You Give Love a Bad Name
“Nothing but love, 24/7” is the slogan of Mirabelle Harbor’s only radio station, 102.5 “LOVE” FM. On the verge of turning thirty-five, local DJ Blake Michaelsen is well-known for several reasons: his very sexy on-air voice, his omnipresent family, his eligible bachelor status, and his reputation as one of the most impulsive men in Chicago’s northern suburbs.
High-school French teacher and lifelong romantic Vicky Bernier is not at all wild about people who exhibit reckless conduct. (Blake.) Or men who have gigantic egos. (Blake.) Or grownups who still act like teenagers. (Blake, again.) She deals with enough adolescent behavior during the school day. Unfortunately, she’s the staff advisor to the Homecoming Committee, and they’ve chosen him as their DJ for the big fall dance.
What happens when a man whose job it is to play love songs for a living is forced to admit his deepest secret—that he doesn’t believe in true love—only to discover that the one woman who might capture his heart is the same woman who distrusts him the most?
No matter what you call it, with love there’s an exception to every rule. YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME, a Mirabelle Harbor story.
This, the third in the Mirabelle Harbor Series is just as endearing as the two previous stories. Even though each of the stories can be read in total enjoyment without having read the other books in the series, the characters of each of the novels seem to spill over the covers and into the flow of each other’s storylines, like a tight knit community.
The tone of YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME seemed to be a little lighter at the outset than the two previous installments. Reading the story had me shaking my head over the mis-match of a wild “playboy” disk-jockey from the local 102.5 “LOVE” FM radio station mixing it up with a very conservative, intelligent, bookish, French high school teacher. The sparks were flying from the first meeting. It wasn’t the kind of sparks that spelled attraction, either. It was more “mama bear protecting the cubs from the wolf at the door” sparks.
I found myself laughing quite often at the banter between Vicky and Blake, as they found themselves constantly at the same places, but of course Mirabelle Harbor is a small hamlet. The only thing that they seemed to find common ground on was Blake’s dog. A near tragedy turned the tables on the sparks, as they both focused on the care of the dog, and ultimately turned to each other. But alas, Blake continues to play the “bad boy”, much to Vicky’s not-so-happy chagrin, when it comes to the planning for the homecoming dance with the Student Homecoming Planning Committee.
As with all of Marilyn’s novels, we can’t get away with light and fluffy. There is always hidden depth to her stories. Just like in real life, there are reasons why people insist on continually acting out, misbehaving. This time, I just missed all the clues. So this time around, I found myself just a little ticked at the behavior of the hero. Come on man, grow up!!! You are in your thirties. But then, good lands, there are people in real life, just like that. Writing a character like this into the protagonist character of the book was a chance, but it worked!!! It worked well enough to catch me off guard and give me pause when the answers finally started revealing themselves. It just made me love the heroine all the more. Vicky was just who Blake needed. On the other hand, Blake was just who Vicky needed.
Marilyn, even after writing for this many years, continues to polish her craft. She continues to entertain her readers with new and fresh material that keeps us laughing and crying. I love that I can pick up a novel written by her in any of several genre and know that it will be well written. It does not matter if it is a light comedic novel, a hard hitting women’s fiction, a mystery action-packed thriller, or a historical fiction. She nails them all. She did it again with the writing of YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME. Once again she has managed to rate a 5 STAR rating from this reviewer. Way to Go!!!! Don’t miss this novel, or the whole series. They are a true delight for the reader’s palette.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Marilyn is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirteen novels, two novellas, and one essay collection to date. In the genre of women’s fiction, she’s written ACCORDING TO JANE (2009), FRIDAY MORNINGS AT NINE (2010), and A SUMMER IN EUROPE (2011), all from Kensington Books. She’s also a #1 Kindle and #1 Nook bestseller and has written a series of fun and flirty contemporary romantic comedies, available as digital-first originals. Two of these, ON ANY GIVEN SUNDAE and PRIDE, PREJUDICE AND THE PERFECT MATCH, have hit both Barnes & Noble’s and Amazon’s Top 100 Bestseller Lists. DOUBLE DIPPING was an International Digital Awards Finalist for “Best Contemporary Romance” and HOLIDAY MAN was a RONE Award Contestant. Her coming-of-age romantic mystery, THE ROAD TO YOU, was a Top 100 B&N Bestseller, as well as one of The Reading Frenzy’s picks for The Best Novels of 2013. She contributed the novella ALL ABOUT US to the new-adult romance anthology ALL I EVER WANTED (January 2014). She’s also released a sequel to ‘Perfect Match’ (PRIDE, PREJUDICE AND THE PERFECT BET, July 2014), an expanded, book-club version of ‘Road to You’ (THE ROAD AND BEYOND, September 2014), and an essay collection on motherhood called WANDERLUST IN SUBURBIA (May 2015). Her latest contemporary romances are the first few books in her new “Mirabelle Harbor” series. TAKE A CHANCE ON ME, THE ONE THAT I WANT, and YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME are out now. The novella GOING FOR IT and the novel STRANGER ON THE SHORE will be coming in spring 2016. Look for the audiobooks of several of her novels from Post Hypnotic Press, too!