Friday, April 8

Review: And One Last Thing... by Molly Harper

And One Last Thing... by Molly Harper
published by Simon & Schuster in July 2010
"If Singletree’s only florist didn’t deliver her posies half-drunk, I might still be married to that floor-licking, scum-sucking, receptionist-nailing hack-accountant, Mike Terwilliger."

Lacey Terwilliger’s shock and humiliation over her husband’s philandering prompt her to add some bonus material to Mike’s company newsletter: stunning Technicolor descriptions of the special brand of "administrative support" his receptionist gives him. The detailed mass e-mail to Mike’s family, friends, and clients blows up in her face, and before one can say "instant urban legend," Lacey has become the pariah of her small Kentucky town, a media punch line, and the defendant in Mike’s defamation lawsuit.

Her seemingly perfect life up in flames, Lacey retreats to her family’s lakeside cabin, only to encounter an aggravating neighbor named Monroe. A hunky crime novelist with a low tolerance for drama, Monroe is not thrilled about a newly divorced woman moving in next door. But with time, beer, and a screen door to the nose, a cautious friendship develops into something infinitely more satisfying.

Lacey has to make a decision about her long-term living arrangements, though. Should she take a job writing caustic divorce newsletters for paying clients, or move on with her own life, pursuing more literary aspirations? Can she find happiness with a man who tells her what he thinks and not what she wants to hear? And will she ever be able to resist saying one... last... thing?
Genre: Contemporary romance/Chick-lit
Series: none

The Story: The blurb did a great job at summarizing the story. Basically, due to a wrong flower delivery, Lacey finds out that her husband has been cheating on her with his secretary. After she finds out, she realizes there's been little hints that she's missed over time. In a moment of anger, Lacey sends out the company's newsletter with details of Mike's affair to family, friends and clients... Let's just say, not Lacey's best idea. Quickly, everyone is aware of the affair - even the media, and it sends Lacey into hiding. She chooses to go to the lake cabin to lick her wounds... where she meets Monroe, a crime novelist. All Monroe wants is peace and absolutely no drama, but he suddenly finds himself spending a lot of time with Lacey.

Nath: I discovered Ms Harper last year, thanks to Isabel who reviewed the Jane Jameson books :) I really enjoyed her writing style and when I found out that she had a contemporary book coming out, I simply had to get it!! Also, the premise sounded so funny LOL.

What about you, Ames?

Ames: I decided to read this book because of positive reviews I’ve seen around blogland. It finally came in through the library and I decided to jump right in. But right away, I got a little bit scared. I thought Lacey was going to be like Sarah, from Leah Stewart’s Husband and Wife. She was passive and I felt like she needed a man to define her. I am SO GLAD that Lacey is nothing like that other frustrating character. She stuck up for herself and she really had spunk.

Nath: I knew you were going to like Lacey, Ames. Passive, Lacey? No way!! LOL, you cannot tell someone is passive after she sent the news of her husband infidelity in the company newsletter!! Personally, I thought it served him right.

Ames: Exactly! I love that Lacey did what any woman who’s been cheated on would wish they could do - let it all out there for everyone to see what a scumbag he really is! This was total fantasy and we know if someone in this day and age did that, they would be sued faster than they could log off their computer after sending something like that. LOL Yes, Lacey is threatened by her ex and his mistress but Lacey sticks to her guns and gets that jerk to back off. hahaha I liked that. But what makes that fantasy for me is I’m not quite sure someone would get off so easily in real life. Still fun to read about though. And that kind of sets the tone for the rest of Lacey’s journey. She’s kept it under wraps for a while (during the length of her marriage) but Lacey is a bit of an oddball.

Nath: Lacey is definitively gutsy and yes, this is what every woman who's been cheated on dreams to do... but if it was in real life, I would really wonder - was that really the way to go? I guess this is why it is fiction, right? :) Also, while Lacey did get off easily in the end, she still had to face the consequences of her action. Plus, she did get sued for defamation. However, I still wonder how it can be defamation if it’s true?

Ames: Well her ex threatens to sue. They don’t take it that far though. They do take it far enough to introduce an interesting character, her lawyer.

Nath: I've just re-read some parts and the ex was going to file charges... It's just that in the end, they settled. I really liked Lacey's lawyer, Samantha. She was a great gal and very honest and there for Lacey. Actually, Lacey was really lucky in her support as she had her mother and brother, Emmett, standing behind her. Also, I think a lot of women treated Lacey as their role model... but then, that doesn't matter much in your personal life when you're going through such a difficult path ^_^;

By the way, I really liked Emmett. He was just a darling!!

Ames: Yes, the secondary characters were really well written. Brother, lawyer, her mom (I thought her mom’s inability to keep quiet was funny). I loved her brother though. And her working in his store was cute.

Nath: LOL, her mom's inability to keep quiet just made it more real :) I thought it was nice to see Lacey and Emmett have such a close sibling relationship - brother and sister aren't usually as close, perhaps because while they love each other, they don't exactly get each other. However, it wasn't the case between Lacey and Emmett and I'm glad she went to work for him.

LOL, we talked about Lacey and the secondary characters, but what about the hero? What did you think of Monroe, Ames?

Ames: I LOVED Monroe. I like how he started off crotchety and not wanting to be bothered, thinking he was hot shit, and then when Lacey ignored him it drove him a bit crazy with wanting her. I also like how it was him who was wanting to take things to the next level between them. She was gun-shy and he wanted more. I like when the tables are turned that way.

Nath: I agree with you, I really enjoyed Monroe’s character. He was a great hero, but then again, I have a soft spot for grouchy heroes :P LOL at his inflated ego, but you know, he is a catch :) I really liked that he encouraged Lacey to write, I thought that was really sweet of him.

