Her Kind of Trouble
By Sarah Mayberry
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Vivian Walker and Seth Anderson meet at a dinner the night before the wedding of her older sister Jodie and his older brother Jason. Their attraction is immediate, and, almost as quickly, they discover how much they have in common. They are both young enough to still be in the process of discovering who they are, they both have big dreams (she of see her designs on Paris runways, he of his band, Skunk Punk, making it big), and they are both free spirits who are loved but not understood by their conventional families. When they are warned away from one another, surrendering to temptation become irresistible. They leave the wedding reception to share some champagne, a joint, and incredible sex on the backseat of a limousine. But since they both have big plans for their lives and a romantic entanglement could become awkward because of their family connection, they agree that it just one night to remember.
“Listen, Seth…I had a great time. But just so you know, I’m not really looking for anything. I’ve got a lot going on with my studies, I’ve got a graduate show to prepare for…”She trailed off awkwardly.
He was silent for a long moment, his expression unreadable. “So, what, this was just one night of the best limo-monkey-sex ever, no strings attached?”
She couldn’t tell if he was pissed or not. He didn’t sound pissed, but there was something about the way he was holding himself that made her a little nervous.
“That’s another way of putting it.”
He grinned hugely, his posture and expression relaxing. “I knew you were my kind of girl when I met you, Vivian Walker.”
For ten years they meet only occasionally at family gatherings, enjoying a little light flirting when they see one another but going on with their lives, including romantic relationships. Vivian spends most of that period in the United States, accepting that she’s not going to become an internationally acclaimed fashion designer but finding her niche as a professional stylist. Seth’s band goes the way of most rock bands of limited talent and luck, and he becomes the owner of a successful Melbourne bar, Night Howls. They are both in their thirties when Vivian decides she misses home and family and returns to Melbourne to set up a business with a friend.
Vivian is amazed when she learns that Seth and an ex-girlfriend are about to come parents, and she’s furious when she finds out that Seth has questioned her fitness to become co-guardian to their young nephews if anything should happen to Jodie and Jason. But she proves herself the friend Seth needs when he has to confront an unthinkable tragedy and make life-altering decisions. Soon hearts and libidos are on full alert, but Vivian and Seth have to be honest with themselves and with one another if they are to be more than an unfinished chapter in one another’s lives.
I always approach a Sarah Mayberry book with anticipation and delight, but I admit that after reading the first chapter if this one, I was ready to give it a miss. It was well-written, but it gave me the feeling that I sometimes get when I am a party to my nieces’ TMI conversations or that I used to experience when my composition students wrote in full confessional mode: I don’t need to hear this. However, since Her Kind of Trouble was an ARC for review, I persisted. And I’m happy I did because the book turned out to be the kind of richly nuanced, slowly developing relationship story I love, the kind that has made Mayberry one of my favorite authors.
Vivian and Seth engaged my interest and won my heart. Their HEA left me with a smile and a tear and an unshakable conviction that these two people were perfect for one another. I can see them growing older together, still laughing and learning together. It’s this kind of story with this kind of conclusion that keeps me reading romance fiction. If you enjoy contemporary romance, you can’t do better than a Sarah Mayberry book. I highly recommend Her Kind of Trouble.
Everyone who posted about favorite category authors last week mentioned Sarah Mayberry. She really is an extraordinary writer. Have you read her books? What’s your favorite?