Release Reviews: Man Card: Sarina Bowen and Tanya Eby

by - Monday, January 15, 2018

Man Card
Sarina Bowen and Tanya Eby
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Release Date January 15, 2018

Nothing ventured, nothing banged...


I still don't know how it happened. One minute I was arguing with my arrogant competitor--our usual trash-talk over who deserves the larger commission. But somehow I went from throwing down to kneeling down... 

It can never happen again. I don't even like Braht. He's too slick. He's a manipulating mansplaining party boy in preppy clothes.
So why can't I get him out of my head? 


There are two things I know without question. One: Ash and I are destined for each other. Two: never trust a man with a unibrow.

Ash is my missing my piece. She's the sweet cream to my gourmet espresso. And nothing gets me going faster than her contempt for me. They don't call her the Ashkicker for nothing. 

Eventually I'll win her over...if my past doesn't ruin everything first.

We met Ash and Braht in Man Hands when their best friends Brynn and Tom fell in love. Ash and Braht seemed to have strong feelings for each other too: Braht wanted Ash bad and And Ash acted like she hated him. They are both realtors and thrive on competition. They love to rile each other up. And eventually the sexual tension and lust boiled over until they shared a clandestine coupling in their friend's pantry.

Now they are spending even more time together since they are working from the same office and trying to sell Tom's house for him. Ash is adversarial, prickly, stubborn, and strong-willed. They don't call her the Ash-kicker for nothing. She is untrusting and hates losing control. She has been through a bad relationship that still haunts her. But she is not cold,  and is supportive and protective of those she loves. 

Braht has his own issues from his past. But he is not afraid to relentlessly pursue her. He is not the typical alpha male in many books. It was refreshing because he is a high maintenance and not afraid to embrace his feminine side. He dresses preppy, loves manicures and facials, chick flicks, and pet names. He is not intimidated by her, knows how to get to her,  and is not afraid to be himself. But there is a certain arena that he does like to have control and make her be the one to let go for a change. He is caring, protective, smart, funny, and a tad bit obnoxious, but I could not help but love him.

Ash is not sure if she wants to Kiss, marry, or kill Braht. They compete, they fight, and then lust, friendship, and a bit of a fake relationship lead to even more strong feelings. I really enjoyed their interesting dynamic and how their relationship started mutating and changing along the way.

But Braht's secrets from his past, and issues in her own life complicate everything. Will they be able to navigate their way to a real relationship or will it end up in disaster?

This is funny, fast-paced, sexy, sweet, and a bit suspenseful. They have great, witty and flirty banter and chemistry. Their personalities are a bit over the top, but so much fun. I enjoyed getting more with Brynn and Tom, their other friend, Sadie and his brother, Bramley. I hope we see a book for Sadie next. I would even love one with Bramley. I love these author's combined books, and they are hard to put down once you pick them up.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
Ash and Braht were side characters with heat in Man Hands. As realtors for the same firm, they often encounter each other professionally, but now that their best friends are together, they also have to deal with each other during personal time. This wouldn’t be a problem except that Ashley professes to hate Braht, and Braht is very interested in Ashley.

Their competition grows as Braht is transferred to Ashley’s office so they can sell a house together, and Ashley battles to remain the top seller in the office.

This was a fast turn from hating each other to lusting after one another. Maybe it’s true that strong feelings are strong whichever way on that pendulum they swing? But as the hate turns to lust, these two have to figure out what exactly they want and how they can meet in the middle to get what they need.

I really liked Braht. He is a different type of leading man than we typically see right now. While he is strong and confident, he is not an alpha. He is not afraid to be softer and is more into fashion and flamboyant accessories. But get him in the bedroom and he is all about control.

I had a few questions at the end that kept me from being able to rate the book higher, but I thoroughly enjoyed the escape this story provided. It was entertaining and fun, if at times a little predictable, while also being a meatier storyline than Man Hands. And though I say it was predictable, it also surprised me because of a few key details.

This was a fast, fun read that had me laughing while also wondering how they could find a middle ground to the secrets from their pasts. Everything about this series is bigger than life, and Braht and Ashley are no exception. I look forward to more from this series, as the side characters are all just as much fun. Readers learn more about the women’s other best friend, Sadie, and Braht’s brother, Bramley, both of whom I would be interested for more.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

“Name your other favorite movies,” I challenge Braht.

“All of them?” He chugs his margarita.

“Hmm. Top ten? Top five?”

