Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Review: Laugh by Mary Ann Rivers

Laugh (Burnside #2) by Mary Ann Rivers
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication date: May 6th 2014
My rating:  4 stars
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Mary Ann Rivers continues her Burnside family series—perfect for readers of Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis, and Ruthie Knox—as two people try to share their hearts without losing their cool.

Dr. Sam Burnside is convinced that volunteering at an urban green-space farm in Lakefield, Ohio, is a waste of time—especially with his new health clinic about to open. He only goes to mollify his partner, suspecting she wants him to lighten up. Then Sam catches sight of Nina Paz, a woman who gives off more heat than a scorcher in July. Her easy smile and flirty, sizzling wit has him forgetting his infamous need for control.

Widowed when her husband was killed in Afghanistan, Nina has learned that life exists to take chances. As the daughter of migrant workers turned organic farmers, she’s built an exciting and successful business by valuing new opportunities and working hard to take care of her own. But when Sam pushes for a relationship that goes beyond their hotter-than-fire escapades, Nina ignores her own hard-won wisdom. She isn’t ready for a man who needs saving—even if her heart compels her to take the greatest risk of all: love.

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

My Thoughts:
Laugh was a beautifully written realistic romance with heart.

Nina Paz has built a successful business around farming, but hasn’t had much of a place for love in the last ten years.  She lost her husband in Afghanistan and besides the random and frequent hookups she partook of right after, she hasn’t had a relationship.  Nina doesn’t want or need just the casual, meaningless connection anymore, if and when she’s ready to open her heart up, she want it to be for more.

Sam Burnside loves with a powerful intensity and passion, but his ADHD sometimes makes that love come across as overwhelming.  Unfortunately, Sam’s ADHD scrambles some of his actual thoughts, and he blurts out the most offensive things when he actually means quite the opposite. So while he has one of the truest and giving hearts, he can come off as a jerk unless you know how his mind works.

Sam Burnside had the clearest, sweetest heart of anyone she had known. Even as he fought himself and struggled to understand the people he loved, fought them, he never withheld his love.

When Sam volunteers for Nina’s community co-op, they’re immediately drawn to each other, and they crash into a messy, HOT relationship.  For once, Sam feels he’s found someone who actually gets him and could love him back with the same passion.

I was surprised that Nina was so hesitant, because it seemed like she just got Sam even when others didn’t. The things she relates about her past and some of her reactions were a little puzzling to me, and I had a hard time liking her for the first half.  I get why she was cautious to some degree, but at the same time, it had been ten years since her husband died, and she didn’t want meaningless hookups anymore, so I didn’t really understand why she was pushing Sam away when he made her so happy. Fortunately that didn’t drag on for very long.

My heart split wide open for Sam.  I have to say I really related to some his impulsiveness and intensity and could easily understand his thinking and motivations. I guess I’m a little like him in the way he’s so eager to jump into love.  Not sure what it says about me that I relate so well to someone with ADHD, lol, but there it is. I cringed at his efforts at times, but with his intensions so pure and filled with love I couldn’t help but hope everything would work out for him! He was so insecure with the emotional part of his relationship with Nina, scared that he’d mess something up, but he was completely opposite in the physical department! That man was so direct, confident and just held nothing back! He lit some fires for sure!

Even with my issues with Nina, I really enjoyed this story. The writing is beautiful and sensual, and would probably appeal to fans of Laura Florand or Cara McKenna.

Connect with Mary Ann Rivers:


  1. I've only read The Story Guy by the author and after loving it I am excited to see what this series holds in store for me. I am a little vary about taking this series on though because it seems like it is brimming with heartbreak and at the moment I am not sure I could deal with any more heart-wrenching books. :/

    I am so glad to see you enjoyed though though, Rachel.

    Sam sounds like a wonderful character and someone I'd love to get to know. :)

    Fantastic review, Rachel! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

  2. Yeah, the pushing away when he makes you happy doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I get trying to protect yourself but life's too short to pass up any happiness you can find. (Yes, I'm a little philosophical this morning...)

  3. I'm glad you loved this too! Man oh man, did Sam break by heart. I just wanted to reach in and give him the biggest hug. I love how complex he is, flawed and all, but still so loveable. PJ's story is next (did you hear that he'll be a virgin hero?) and I'm beyond excited. I love Mary Ann Rivers' writing so much.
    Great review!

  4. Well, this is different. I'm curious about Sam's ADHD. And it does sound like it's going to break my heart. But you gave it such a splendid review that I just might want to give it a chance.

  5. So glad you enjoyed this, Rachel! I adored it as well and Sam completely won my heart. I think I connected more to Live on a personal level, but I've loved both these stories so much and I really can't wait to see what else Rivers has in store for these siblings. :)

  6. Aww...Sam. I love that Rogers took a character I didn't really like or understand, and created such an intense, lovable man. And I enjoyed Nina as well! And what about that hilarious first date?! I could totally see myself doing that.
    Great review, Rachel!

  7. Aww, Sam sounds really endearing. I like those kind of people, too, the type who are just so full of love and innocence that you just wish everything goes well for them. They may act impulsive and such, but you know they only have the best intentions in mind.

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

  8. Okay, so "farming" and "your heart split open" and "beautiful and sensual" were appealing to me, but then you said the magic words CARA MCKENNA so I have to check this one out!

    And Raaachel, I was at ALA, too! As you know, I kind of do these things cloak and dagger, but I'd love to meet up with you sometime. (My coblogger Kate is in LA as well, and Tonya is in Orange County.) I'm excited to see your wrap-up post as well--ours goes up tomorrow!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden


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