Title: Her Best Worst Mistake
Author: Sarah Mayberry
Published: May 3, 2012 (self-published)
Format: Ebook, purchased
Summary: For six years Violet Sutcliffe has known that Martin St Clair is the wrong man for her best friend. He's stuffy, old before his time, conservative. He drives Violet nuts - and the feeling is entirely mutual. Then, out of nowhere, her friend walks out just weeks before her wedding to Martin, flying to Australia on a mission of self-discovery. Back in London, Violet finds herself feeling sorry for suddenly-single Martin. At least, she tells herself it's pity she feels. Then he comes calling one dark, stormy night and they discover that beneath their mutual dislike there lies a fiery sexual chemistry. It's crazy and all-consuming - and utterly wrong. Because not only are they chalk and cheese, oil and water, but Martin once belonged to her best friend. A friend Violet is terrified of losing. What future can there be for a relationship with so many strikes against it?
My Review: I adore Sarah Mayberry. She is the only category romance author on my auto-read list, and I bought this one the minute I saw it mentioned over at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. Little did I know, that behind that beautiful cover was one of Mayberry's best books yet! I read it, and I came this close to re-reading the day after I finished. I just didn't want to tear myself out of that world. I wound up not re-reading, but the desire didn't go away, and I wrote it off as a need to read a Mayberry book. This hypothesis was disproved by the fact that I just read her upcoming release, Within Reach a couple days ago. Although it was fantastic (watch for a review in the first week of August!), it did not reduce my craving to reread Her Best Worst Mistake. So, I'll be doing that soon. But onto more specifics.
There were so many things to love about Her Best Worst Mistake! The first and foremost reason I couldn't put the book down was the amazing combination of sexual tension and chemistry. I don't even know how to explain it! It was like the combination was a force in itself that bound me to my Nook. The scene where it all culminated and came to a head (the "dark, stormy night" mentioned in the synopsis)? I still think about that scene on a regular basis. And I read this book in May. And unlike many books, the tension didn't peter out after the first time; it kept going strong.
Mayberry is an expert at crafting relationships. I generally associate her with friends-to-lovers, because those are usually my favorites of hers. But Mistake was completely on the other side of the spectrum. Martin and Violet were opposites in so many ways, and they loathed the sight of each other at the beginning of the story. Their relationship and real feelings developed in a completely roundabout way, but they were so authentic. I didn't doubt for a second that they would make it as a couple. They were already accustomed to disagreeing and knew how to deal with it. Through the course of the book, they learned that many of the "reasons" for their previous opinions were not at all accurate, and they had to accept that. Which they did. And they grew individually and together as a result of it.
There were some things that were less than flawless, of course. I felt like there was too much commiserating and fretting and waiting around once it was actually time to make their relationship known. I know that it was obviously a big deal, but it took up quite a lot of time and got repetitive after a while. I would've preferred it if those 20 (or however many) pages would've been used for a little more time in the beginning, so we could see them interacting more when Elizabeth was actually around.
Her Best Worst Mistake is technically a companion to Mayberry's previous Harlequin release, Hot Island Nights. They take place over approximately the same timeline, though, and do not need to be read in order. I've yet to read the first one (although I plan to soon), and Mistake did not suffer at all. If you're looking for a contemporary romance with mind-blowingly good sexual tension, less-than-perfect characters who are willing to grow and learn, and wonderful love story, Her Best Worst Mistake would be a great one to put on your list.
One last note to all my Australian readers. Is "gets on my wick" a common phrase over there? It seems to be the equivalent of "gets on my nerves", but I'd never seen it before, and I thought it was interesting.
This is a conversation that requires alcohol and saturated animal fats, preferably in the form of ice cream.
He felt as though the room had just tilted, as though up had become down, black become white.
And then his mouth was on hers and there was nothing else in the whole wide world except for the warmth and the pressure and the rasp of his tongue and the taste of him and the press of his body against hers and the need surging through her blood like a runaway freight train.
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