Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Review & Giveaway ~ BETTER AS A MEMORY by Marilyn Baxter


Atlanta image consultant Victoria Sharpe is about to give a makeover to the man who broke her heart in college, and a
do-over to a love that always should have been.


Looking at her potential client, Atlanta image consultant Victoria Sharpe is convinced the job will be a cross between What Not to Wear and Man vs. Wild. She’d love to turn down the offer, but refusing it—not to mention the referrals it could generate—just might break the bank. Yet, agreeing to make over this man’s image might also break her heart. Again.

Max Brown will tolerate anything to gain access to his trust fund. Returning to work in the family business, even submitting to his mother’s demands to trade his comfortable flannel for Armani is worthwhile if he can get the money necessary to start a camp for at-risk boys. But then he sees he’ll be working with Victoria Sharpe, his college girlfriend, the one who got away. Or, really, the one he left. The impression he makes here will be the most important of his life, and the person most as risk is himself.

     Victoria Sharpe is an image consultant whose business needs help.  When she is offered the chance to work for a big company, she knows this is the breakthrough her company needs.  However, she is not sure she can handle working with her ex Max after he left her high and dry.  He not only left her, he wrote her a Dear Jane letter instead of telling her in person.  But Victoria knows that she has to take the job and just put her feelings for Max aside.
     When Max realizes that his mother hired his ex Victoria to be his image consultant, he couldn’t believe his luck.  He has tried to forget about her for years, but she was always in the back of his mind.  When he sees her for the first time after all those years, he is not prepared for all the feelings that come to the surface.  Apparently he is not as over her as he thought. 
     As the two start their business relationship, personal feelings start to come to the surface.  Victoria knows that she never got over him and the heartbreak she suffered after he left.  She just isn’t sure she can put herself out there again and risk getting heart.  Max can’t believe Victoria still has a pull on him after all these years.  He is determined to have her while he is still in town if for nothing else than to quench is thirst for her.
     When it comes to light that Max is only planning on staying a short time and then leaving again, Victoria is devastated.  She knows that she has to be strong as she didn’t expect them to really have a relationship anyway.  Max is not sure how to come to terms with his feelings for Victoria.  He is not sure he can handle them and once again leaves.  Will they be able to overcome their past?  Will Max finally wake up and realize that Victoria loves him for who he is and not who he could be?  Will Victoria finally reveal the secret she has kept hidden so long?  In order to find out, you will need to read the book.
     I enjoyed this short book, but really I wished there would have been more to it.  I guess that is the price you want to keep reading a story.  I book had moments that were both funny and heartbreaking.  I enjoyed watching the push and pull between the characters and watching them grow into better people.  I enjoyed the ending and was happy with how it ended.  It is a quick, sweet read that shows true love never dies.

The persistent knocking at her front door roused Victoria from a dream where she and Max lived in a log cabin deep in the Rockies with their child—a toddler with eyes as blue as the mountain sky and brown hair that curled at his nape just like his daddy’s. The dream was a recent and recurring one, and she always woke from it a little sad. In her dream they were a family—together and happy. The location puzzled her because even though Max had invited her into his world for that one day of hiking, she knew she’d never be invited in completely. She had wondered, though, what she would have done if Max had extended that invitation. Cold and snow and isolation were out of her comfort zone.

She pulled on her robe, grabbed her phone in case she needed to call 911 and padded barefoot toward the front door, wishing she had insisted Nick install a peephole so she could see the late-night visitor. She moved to the window and nudged the curtain aside in the hope she could see a car parked below and determine her visitor’s identity.

Only one person in her circle of friends drove a black SUV, but what was he doing here? He was supposed to be in Colorado making his dream come true.

The knocking intensified. “Victoria, open the door,” Max yelled.

She opened the door a few inches and glared at the subject of her dream. Dark stubble covered the lower half of his face and his clothes looked as if he’d slept in them. It had taken him only two days to undo weeks of image coaching. Yet she had to admit he wore grungy well. Way too damned well for her erratic hormones.

“You’re usually not asleep so early on a Saturday night.” He propped one hand against the door frame.

I’m usually not pregnant and bone tired.

Victoria crossed her arms in a defensive pose, the pressure aggravating her already tender breasts. “You’re not supposed to be here. Did you forget the way to Colorado and lose your razor in the process?”

“Can I at least come inside to have this discussion?”

She swung the door open wide and waved him in. He strode to the sofa and sank onto it. His gaze swept her from head to toe. “Nice outfit,” he said with a cheeky grin. “I didn’t know you had a thing for Superman.”
Victoria pulled her robe around her and tied the sash tightly around the loose lounge pants and oversized red and blue t-shirt.

“Every woman has a thing for a man who stands up for truth and justice and comes to her rescue.”

He nodded thoughtfully. “I guess that’s why you don’t have a shirt with my picture on it.”



In 2001, Marilyn discovered Romance novels quite by accident, which led to a renewed interest in writing. She started out by writing fanfiction about Clark Kent, Lois Lane and Superman, which developed into a desire to write about her own characters. She’s had over forty short stories published in the confessions and Romance magazines.
Also, she has taught a class in how to effectively write for this genre and worked as a researcher and copy editor for several Romance authors. All this combined to give her a great love of the Romance genre and helped develop a multitude of friendships in the Romance community.
She’s a member of Romance Writers ofAmerica, as well as her local chapter, Heart of Dixie. In addition to reading, Marilyn loves to knit (as long as it’s only a scarf), cook (in the crockpot), garden (in a couple of pots on her patio), and her motto is “Have passport, will travel.” She’d love to add to the list of 32 states and 21 foreign countries she’s already visited.
After raising two great sons, she loves to spoil... er... dote on her two granddaughters.

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