Don’t you think it’s unfortunate that it’s always one that wants more and the other is gun-shy? Sigh. I understand Lacey’s reasons though, but still... I wished it was a different conflict for this romance.

Ames: Well if both characters wanted to get together, there wouldn’t be much of a story. There needs to be some conflict. I don’t want easy-peasy stories. And it wouldn’t make sense in this case if Lacey was eager to jump into a relationship right away. She did get started with Monroe thinking he would be a rebound thing and then was rightfully wary when it looked like it was headed towards seriousville. That’s believable, imo.

Nath: True, it was believable, especially since the whole thing had just happened. It’s not that I want their relationship to be easy-peasy, but I want something different and refreshing ^_^; As in something else except for fear of commitment to be the conflict. Plus, I thought there was enough in the book going on that we didn't really need that much conflict between the H/H... In the end though, you’re quite right, it was believable and very realistic. Ironically, I like that the ending was so open. You know that the HEA ending is there, but it’s not sealed yet... because it fits the characters and the writing style.

Ames: I like how he urged Lacey to write too. What I also really enjoyed was the dynamic between Lacey and Monroe. Their relaxed afternoons together, respecting each other’s space, that scene when he comes over when it’s raining. And I had a real good laugh out loud moment when his family came to visit.
“Oh, my God, you're that crazy e-mail chick!" Andy exclaimed.

I froze, with an expression akin to Bambi caught in the headlights.

"Andrew, the family policy is that we don't call people crazy until we've known them at least twenty-four hours," Janice said sternly.
LMAO This kind of humor is what gets to me and And One Last Thing... had lots of LOL moments.

Nath: Oh definitively a lot of LOL moments and that’s why I was so looking forward to reading this, because it’s integral to Ms Harper’s writing style :)

I think it was nice to see Lacey and Monroe’s relationship progressing. It was very mature, very respectful - the kind of relationship that you imagine yourself getting into and lead to HEA.

Ames: I haven’t read Molly’s writing, being burnt out on paranormals, but I think I’d be willing to give them a try if this book was indicative of her humour. I love her humour. :)

And yes, Lacey and Munroe’s relationship was mature and respectful. I like when adults who are in a relationship COMMUNICATE with each other.

Nath: You should really give the Jane Jameson series a try, Ames :) Feels like I've been recommending it a lot lately, but truly, they're just fun books :)

Anyway, the one thing I didn’t get was why her ex, Mike, asked her back. I mean, it’s clear that he doesn’t want her in that sense. So why? Just because she’s practical and knows where things are?!? Also, if you’re to ask your ex back and you’re at fault, groveling will go a LOOOONG way. Jeez, Mike was doing nothing to make Lacey better, as if taking her was doing her a favor. She was really better without him!

Ames: UGH What a piece of work. Part of that though, is Lacey’s fault. She gave into every one of his whims and wishes. So he didn’t really get to know the real Lacey, the one who stood up for herself. And Lacey needed to see that she was wanted by the man who cheated on her. She made his life comfortable and that’s why he wanted her back.

Nath: Nod nod. It all goes back to communication and obviously, that where it went wrong between Lacey and Mike. You're right that she gave in to every one of his whims and in the process, lost herself. I think that's the danger of marriage, falling into a routine and just not talking out the problems.

I liked that Lacey found herself at the end and the growth her character went through. I really like the ending when she goes talk to Mike :) I think Ms Harper did a great job with that scene, considering how the whole fiasco started :)

Overall, I think And One Last Thing... hit all the right spot for me :) Breezy and fun with likable characters and a nice romance. I admit I would have liked a bit more closure at the end, but it was nonetheless a very satisfying read for me :) B+ for me :)

Ames: I’m giving this one a B+ as well. Great humour and I really liked the relationship between Lacey and Monroe. Since I got my copy from the library I’m going to be looking to have my own copy. :)


Tabitha said...

I also love grouchy heroes! And even more so when the hero realize first that he wants more than the heroine is willing or ready to give.

I've been wanting to give Molly Harper a try and since I'm in the mood for some contemporary and humor, I am going to pick up this book. ;) Great review, ladies! B+ from both of you is a pretty good grading, especially since Nath is a hard grader too. Lol.

Patti (Book Addict) said...

This was a fun review. And One Last Thing... was one of my favorite reads last year, I have loved all her books I've read so far.

~ames~ said...

Tabitha-Oh I think you'll really like this one. The humour is great and consistent and Monroe is such a yummy hero. :P I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Patti-I've got how to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf and the first vampire book of hers. Even though I'm kind of over paranormals, I want to read more by her so I'm going to give them a shot!

nath said...

Tabitha - I hope you enjoy it, Tabs :) I love grumpy heroes, because once they love you, it's even sweeter :) Seriously, you're as hard a grader than me!

Patti - She does have a very enjoyable writing style ;)

Isabel said...

I've been trying to get my hands on this book for a while but i can never find it at the store. i may have to order it online cause I really want to read this.

Leslie said...

Wonderful review ladies! It sounds like such a fun book! I was going to start with her Jane Jameson series but I think I'll start with this one instead. :)

nath said...

Isabel - I think you will really enjoy this one, Izzy... and yes, you might have to order it online. I think that limited actual bookstore got a copy of this book. I remember when I requested it at the bookstore, James told me that it was special order and that I'd be better off ordering it online. Perhaps it's the same in your area.

Leslie - Thanks Les :) I think it would give you a good idea of what to expect from the Jane Jameson series. By the way, do you read Kristan Higgins?