadline, and having nothing at all started for it. He thinks getting away will help his mind get focused on the book, but when he meets hot and feisty Tyler, he only has eyes for her. At first what seems like more of a distraction ends up exactly what he needs. He isn't happy with the book he wrote, he doesn't want to do the sequel, but writing is his passion. Just not what others want from him. He needs to write for him. He also needs to come to terms with the past and things that still haunt him. I thought the changes in him were great and I loved getting to know him along with Tyler. The romance was awesome in this. What starts off as friendship, and trying to keep things casual grows into so much more as the both realize (and totally try to deny to themselves) that they are falling for each other. Yes, there are complications, but that's what makes it so good. People have issues. Some issues that they would prefer to keep hidden, especially when getting to know someone. But as they get to know each other, and grow closer, they confide in each other. They are there for each other when needed. Their relationship was anything but easy, but they fight for it to work. That's true commitment. That's what caring for each other and being in a relationship is all about. This was such a fantastic book. I loved the romance and the characters. I think they were both very stubborn and strong willed, but fabulous too. I loved the family dynamics also. Family was a big part of this story. I think perhaps the only thing that really bothered me was that Chloe is supposed to be three years old, but doesn't talk the way a three year old would. I know that shouldn't be a big deal, but it just really bothered me. Overall she acted the way a child her age would, but her speech seemed more suited for a child older than her. In general I thought this was a really great romance though. Perfect for a quick, sweet escape that leaves you smiling.
A good poolside read. I had a couple bouts of disbelief as I read how Tyler stood in her living room, in her underwear, defending her ability to care for her child to a strange man wearing a t-shirt and boxers and how, in her search to find Chloe after she found the girl missing from her room, she managed to not notice a chair by the kitchen door with Chloe's shoes under it. But then the book snuck up and grabbed me. I don't know when or how, but the story took hold and I couldn't put it down This was a quick read and when I got to the end, I found myself asking. That's it?" But not in a bad way. Ms. Kwan made me want more. I wanted to keep reading about Luke, Tyler, and Chloe's life now that they were a family unit. I wanted to know more about Nate and ally and their life after he surprised her with their wedding, solidifying in her mind that he truly was committed to her and their future. (I'm going to have to snag a copy of Real Men Don't Break Hearts to read the story of how their romance developed.) For a quick beach or poolside read, this is an excellent choice. While there were some things I would have liked to see expanded on, I give it four stars for what it is (a quick summer read), not what I wish it was.
What a fun, sweet, easy little read. I hadn't read Kwan before but I absolutely loved her style. Her writing flowed nicely, the characters were charming and likable and they fit well together and had excellent fire between them right from the start. I loved both Tyler and Luke. They're strong and determined and each dealing with some inner turmoil. Luke's a writer who hates his lead character and can't seem to write another word about him and Tyler's a single mum juggling all sorts of things from running her business to dealing with crazy grandparents who keep trying to take her child. They could be a little head strong and stubborn but damn if that didn't work for them. I loved that neither of them were really looking for a relationship when they found it. They're both dealing with a lot in their own lives but for some reason they keep finding themselves smooshed together and the sparks are impossible to ignore. They were really just easy together. It didn't feel forced or rushed or fake. They even managed to have really endearing fights that made me love em even more. And again it was stuff you could see happening. Little things the escalate and then damn you're having a fight and going what the hell?! While it's more of a closed door/easy on the sexy details type of read there's a nice fire and heat between them that makes up for it. Things did get a wee bit cheesy towards the end but still it made me smile and that's what's important to me. There are some awwww make-you-swoon moments with the hero and the heroine's daughter. I do love a man who is good with a child. Yum. Some humor and some heartache and a lot of great moments between Tyler and Luke that had me falling for them both. If you're looking for a fun light read that won't stress you out and will just make you happy and give you that warm feeling this is it. And you can totally read it without reading book one. I never felt lost or like I was missing something important.
