29 June 2014

So Much More Tour Stop!

Avery Moore writes about romance, but she sure as hell doesn’t live it. Blake Patterson has no trouble getting women, in fact as the owner of a popular club, women are practically throwing themselves at him.

They couldn’t be further from each other’s type, but when a solid friendship is formed, little by little the lines become blurred.

In this struggle between friendship and love, the desire between them becomes too much to resist.

What happens when your friend suddenly becomes So Much More?

I love friends to more romances!  It’s just one of those plots that could happen, and that for me makes it all the sweeter.
Avery is a romance writer; Blake is a fun-loving playboy.  Avery writes about men and women, but has a very uneventful love life.  Blake, on the other hand, has a very active “social” life.  When he and Avery meet at the gym, he just wants to help her.  So, as their friendship progresses, he continues to help her in ways that he thinks she needs and deserves.  He takes it a step too far, however, and really infuriates Avery.  Faced with this situation, he is forced to look at his feelings for Avery.  Is it more than friendship?  Could it be (gasp!) love?
I loved the dual POV of this book!  It was needed, in my opinion, to really give the full scope of the characters and story, and it was done well.  The characters in this story are also great.  I thought Avery was spunky and wonderful; her voice was so much fun to read.  I have found that when the heroine in a romance novel is a romance novelist, they are some of the funniest and most fun characters…coincidence?  I think not! Blake is one of those playboys with a heart of gold.  Once he finds a woman he can respect and learn, he’s wonderful.
One of my favorite parts of books like this is the buildup.  I love the slow burn, the friends to more dynamic, and this author pulled it off spectacularly.  This was a short and fun read that I was engrossed and entertained by.  4.5 stars!

Oh my goodness, how have I not heard of Taryn Plendl before now? So Much More is so much more than its blurb suggests. I was expecting an angsty read full of drama as two people fought their attraction to one another before finally giving in. What I got was a book that kept me chuckling from beginning to end as Avery and Blake formed a solid friendship that progressed into more, unexpectedly.

I was just a few pages in to the book when I knew without a doubt that I absolutely loved Avery’s character. She tells her friend “Do you remember when I asked for your opinion? Yeah, me neither, bitch.” I couldn’t help myself, I burst out laughing. Avery’s wit and sarcasm had me laughing throughout the entire book and Blake’s sense of humor is a good match for Avery’s. They find themselves thrown together as their friends Morgan and Sean get to know one another. It was rather amusing when they discussed their absolute lack of attraction for one another and moved into being friends as they enjoyed one another’s company. They develop a strong friendship, calling one another to talk about their current love interest and just hanging out. It was refreshing that there was no unrequited love or jealousy of the other’s partner as they truly were just friends. Of course, there is the requisite drama, a tiny bit of angst, and a couple of sex scenes – the one between Avery and Jim is rather disappointing … for Avery, not the reader – as they finally admit to themselves that there may be something more than just friendship there after all.

