Anna Campbell

November 2015


There Will be Trouble Ahead!

ss 1I’ve had a major reading craze during this last month. I love it when that happens!

I’ve long been aware of the Blake Brothers series of contemporary romances by award-winning author Susan Sey (who happens to be an ex-Romance Bandit, I have no idea why it took me so long to read these books!). But a month ago, there was a special on the first book in the series, Taste of Trouble, so I bought it. Then a good couple of weeks after that, I started to read it – and I was completely hooked. Three full-length novels and a novella later, I’m a raving fan! Seriously, buy the first book – and I bet you’re there buying the next ones before you can say Jack Robinson!

Soccer star James Blake (who bears a passing resemblance to David Beckham, I’m just sayin’) is magic on the field and a curse off it. When his hellraising gains him a suspension, he’s assigned a very pretty watchdog in cooking maven Belinda West. Belinda has spent her life trying to become the new TV lifestyle guru, but when her groom jilts her on camera during her no expense spared TV wedding, the only way she can get back into her boss’s good graces is keeping James out of trouble. As you can imagine, neither James nor Bel is particularly happy about the new arrangement. It’s hatred at first sight — especially as James contributed to the chaos on the stymied wedding day. But of course, it’s also instant attraction. Watching these two apparent opposites maneuver toward true love is some of the best fun I’ve had reading in years. I laughed out loud — and then suddenly there’s steamy heat and then deep emotion. Susan Sey is a VERY clever writer – her range reminds me a little of one of my writing goddesses Susan Elizabeth Phillips. A major compliment in my book.

ss 2James lives with his two brothers and has used the fortune he’s made in sport to set his small family up in luxury. Since his 18th birthday and the death of their parents, he’s been responsible for bringing both Will and Drew up. As you can imagine, this has caused a lot of family tension. Will, the second brother, is the troubled child of the trio. A genius IQ, poor impulse control, not to mention his jealousy of his older brother, an emotion that leaves him bitterly ashamed – which only makes him behave worse. Oh, I do love a damaged hero on a redemption arc, and that’s just what we get in book 2 of the series, Talent for Trouble. Will has been eating his heart out over mysterious Audrey Bing, although being Will, he shows this by destroying her life. Audrey knows Will is trouble (he definitely has a talent for trouble!) and that she ought to hate him, but she can’t seem to get him out of her mind. The maneuvering between this couple has fangs! The story goes in really unexpected directions too, with ghosts and mediums and the introduction of the third brother’s heroine, Meghan Wise. Oh, and of course various dysfunctional families. Susan Sey does those brilliantly! This was actually my favorite of the series – I found Will just so fascinating and Audrey gives him a run for his money.

Book 3, Time for Trouble, is a friends into lovers story featuring Drew Blake and his best friend Meghan Wise. Except we know these two have been in love for years even if they aren’t ready to man up and face the fact. Drew is the brother who has always been sunny side up – but of course, there’s more to him than meets the eye, even for someone who knows him as well as Meghan does. When an old, presumed dead friend of Drew’s turns up out of the blue and gets them involved in some very shady espionage, everything is going to get much more tangled before it goes straight. There’s some Mission: Impossible-style shenanigans and a dash of suspense and lots of humor (these two are really funny together) before Drew and Meg get their happy ending – and it’s lovely seeing all the characters from the earlier books coming together to help them escape the trap closing around them.

ss 4There’s also a great novella called Touch of Trouble, which gives us a glimpse of Drew and Meg early in their relationship. Well worth checking out!

Why did I love these books so much? I could give you a hundred reasons. No, don’t worry, I won’t. But here are a few. The snarky humor. The references to things I really like like Monty Python sketches. The really hot first kisses. The even hotter love scenes. The flawed, fascinating, lovable characters. The way the worst person in the world ends up being the only person each hero and heroine could end up with. The clever plotting. The beautiful writing. The deep emotion. The profound understanding of family dynamics where love and hate can exist so close together, and yet love always wins out.

Basically, these books are a fantastic read and you’d be troubled in the head if you miss out on them!