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Review – Making the Grade (Wicked Warrens #4) by Marie Harte

Making the Grade cover image

Publisher: Samhain
Publish Date: Out now
How I got this book: ARC from the publisher

Sometimes the best way to get over the past is to repeat it.
Brian Goode is in a tough spot. With all his friends getting married, and his sister in a relationship with not one, but two men, the love bug is hovering around his heart, ready to bite. Trouble is, he’s tired of playing a field full of gold-digging women.

Then there’s Faith Sumner. She’s gorgeous, genuine, and turns him on without even trying. Time to suck it up, ask her out, and pray their blazing attraction won’t dissolve into another lukewarm disaster.

Faith is finished dating wealthy men. No longer willing to let anyone make her feel inferior for her humble roots, she’s finally making good choices. Except this “Goode” choice turns out to be exactly the kind of man she’s sworn off.

Though she’s content to keep their one-night stand to a single amazing, unforgettable mistake, Brian’s persistent wooing—and convincing groveling—begin to turn her head. Until Faith’s ugly past comes calling, redoubling Brian’s determination to show her she’s worthy of loving, and being loved…
This blurb came from the author’s website.

I enjoyed the three previous titles in this series revolving around the slightly unusual Warren family. They combined humor, love, and the type of embarrassment that only comes with tight family bonds to make me look forward to each succeeding installment. As a result I was very intrigued when I saw the fourth installment was coming out and even more curious when I couldn’t spot the connection to the Warrens just from the blurb.

I think Brian was my favorite character in this story. He started off so sweet, then turned into a bit of an ass for an understandable reason. But when he discovered Faith had accidentally hit one of his buttons due to the interference of her friends I thought he certainly made up for his behavior in spades. I am rather picky when it comes to the quantity and quality of groveling when needed and I think Brian did a wonderful job of satisfying that requirement. He took the time to plan and give Faith what she wanted while not shying away from her past. In fact he seemed almost more tolerant than Faith during certain occasions.

Even though Brian was my favorite, I also liked Faith. She was trying to change her life by making good for her choices when it came to men. Based on that, I could completely understand how she was able to get under Brian’s skin without even trying and then demand that he grovel sufficiently before she gave him another chance. I let out a little cheer when she took the chance to ask for what she wanted sexually and to enjoy it when given the opportunity. I did get a bit perturbed when she took her frustrations out on Brian after he was exposed to her past because instead of dumping Faith, he remained nice and loyal. I understood she was upset about the situation but I think she made it into a no-win for Brian.

Brian and Faith certainly had chemistry which came out in a few unexpected situations but I loved how they were able to let go and trust each other as their relationship developed. Granted, I thought a certain coincidence was a bit much but it did display that Brian had good taste in friends. I enjoyed Faith’s friends as well and everything they did to try to help her with her new life direction. I think Brian and Faith together still have some emotional work to do but I certainly have hopes they will end up in a HEA.

Harte provided an overall entertaining read that touched on some serious topics. I enjoyed seeing the stars of previous installments but missed the interaction with the Warren Matriarch. I thought her involvement with her children was something I looked forward to in each installment. And I wished she could have provided a counterpoint to Faith’s mother. I did enjoy seeing how friendships were exhibited through caring and well-meaning interference because it made some of the situations a bit more plausible. I also have high hopes for a certain friend to get his HEA in the next installment.

I give Making the Grade a B

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By E_booklover

E is addicted to books. She discovered at an early age that not only were they her transport to far off worlds, adventures, and exotic cultures, but that she ran into far fewer objects if she walked while reading then if she wasn't reading. She reads across several genres, such as: romance, western,mystery, SF/F and its derivatives. She isn't too picky except for good characterization, settings she can imagine, and a story that flows logically... umm so ok -- she wants a good story. Have any to recommend?

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