Ready Or Not by Melissa Brayden is the third, and sadly the last in her successful SoHo Series. We finally get to see Mallory Spencer give away her heart. And as Brayden likes to show us, love can truly make the wrong person be oh so right.
Mallory Spencer is as put together as one can expect. As the face of Soho Savvy it’s important that she’s poised, polished, and ready to tackle her client’s problems. If only she could apply these same characteristics to her love life. Mallory knows that love is out there for her. However, she can’t help but wonder when her happily ever after will materialize. One thing’s for sure. It’s not going to happen with the blue-eyed bartender from Showplace.
Hope Sanders just wants to keep her head down and craft a better life for herself. That means ignoring the groupies that flock to the bar to stare at her all night. But the uptight brunette from SoHo Savvy has snagged Hope’s attention and she can’t help but take on the challenge. Both women have reasons to keep their guards up. It’s irritatingly clear they couldn’t be more wrong for each other…or have more chemistry. Will Mallory and Hope finally get their happily ever after? Or will their differences keep them from taking a chance that is worth much more than either can imagine?
I love when series is able to focus on the different primary characters. This way, you are able to gain a true insight into who they are.
When Brayden introduces us to Mallory in Kiss The Girl, she has the presence of a business oriented ice queen. She’s cool under pressure, composed, and level-headed. We think we know Mallory Spencer. In Ready Or Not, however, we find out she is so much more. She’s a woman who loves her friends unconditionally. She loves to eat chocolate at midnight and brainstorm crazy ideas. Most importantly, she is a woman who longs to have the kind of love her friends have found. But finding that special woman isn’t easy for Mallory. She is the kind of woman who needs someone to challenge her. Luckily, there is a sexy blond bartender who is willing to do just that.
We don’t get much of a feel for Hope in the first two stories, just little breadcrumbs that Brayden is smart to drop for us to follow. When we do finally meet her, she is just as savvy as Mallory. She has wit and charisma, and immediately likeable. She is the perfect opposite to Mallory, which makes her the perfect woman to challenge Mallory in all the right ways.
The Writing Style
Brayden’s writing is always crisp, fresh, and witty. Her characters communicate effectively with each other, thus keeping unnecessary drama to a minimum. It helps Mallory and Hope’s romance to progress positively, never idling and keeping the reader enthralled until the very last word.
I really love that Brayden doesn’t make this a slow burn romance. By laying the groundwork earlier in the series, we’re able to jump right in and experience the development of Mallory and Hope’s relationship from the beginning.
It’s the end of the series!
This is such a great conclusion to such an awesome series. I applaud Brayden for introducing me to these women and continue to have them show up in future stories. I urge everyone, please pick up this series and hang out with these amazing, talented, and charming women. I promise, you’ll wish you could hang out with them yourself.
Excerpt from Ready Or Not by Melissa Brayden
Mallory approached the bar, and despite the growing crowd vying for attention, she didn’t have to wait long for the blond bartender to approach. The woman, Hope something, had worked there about a year now and had every lesbian in a fifteen-block radius crushing on her. It was pretty obnoxious. Then again, maybe that accounted for all the new business.
“What can I get for you?” Hope asked.
“Four cucumber martinis and a side of olives.”
“Coming up.” Hope smiled that easy smile she always seemed to smile, and Mallory nodded back politely instead. Flirtatious bartenders were so not her thing, regardless of how good-looking they might be. The whole concept was cliched at best. Hope returned with a tray of four drinks and slid them expertly in Mallory’s direction.
“Enjoy.” And there was that smile again. Annoying.
“What do I owe you?” she asked.
“On the house.”
This wasn’t the first time either. “I don’t mind paying for the drinks,” Mallory said curtly.
“And I don’t mind letting the house do that.”
Mallory raised a questioning eyebrow. “Won’t you get in trouble with your boss?”
Hope smiled again. “Doubtful. But thank you for looking out for me.”
“Oh, I wouldn’t go that far,” Mallory said sweetly. “But thanks for the drinks.” And with that, she was on her way back to her table.
“She was sooo flirting with you,” Samantha said, reaching for a martini.
“So what else is new?” Brooklyn asked. “I think it’s apparent that our friendly bartender has a thing for Little Miss Mallory.”
Mallory suppressed an eye roll. “She does not. She’s just flirtatious. Bartenders do that sort of thing for tips.”
“Correction,” Hunter said. “She’s flirtatious with you. Have you seen the throngs of hopeful young lesbians lining the bar, making eyes at her? Nothing. She ignores them all.”
Mallory shrugged. “Well, I haven’t done anything to encourage that kind of attention.”
“Except flaunt your ultra hotness in her bar several times a week,” Brooklyn pointed out and sipped her martini. “Someone’s got a crush. And by someone, I mean the woman who makes the best martinis I’ve ever tasted.”
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Soho Loft Series
Ready Or Not
Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781626394438
- Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
- Melissa Brayden Online www.melissabrayden.com
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