REVIEW by Chelsey: Tug of Love by Glynnis Rogero (@GlynnisRogero , @CNicholsBooks

I’m madder than a baby gator being swung by it’s tail! My best friend, Lucy, just told me I need to see a shrink because I have trust issues with men.

Really!? Me, Jamie Fulton, crazy? No way. Unless you call it crazy to have trusted my schizo father and my diabolical ex-boyfriend with my heart. Even after three years, I feel like an idiot every time I recall how I was one of those women in love who trusted blindly, when there were signs that something was wonky about him all along.

NOW I’M OUT OF TRUST AND OFF MEN.

In Lucy’s defense, maybe I am a bit heartless where men are concerned. You see, I’m a divorce attorney who only accepts female clients.

My reasons for the ‘females only’ rule is two-fold:

First, is my desire to see these women get what they deserve – a return of their dignity. Even though most of them readily admit their lives aren’t a romantic love story any longer, they are still surprised when their husband asks for a divorce. Of course, sometimes it’s the woman who initiates the divorce, but I always assume she has a good reason. Although, there is the occasional gold-digger that slithers under my door.

My second reason, is that I derive almost as much pleasure out of seeing them squirm as their wives do. Maybe more. The husband’s attorney (the males at least) call me ‘The Barracuda’. Do I care? About as much as the size of a no-see-um.

So…Lucy already had some heavy ammunition, even before I met a gorgeous man named Mick a few weeks ago in a most, let’s just say, unusual way. I reject all of his attempts to befriend me, in the days and weeks following our meeting. Lucy hears about Mick and tries to play matchmaker, but I’m having none of it.

Then Lucy tells me I need to “see someone” about my trust issues with men.

To reiterate – NOT GONNA HAPPEN! I barely restrain myself from throwing a great big ole’ hissy fit right here in the parking lot of my office building. I hold it together only because a hissy fit wouldn’t reflect well on my practice.

Undeterred, Lucy calls me out using dirty, underhanded tactics. She takes my shoulders, looks directly into my eyes and says sweetly, “Don’t you want your very own romantic love story, Jamie? Then the kicker, “Don’t you want babies?”

Okay, okay already, I’ll go see a shrink! But, there’s no way a shrink is going to fix my issues, they’re too ingrained in my personality. Besides, I told her, I’m perfectly willing to forego romance and go to the “bank”. She had the nerve to laugh in my face!

Of course, I couldn’t stay mad at Lucy for long.

Every year, she and I take a mini-vacation for our birthdays. We decide to go to a Fort Myers Beach Hotel for mine. I’m enjoying the sun, the serenity, the frozen daiquiris and my newly acquired beach read – a romantic comedy. Lucy asks me if it’s one of those historical, or contemporary love stories? I lie and tell her it’s a contemporary drama that just happens to include a bit of a romance.

She almost gets away with her ‘mmhum’ along with a knowing look over the top of her sunglasses that says I’m a sucker for romance. I stick my tongue out at her. Hey, I might be off men but women’s fiction often includes a romantic love story, so sue me.

Later in the day we kayak to a secluded island where we run into Mick. Really! He has me spitting fire one minute and humiliated to the point of wanting to bury myself head first in the sand the next. Hell, who needs a book; my life’s a contemporary drama!

Then Lucy does something that sends me into a tailspin. Will Lucy ever be able to forgive me for what comes next? Will I ever be able to trust men? The jury’s still out.

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Tug of Love, by Glynnis Rogero is a romantic comedy that revolves around the life of a divorce lawyer named Jamie, who only works with women. Having been spurned (badly) herself, she takes no small amount of joy in bringing wayward men to their knees—in the courtroom. Enter Mick; tall, dark, and handsome, Mick is exactly what Jamie has convinced herself that she doesn’t need—heartache wrapped up in a handsome package. But when Mick starts dating her best friend, Lucy, will Jamie be able to deny the feelings that are so present within her? Or will she ruin the relationship she has with her best friend in order to win the man she loves?

Much of Tug of Love centers around the fact that Jamie has sworn off men, and is therefore rather upset when she finds herself falling in love for the handsome Mick. In an effort to keep her heart safe, she grudgingly allows Lucy to start dating Mick, but quickly realizes that she’d rather see Lucy with someone else—anyone else—and goes to great lengths to set up her best friend with a bevy of available suitors. Though these anecdotes were humorous, they did drag on a little and took time away from what the reader actually wants—which is interactions between Jamie and Mick.

Jamie has had a difficult life, so her mistrust of men is understandable; her abusive father kicked her and her mother out when Jamie was young, and her former fiancé publically humiliated her. Lucy, her best friend, on the other hand, is in and out of love so often it’s sometimes hard for Jamie to keep up with who she’s dating now. I have to say, I really enjoyed the relationship between Lucy and Jamie. Both of these women were really fun and fleshed out—and had a great dynamic that was both touching and believable. Watching these two women try to take care of each other—and help the other grow—was really nice to see, especially considering it’s not necessarily a man that comes in and saves the day here; Lucy and Jamie are able to take care of each other, which was very refreshing to see.

I would definitely say that this book leans a little more towards the “comedy” aspect of the romantic comedy genre. To develop the romance in the novel, I would have liked to have seen more interaction between Mick and Jamie. I found it a little hard to believe that she’d fall so madly in love with someone without really having to interact with them very much. A little more balance between romantic comedy and just pure romance would have been welcome—and made for a more convincing read as a whole. I also found Jamie’s past interactions a little overwhelming at times. Though it was often important, the past ended up being the focal point for much of the novel when it would have been better to have more interaction between Mick and Jamie, instead of Jamie remembering her past.

Tug of Love is a little bit Stephanie Plum, a little bit Emma (though probably leaning towards a more Clueless take on that tale), and a little bit courtroom drama, a whole lot of humor. If you’re looking for a non-traditional happily ever after, with some spunky female characters in a gorgeous setting, then this is your book.

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR COPY OF TUG OF LOVE TODAY!

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