Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Book Review: "It’s Not Over" by A.L. Zaun


“If I let go, will you catch me?”

He had wanted her to help him win his ex-girlfriend back. She had wanted to teach him a few lessons on how to treat a woman. Neither one had planned for the unexpected.

I couldn't stand by and watch. It hit too close to home. I had to run fast and far to get away and forget him. He weaseled his way into my life, making me question rules I lived by and turned my orderly life upside down. I'm falling apart and coming undone. I don't do that. I'm Madison Stuart. I live life by my rules. I won't be derailed by a man. I won't...I can't.

She's gone. I'm desperate and going insane. I'll do whatever it takes to find her. I don't know when it happened, but I won't let her go, not like this. What has she done to me? I'm Rick Marin for crying out loud. I don't chase women, but she's not just a woman. She's Maddy--
my Maddy--and I need her.
 

Genre: Contemporary Romance

It’s Not Over is my first introduction to the author A.L.Zaun, and I have to say that I’m impressed with Zaun’s writing style and story-telling abilities. It’s Not Over is the second book in “The Do Over” series and follows the stories of Madison Stuart and Rick Marin. It’s about their developing relationship and about Maddy learning to let go and trust someone for once in her life. 

This is very much a character-driven book with the plot taking a backseat to the dramas and events that Maddy and Rick go through. Maddy is running away from her life – and in particular Rick Marin – by escaping to New York. A self-proclaimed control addict, Maddy can’t stand that her carefully compartmentalized and controlled life has been thrown out or control by a man of all things.

This desire to control every single facet of her life stems from something that had happened to her when she was seventeen, and the only way that she can ‘heal’ herself is by bouncing from one meaningless sexual relationship to another. Another way she copes is by focusing on achieving the career goals she’s had for nine years. Maddy is emotionally stunted. It’s clearly a sad existence for her, but she doesn’t realize this until she meets and gets to know Rick.

Rick Marin is a highly successful businessman, and this success gives him an inflated ego especially when it comes to women. Despite having three very strong female role models in his life, he’s a womanizer and treats them as if they’re a commodity. With a strong personality to match Maddy’s, there’s a guarantee that there’ll be sparks when these two come to blows. But it’s her no-nonsense attitude that finally breaks through his machismo.

In the end though, they’re both afraid to let someone into their lives and give them the power to tear them down – Maddy plays the ice-princess and Rick pretends that he simply doesn’t care about what he does and says to the women who gravitate in and out of his life.

I was drawn into the story quite quickly after I recovered from the shock of all the swearing. Now, don’t get me wrong. I  love a bit of swearing in books – hell, I encourage it – and if you've ever read any of my books you'll know that I'm not afraid of swearing, but the amount of f-bombs dropped in It’s Not Over was a little bit more that I could handle...and that's saying a lot. 

I felt like both Maddy and Rick needed to have a swear jar tied around their necks the entire time. Once I got into the groove of the story though, I seemed to forget about the cursing although for some people they might find this off-putting.

There are some things from the previous book mentioned in It’s Not Over. It’s a little difficult playing catch up on the back story so I think that if you haven't read The Do Over first, read it, then read It's Not Over. It will make all of Maddy’s quirks and motivations a whole lot clearer.

All in all, the changes in Maddy and Rick’s relationship developed well and at a good pace. I didn’t feel as if anything was overly rushed. The supporting characters were great – each of them adding to the overall story and making Maddy just that little bit more ‘human’ to me. I might just have to read The Do Over now to complete my A.L. Zaun education before the third book is released.

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