by Elle Casey
Series: Shine Not Burn #1
Published by Brilliance Audio on October 28, 2015
Sub-Genre/Theme: Contemporary, Cowboys, New Adult
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Andie Marks, known as "Party Girl" in her college days, is now a whip-smart lawyer on the fast track to success. Determined to move on from a bad break-up, she joins her girlfriends for a wild bachelorette weekend in Las Vegas, promising to let her hair down just this once.
Vegas is a blur of cocktails and blackjack, and in the middle of it all she meets Mack, a real-life cowboy with a winning hand and an irresistible body. They get lucky in the casino and luckier back at the hotel, a hot night of passion that was definitely not part of Andie's life plan.
By dawn Mack is gone and all she has to remember their one-night romance is a hangover and a pile of casino chips. Or so she thinks....
I loved this book so, so much and I think I might have swooned from it. The love story is seriously sexy and sweet at the same time. I loved the main characters and cheered for them throughout the whole book.
Lawyer Andrea “Andie” Marks has just been dumped via text message. So when she takes a trip to Las Vegas for her best friend’s bachelorette party, she’s determined to forget about her loser ex. Despite the fact that Andie has a strict Life Plan, she figures it’s okay to deviate from it for one night and have a good time.
At the blackjack tables, Andie meets Gavin “Mack” MacKenzie, an honest-to-god cowboy who’s in town for his brother’s bachelor party. Their meeting has an element of slapstick when Andie accidentally trips in her borrowed killer heels and dumps her drink all over Mack. Mack has a good sense of humor about the incident and there are no hard feelings. In fact, he sticks around and the two of them flirt and get to know each other a bit while they share their blackjack winnings.
Andie is charmed by the Oregon cowboy, who is equally taken by the city girl. Their flirtation turns into a hot one night stand, but the next morning Andie can’t remember all the details about the previous night. She remembers the sexy cowboy, the gambling, the drinking, and the sex, but the rest of the night is fuzzy.
Fast forward two years later.
Andie is now engaged to Bradley, someone who looks great on paper except for the fact that he can be a jerk at times and doesn’t excite Andie in any way. He’s a safe bet and fits into her Life Plan, so that’s what counts. Just one problem: when Andie attempts to apply for a marriage license, the clerk informs her that she’s already married–to one Gavin MacKenzie.
After attempting to contact Mack by phone with no success, Andie travels to Oregon to ask him for either an annulment or a divorce. But once Mack sees Andie again, he’s determined to woo his wife into staying married to him. *swoon*
I loved this book so hard. Andie’s a hoot and her banter with her best friends made me laugh so many times. Mack is a dreamboat. Seriously, he is prime book boyfriend material. He’s a typical gentleman cowboy with others but super sweet and sexy with Andie.
Side note: I’ve mentioned in my reviews for this author’s Bourbon Street Boys series that while I’ve loved those books, I wanted the romance to be more prominent (i.e., steamier). That is not an issue in this book! The sex scenes are on fire. Five out of five jalapeños here.
In addition, I really loved the supporting characters in this book, especially Andie’s friends and her assistant, Ruby, who isn’t afraid to give Andie an earful when it’s needed. Mack’s family also plays an important role and I loved how nurturing and supportive his mother is.
There’s some drama toward the end of the book, but nothing that made me want to scream, and it’s resolved fairly easily. The book also gets pretty deep when some secrets are revealed that caused me to like the main characters even more.
In summary, Shine Not Burn gave me all the feels, so I have no hesitation giving it five stars and I highly recommend it. It’s the first book in the MacKenzie family series and I’m excited to read the follow-up book.
Note: I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my review. I’m going through my NetGalley backlog and this book has since been published. My review is for the published version of the book, specifically the audio edition.
Rating: 5 stars