Monday, 16 September 2013

Review: Elle Casey's "Shine not Burn."

Review: Elle Casey's "Shine not Burn."

Amazon UK:



I can't be held responsible. Things that happen there are supposed to stay there, right? Right? Yeeeah. Not so much. 

Andie's just days away from tying the knot, but there's just ooooone little glitch. Apparently, she's already married. Or someone with her name is married to a guy out in Oregon of all places, and the courthouse won't issue her a marriage license until it's all cleared up. Tripping her way through cow pies and country songs to meet up with a man who gets around places on horseback is her very last idea of how to have a good time, but if she's going to get married, make partner at the firm, and have two point five kids before she's thirty-five, she needs to get to the bottom of this snafu and fix it quick ... before her fiance finds out and everything she's been working toward goes up in flames.


Well I think I just fell in love with a cowboy .... and boy did I fall hard.... OMG Gavin MacKenzie you stole my heart from the minute you popped up in "Shine not Burn" and that alone had me in a reading frenzy. Don't get me wrong, the fact that this book had me howling like a banshee also helped but this man.... he had my heart doing all sorts of weird things  and I just couldn't get enough of him. 

OK, so let's start at the beginning before I spend this whole review talking solely about Mack!!!! I really enjoyed "Shine not Burn." It was light hearted and although it did touch on some serious issues, I didn't find myself going through the whole "heart shattering, angsty, stomach dropping emotions that I have done with recent reads. Don't get me wrong, I do love those elements in a book but this really was a refreshing change. 

From the first few pages, I found myself laughing and as I progressed through the book, the laughing became louder (so much so even my husband was staring at me like I'd gone mad). Andie had a life plan that she had created when she was fifteen and she she stuck to it like glue. The aim was to make partner in the law firm she worked at, get married and have two point five kids by the time she was thirty-five. Everything was on track:

Taking a small break to go to Vegas wouldn't change anything. 
Taking a little trip to my best girlfriends presented zero risk to my lifeplan. 

Well it was on track until Vegas, a lot of alcohol and Mack MacKenzie happened:

I really liked this cowboy. Mack. But I didn’t know a single thing about him other 
than the fact he doesn’t wear underwear and he’s got a big cock-a-doodle doo 
that he definitely knows how to use. Yee haw. 

 Unfortunately, the night was a blur ... one huge blur. Yes Andie had met a sexy cowboy, yes she'd had the best sex ever and yes..... she got married (oops, unfortunately that's when the excess alcohol really took its toll because that's the bit she kinda forgot!!!). Their encounter was hilarious. As I read, I could just see the events unfolding in my head... I swear to god it was like a movie and the laughter just kept coming. Andie was sensible, she was independent, she was strong minded, she was a professional and she was a lawyer. In the court room she took no prisoners but in real life, she was anything but:

I was a bulldog in the courtroom, never letting go until I had wrung every last argument 
out of an issue. But when it came to my personal life, I was a mess. A lamb to every 
man's inner lion. They chewed me up and spit me out., and like a wienie, I just let them. 

The one night stand was so out of character for her but I loved watching her lose her inhibitions . She was a woman set free, albeit for one night and then it was forgotten (as was Mack!!!!). 

Two years on and that wedding came to bite her on the backside. This girl had to get her ass down to Baker City, Oregon and get herself a divorce before the world and his dog found out what she had done. Well, that was going to prove a little more difficult than first expected because Mack MacKenzie didn't do divorce. Ohhhh Mack MacKenzie (big sigh). This man was cowboy through and through and he was hot. Like really hot and all alpha and sexy and dreamy and naughty and.... (OK snap back to reality girl you have a review to write!!!!). 

So anyway, they still had that connection but Andie was fighting it. That internal struggle, that conflict she was having was proving difficult to resolve... Follow her heart or follow her head? 

Life plan or off the rails plan? Lawyer or rancher? City or country? The man I once loathed 
and then came to see a partnership opportunity with or the man I'd never had 
anything but fun with? The known Quantity or the stranger? 

There was such an intensity when these two were close. There was some anger on his part and confusion on hers but put them together in close proximity and holy cow my heart started doing silly things. The bathroom scene... even I had my breath held.... that was smokin!!!! Mack wasn't about to let Andie go. He would put up a fight to keep her. Why you ask?

Why can't you just let me go?" …
"I can't let you go because you're mine."

Uh Huh!!!! You heard the man (fans self!!!). 

Although I got some details of what happened in Vegas, there was so much left unwritten so I had a million and one questions. I read about them having wild "monkey sex" and the next thing, I was reading about her leaving Vegas. What happened in between? Where did the marriage come from? Why hadn't they kept in touch? Why did he just pick up his luggage and leave? What was the significance of the luggage stub???? Too many questions and I was desperate for answers.  Thank god Elle Casey slowly drip fed me all the answers I was looking for. Please don't think for one second though that because of this the story was a little fractured or bitty. Not at all. In fact it was really well written and it flowed perfectly. The missing bits just kept me desperate for more and I knew the answers would come soon enough. I just had to be patient. 

I really enjoyed this book. It was a light hearted, easy read with a fab story line that definitely held me captive and kept me entertained.  This is a standalone so you will get a HEA and for me, theirs was perfect. 
Thank you for such a fab read Elle Casey
I rated "Shine Not Burn" 4 hearts

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