“That’s totally easy,” he says. Somehow I’ve gotten closer to him on the floor. When he sits back, I actually snuggle in beside him. He’s wearing a ridiculously soft shirt that feels good against my skin. And I watch with fascination as he ticks off the names of films on his fingers. “When Harry Met Sally. The Devil Wears Prada. Roman Holiday. Clueless. And Working Girl.”

I burst out laughing. I can’t help it. “Those are all chick flicks. You should just hand over your man card right now.”

“Not a chance.” Braht’s expression grows intense. “In the first place, I gave you a very thorough demonstration of my man card last week. I don’t remember hearing any complaints.”

I swallow hard, because this is certainly true.

“And secondly, you’re looking at this all backward.”

“I…am?” And why can’t I look away? He has the most beautiful, intelligent eyes.

“Yeah, you are,” he whispers. “It’s the guy who has a firm grip on his man card that can hold your purse. He’s not afraid to be seen with that Tory Burch you like to carry—nice color, by the way. He’ll free up your hands because he likes your hands, and he remembers all the terrific things you can use them for.”

“Oh,” I say slowly. Now my fingers itch to reach out for him. I have to make fists with both hands so I won’t do it.

“Furthermore, he’s not afraid to quote Working Girl. Because Joan Cusack is a genius. And who wouldn’t want to say Melanie Griffith’s best line out loud?”

I can’t help saying it with him, and together we sound like the world’s horniest Greek chorus: “I have a head for business and a body for sin.”

Sin sounds pretty good right now, actually. But Braht’s not done with his speech. “Any man who tells you that chick flicks are for pussies can’t be any good in bed. Because that man does not speak the language of women. He doesn’t know that a little luxury can erase a shitty day of worrying about your ex…”

Braht takes my hand in his and begins to massage it. He has a great technique, applying gentle pressure between each joint. I relax just a little bit more against him.

“…That man doesn’t speak the language because he’s afraid of sounding like a girl. But fuck that noise, honey bear. If a man doesn’t have the vocabulary to describe a satin teddy with peekaboo lace and mother-of-pearl snaps at the crotch, he can’t buy it for you and then strategically ask you to wear it. He can’t plan ahead to blow your mind sometime by lifting your skirt somewhere semi-public and dangerous. And he can’t get down on his knees and kiss that lace and then pop open those snaps while you bite your own hand to keep from screaming when you climax.” Braht takes a deep breath and lets it out in one hot gust. “Fuck. What was the point of this speech?”

“Um…” My voice is hoarse, and my face is suddenly very hot. Let’s not even mention my nipples. “Man cards, I think.” But I’m not sure, because everything tingles.

“Right,” he says with a sigh. “Still got mine. Shall we watch Working Girl next?”

“Okay,” I breathe, sinking a little further into his comforting embrace.

Man Hands
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He puts the "screw" in screwball comedy...


At thirty-four, I’m reeling from a divorce. I don’t want to party or try to move on. I just want to stay home and post a new recipe on my blog: Brynn’s Dips and Balls.

But my friends aren’t having it. Get out there again, they say. It will be fun, they say. I’m still taking a hard pass. 

Free designer cocktails, they say. And that’s a game-changer. 

Too bad my ex shows up with his new arm candy. That’s when I lose my mind. But when my besties dare me to leap on the first single man I see, they don't expect me to actually go through with it.


All I need right now is some peace and quiet while my home renovation TV show is on hiatus. But when a curvy woman in a red wrap dress charges me like she’s a gymnast about to mount my high bar, all I can do is brace myself and catch her. What follows is the hottest experience of my adult life. 

I want a repeat, but my flying Cinderella disappears immediately afterward. She doesn’t leave a glass slipper, either—just a pair of panties with chocolate bunnies printed on them. 

But I will find her.
Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont's Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

In 2016, Sarina became a Rita Award winner! The Romance Writers of America honored HIM by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy with Best Contemporary Romance, Mid-Length.

Tanya Eby
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Tanya is a starving artist without the starving part. Maybe, then, she's a snacking artist. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her two kids and tiki-obssessed husband and writes quirky fiction. 

After writing a gripping, dark, gothic novel IN THE GARDEN ROOM, Tanya decided to switch it up. She's hard at work on a romcom, which doesn't feel like work at all.

She likes to keep things interesting. 

She is also an award-winning narrator and audiobook publisher. She has been lucky to narrate some of the best books around...600 and counting! Many of the books she narrates are NY Times bestsellers. 

She loves the challenge of narrating and truly adores words. Reading other writers' work encourages her to keep working on her own.

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