If you’re looking for a fun and entertaining read, So Much More definitely gives you that and then some. Ms. Plendl has definitely created a thoroughly enjoyable romantic comedy that kept me engaged the entire time. Her characters are great and her use of sarcasm is impressive as it doesn’t always translate well on paper, but she definitely pulls it off. This is a definite re-read for me. I am looking forward to the next book in the Chrome series and can only hope that she infuses the same level of humor in it as she did with So Much More
Morgan pulled me toward the bar where she ordered us a couple of drinks before leading us to one of the booths. As soon as we sat down, Morgan waved at a guy dressed in a pair of black jeans and a gray button-down shirt. He was very nice looking and smiled as he politely excused himself from the person he was talking to before heading our way.
“Hey, I’m glad you made it.” The guy leaned down and kissed Morgan on the cheek and slid into the booth next to her. “Hi, I’m Sean Benson.” He held his hand out to me.
“Avery Moore.” I shook his hand. “Nice place you have here,” I said, motioning around us.
Sean leaned back and smiled at me. “Thanks. We like it.”
“We?” I asked, raising my eyebrows.
“My friend, Blake, and I own Chrome,” he explained. “Speaking of Blake, here he comes.”
I turned just in time to see a familiar face and groaned. “Blake, this is Morgan and Avery.” Blake nodded at Morgan, then held out his hand to me. “Nice to see you again, Avery. My friends call me Blake, but you can call me ‘Hero’.” He grinned, and I was tempted to slap that cocky smirk off his face.
“Don’t hold your breath,” I scoffed, rolling my eyes. What were the odds of running into this gym egomaniac again? Especially outside of the gym. Good Lord, luck was not on my side.
I glared at Morgan when she started to giggle. “What did I miss?” Sean looked confused as he looked between all of us.
“Well, your friend saved my girl’s ass today at the gym,” Morgan explained, completely ignoring the dirty looks I was throwing in her direction.
“This was your damsel in distress?” Sean asked Blake, chuckling. Great, it was obvious that Blake had told his buddy about my altercation with the machine. I bet they had a huge laugh about it.
“I was not a damsel in distress. I would have gotten the weight off eventually.” I refused to look at either Morgan or Blake as I spoke. “I just knew your boy here wouldn’t leave me alone until he flexed his muscles and strutted around like a male peacock.” Taking a drink from my glass, I continued. “Basically, I did him a favor, if you really think about it. I helped him impress the sports bra bimbos. I took one for the team, more like a wing-man.” I nodded, pleased with my explanation. I was pretty sure they all bought it … well, until they all busted out laughing at the same time. It had sounded good anyway.
“Avery, you crack me up. Move over.” Blake shoved in next to me. Apparently my evil looks had no effect on this man either. I was going to need to practice in the mirror at home. When he pushed my legs to scoot me over, I squeaked. Even the smallest tap hurt my sore muscles more than I thought possible.
“Are you okay?” Blake looked genuinely concerned for just a minute.
“No. Thanks to my best friend over there, I can barely move anything below the waist. I’m pretty sure I should be in some sort of body cast and not in these frickin’ boots in a bar, even if it is a nice one like this.” I groaned, trying to scoot over to give Blake some more room.
“When was the last time you worked out?” Sean asked, eyeing me suspiciously.
“You mean on purpose?” I asked. Sean laughed and nodded.
I sat back and thought for a minute. “I’m pretty sure that was my senior year gym class—about seven years ago.” I nodded.
“Shit, and you started her with Mitzi’s class?” Blake asked Morgan, exchanging looks with Sean and laughing loudly.
Morgan waved her hand. “She did fine. She was pedaling faster than anyone in the class.”
“That’s because I thought someone was chasing me, the way that spawn of Satan was screaming at me.” Morgan rolled her eyes as the guys laughed.
“She is tough, I’ll give you that,” Blake confirmed. At least we agreed on this much.
Sean stood up. “We better go help Tony. He looks like he’s busting his ass.” He motioned to the tall man covered in tattoos behind the bar. Sean ran his hand over Morgan’s shoulder as he turned to leave.
Blake nodded and stood. “You ladies enjoy yourselves. Let us know if you need anything.”
We watched the guys walk away, and Morgan turned and smiled. “What a coincidence. I had no idea Sean was friends with the guy who pried you out from under the leg press.” She winked, dodging the piece of ice I tossed at her.
“Should we go dance?” Morgan looked out at the full dance floor, bouncing in her seat. Normally I would be jumping at the chance to let loose. I loved dancing, but I couldn’t imagine doing so with the way my body was protesting while sitting.
“Have you even been listening to anything I’ve said? Does it not occur to you that if I can’t walk without looking like I have something shoved up my ass, I just might not be able to handle the dance floor?” I tried to look pissed, but the truth was that it really was funny. Of course I wasn’t about to admit that to Morgan, or she would have me at the gym again in the morning.
“Oh please … it might actually improve your dancing.” This time my ice hit its mark. 
Taryn discovered her love for books at an early age, spending many hours lost in someone else's story.
It wasn't until well into adult hood that she discovered, late at night while the house was quiet, that she had just as many stories inside her just waiting to be let out. Writing has been a way for her to step away from reality and live a bit through her fun and sometimes damaged characters. You will almost always find a Happy Ever After at the end of her stories. She can't help it, it's an addiction.
She's a Southwestern girl living a Mid-Atlantic life with her husband of seventeen years and two incredible daughters who inspire her daily. She is proud to be an advocate for her child with autism, and feels incredibly blessed to be able to see the world through her eyes. Her daughters teach her more than she could ever teach them.
She enjoys reading, writing and spending time with her family, but cherishes those quiet nights after everyone is asleep when she can curl up on the couch with her sixteen year old dog. (Shh, don't tell...He's not supposed to be on the couch.)

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