July 8, 2015

REVIEW: Manwhore +1 (Manwhore #2)

Manwhore +1 (Manwhore #2), by Katy Evans
Publish Date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Gallery Books
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Billionaire playboy? Check.
Ruthless businessman? Check.
Absolutely sinful? Check.

Malcolm Saint was an assignment. A story. A beautiful, difficult man I was supposed to uncover for a racy exposé.

I intended to reveal him, his secrets, his lifestyle—not let him reveal me. But my head was overtaken by my heart and suddenly nothing could stop me from falling. I fell for him, and I fell hard.

Malcolm Saint is absolute Sin, and I've become a hopeless Sinner.

Now that the assignment is over, Saint wants something from me--something unexpected--and I want this wicked playboy's heart. But how can I prove to the man who trusts no one that I’m worthy of becoming his plus one?

Character growth is a wonderful thing, don’t you think? It’s one of the most satisfying and fulfilling things about books. I love watching characters start from one point and, through shared experiences and mistakes and successes, end up at a different place at the end of the book. I love reading about their catharsis – the “ah-ha” moment where everything changed for them. The character growth of both Malcolm and Rachel is absolutely my most favorite part of Manwhore +1. Both of them exhibited believable and profound change in themselves, and it was so incredibly satisfying.

At the end of Manwhore, Rachel had seen the error of her ways, but it was too little too late for Malcolm, and he had cut all ties with her until several months later, when he requests a meeting with her. Rachel sees her chance, and despite his obvious reticence to start things up with her again, she’s determined to not let him go this time. Job issues and family issues continue to threaten their path to happiness, though, and since the ground is already rocky, there is a constant question about what the final nail in the coffin will be.

Rachel is my hero. Seriously. I know in my review of Manwhore, I sort of blasted her for her wishy-washiness when it came to choosing between her job and Malcolm. Rachel’s indecision was completely quashed, though, when Malcolm left her in the wake of the revelation of her deception. In that moment, she knew that she would choose Malcolm over her job, but at that point, it didn’t matter anymore. In Manwhore +1, that choice comes up again, and this time Rachel doesn’t hesitate. She wants her man back, and she will do whatever is necessary to make that happen. Even give up her job at the magazine that she protected so valiantly.

My heart broke for this girl. I spent the first 30% of so of Manwhore +1 waffling between hand-wringing and tear-wiping. She was absolutely desperate to get Malcolm back, or at least to get him to hear her apologies. And she was so, so sorry for her part that she played in driving him away. Rachel has no problem accepting responsibility and admitting she was wrong. And, she does so repeatedly. But, she never crosses that line into desperation, which I was so thankful for. Rachel is a strong woman who made a mistake and is now trying to fix it and find her way back to the man she loves.

Malcolm is feeling a bit tortured. He misses Rachel. He understands why she did what she did, but that doesn't make the fact that she played him and hurt him any less impactful. And, yet, he's man enough to admit that his life was better with her in it. Malcolm and Rachel do a dance around each other for awhile while they each piece through their feelings - Rachel through her guilt and Malcolm through his anger.

Where Malcolm might have seemed a bit cold and distant at times in book 1, he is far from that man in book 2. Character growth, I tell ya. He fell in love with Rachel and she hurt him - you can't come away from that the same way you were before. In book 2, Malcolm is softer yet more intense. He's not ever mean to Rachel, but he doesn't make it too easy for her either. And, when Malcolm's father sticks his nose into their business, it gives them both a rally point and a commonality to come together on. And Malcolm's not too proud to admit that he wants Rachel to end up on his side this time.

Manwhore +1 is told entirely from Rachel's POV, and there were many times I found myself really, REALLY wanting to know what was going on in Malcolm's head. This is a sexy, sexy book. I mean - it's Katy Evans. Of course it's sexy. But, Malcolm and Rachel have such amazing chemistry - it made me have a lot of trouble putting this book down. Although Malcolm and Rachel's story comes to a close at the end, I find myself wanting so badly to read more. Luckily, the novella Ms. Manwhore will be out this fall, and then who knows? Perhaps, in the same nature as Katy's Real series, we'll see a few books on the side characters. Here's hoping. Because this book was perfection. Total, mind-blowing, sigh-inducing, Saintly PERFECTION.

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