Real Men Don't Quit is the second story in the Real Men series. However, this book can be read as a stand alone. You see, in the first book we met Tyler's friend, Ally. In this story Ally makes a couple of appearances since not only do they co-own a business together but Tyler is helping Ally prepare for her wedding. So even though this is the second in the series, it deals with a whole new set of people who we met briefly but didn't really get to know in the previous book. I normally don't like stories with kids in them. They can be a bit weird and uncomfortable, especially when it comes to romance novels but Coleen did a great job with it. Tyler is a single mom who's making ends meet to provide for her daughter. She learned early on to be self efficient and to rely on no one but herself. She is very protective of her daughter, Chloe. So when she wakes up one morning to find Chloe missing from not only her bed but the entire house, only to find Chloe in the arms of a stranger, she immediately goes on the offensive, scoops her 3 year old into her arms and takes off back to the house. Luke is the leading man in this story and he was definitely different from the typical males you see in stories. He's been having trouble writing the sequel to his best selling book. So in an effort to get the juices flowing, he's staying at his agent's house to get some piece and quiet to concentrate on the novel. However, those plans are quickly squashed when he wakes up one morning to the sight of a little girl trying to get into his fenced in pool. He runs outside to keep her from getting in and starts to look for her mother, which is when Tyler comes bulldozing over to him. He's instantly struck with her and he finds himself slowly but surely integrating himself into their life. "Scowling, Luke stared after her, his blood pressure still thumping, hands fisted on his hips. The woman's long, smooth legs flashed as she motored away, the purple lace panties accentuating the rounded curves of her firm butt. He couldn't help staring after her. There wasn't an ounce of flirtation in her walk- quite the opposite, in fact- but she had him riveted." With Tyler being as independent as she is, it was interesting to see Luke interact with her. He didn't try to dominate situations and in fact would step back on occasion and would let her take over. However, when it would seem like Tyler was acting rash, he was the first one to diplomatically point it out to her. He was also very caring towards Chloe, which was really adorable. He "helped" Chloe make dinner so that Tyler could relax and get some work done. When he'd give them a ride, he'd carry Chloe in the house and put her to bed when she'd fall asleep in the car. He was just so darn sweet to that little girl. And he always called her "Little Miss Moppet". "He ruffled Chloe's hair, and when the girl offered him one of her mangled daisies, he tucked it into the buttonhole of his jacket. The air caught in Tyler's throat at the sweet, casual interaction between the two." This is a very sweet romance. There's isn't really any spice to it but that was okay with me because the story was solid, the characters were likable and it grabbed my attention the entire time. I really do enjoy Coleen's writing style and this series is starting to look like something that I will actually keep up with. (I usually get bored by the second book) I wonder who will gain the spotlight next. If I had a guess, I would say one of Luke's sister. I know he has nieces and nephews but I'm not sure if all of his sisters were married or not. We shall see...
Real Men Don’t Quit by Coleen Quinn is a fun read about a best-selling author with writer’s block and single mother with trust issues. They are brought together by Tyler’s three year old daughter Chloe. The last thing Luke Maguire wants is a committed relationship. He arrived in town for solitude to work on his long overdue book. But from the time the three year old next door wandered on to the property he was staying at to use the pool, he found himself enmeshed in Tyler and Chloe’s lives. He fears commitment because he believes he is a wanderer like his father and he doesn’t want to hurt anyone, especially not Tyler and Chloe. It’s quite enjoyable watching Tyler and Luke help one another through their various troubles and fight their growing attraction. But soon, they are giving in with the understanding that it is not permanent but both are falling in love despite their best attempts. Real Men Don’t Quit is a nice escape from a stress filled life and the characters are well-rounded and likable. My only complaints were that at times Chloe seemed to sound like she was older than three and that the relationship was resolved with no real instigating development. I received this arc from the publisher for an honest review.
Real Men Don't Quit by Coleen Kwan is the story of hunky writer, Luke Maguire and his next door neighbor Tyler and her daughter Chloe. Without giving too much of the plot away, Tyler and Luke both have some issues in their past that keep them from wanting to pursue any romantic relationships. Trouble is, they can't seem to stay away from one another! This is the second book in the Real Men series, but I had no problem reading the book as a standalone. One thing that stood out to me was Coleen Kwan's sensitive & deft handling of the child care/social services issues in the story, which I'm sure many single parents can appreciate. With likable characters, enjoyable setting, & a sweet romance, Real Men Don't Quit is perfect for some light beach reading this Summer! Note: I received my e-book copy from the publisher with the promise for an honest review.
Real Men Don't Quit is loosely connected to Real Men Don't Break Hearts but can be read stand alone. Famous author Luke Maguire moves next door to single mother Tyler Jones. He is a gypsy type keeping his possessions few and never staying anywhere very long. He has Daddy issues as in his didn’t stick around. When he looks in the mirror he sees his father and vows never to do to any woman what his dad did to his mom. Tyler has Mommy issues. Her mother dropped her off at a foster home and never looked back. Tyler was in the system for a couple years until her aunt found her and took her under her wing. Tyler is determined to be the best mother she can be to her daughter and not depend on anyone else. When Luke and Tyler meet the chemistry is volcanic. Can these two independent souls find happiness with each other or will they let the past prevent them from having a future? I was afraid that this was going to be one cliché after another and admittedly there were some rather done scenes but over all I really enjoyed this story. Luke was real and Tyler was charismatic. Tyler is the girl I want to be friends with. Luke wasn’t perfect but that’s what made this story fun to read. For those who enjoy contemporary romance this is a fun read.