Friday, February 1, 2013

Unwrapping: Review of TOGETHER AGAIN, a Second Chances novel by Peggy Bird

When Peggy Bird asked me to read and review her third book in the Second Chances series, I remembered how much I enjoyed book 2, LOVING AGAIN, and so jumped at the chance. TOGETHER AGAIN did not disappoint, in fact, this is my favorite - Tony is ... well, you've to meet this guy to understand. He's definitely swoon-worthy.

***eARC provided by author in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.


Deputy DA Margo Keyes is looking forward to this trip with as much enthusiasm as she’d have for a root canal. There’s the Philly summer heat, the high school reunion she’d rather avoid, and the speech she’d be giving as a last-minute stand-in for her boss. Mostly there’s facing high school crush Tony Alessandro. When she’d last seen the Philly cop, he’d danced her out of his sister’s wedding reception to a dark room where he’d kissed her senseless. If his nephew hadn’t interrupted they’d have…well, who knows?

Tony had disappeared on some family errand. She went home to Portland, Oregon the next day. She hadn’t heard from him since.

However, her homecoming turns out better than expected. The reunion and the speech work out. Even better, when she and Tony pick up where they left off in that dark room, the only heat that’s unbearable is what they generate in bed.

Margo returns to Portland wondering if she and Tony have started something she might not be ready for, relieved she’s put a whole continent between them to give her breathing room to sort it. Then his work with a federal task force investigating industrial espionage brings him to Portland. And an accidental swap of messenger bags on her flight home puts her in the middle of the investigation.

Tony wants her out of the way of the bad guys and focused on him. She wants to use a secret from her past to wrap up the case. And maybe avoid having to think about what’s happening between them.

They can’t both win. Or can they?

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Margo Keyes is not thrilled about her earlier than usual visit to Philadelphia. It isn't that she doesn't love her mother, or even the city she grew up in - it's because there are too many bad memories associated with Philly and she hates being reminded of them. She has no choice since she must now give a speech her boss was supposed to give with some police detective at a conference. Hoping to avoid too many folks from her past, she decides to stay in a hotel rather than with her mom. Her main reason being that she doesn't want to risk running into an old friend with whom she shared a passionate encounter in a dark room at his sister's wedding reception only to have it interrupted by his nephew and have him never return. She hasn't heard from him since. Margo has a lot surprises waiting for her in Philly and surprisingly, they're nearly all good - perhaps better than good - amazing.

Tony Alessandro has had it bad for his childhood friend and former neighbor for longer than he wishes to admit. He has arranged, with the help of Margo's mother, to get her to attend their high school reunion with the plan of being her date. His real hope is to take up where he was forced to leave off that night at his sister's reception months earlier. Trying to get a woman's attention with a continent between you is difficult enough - leave her hanging after a passion-filled encounter makes it nearly impossible. He also discovers that he's partnered with Margo for the speech to be given at the conference. He couldn't have planned it better had he tried. They would be working together all week.  

Everything comes together for Tony. Margo is having a much better week than planned and even decides to stay the full time rather than skittering back home to Portland early. The only fly in the ointment - Tony's desire to make more of this than a passionate visit. Margo fears that once reality sets in that Tony will scurry away like every other man does once they find who her father is and what he did. Her past could cause Tony problems with his career and Margo doesn't want anything to do with hurting this man who has captured her heart. Hoping to let things cool once she's returned to Portland, fate has other plans. Upon returning home, Margo discovers she's become embroiled in something sinister and the bodies are beginning to pile up in her wake. Already involved in the case, Tony comes to Portland while following the trail - the trail that leads right to Margo's front door.

Once I started reading TOGETHER AGAIN by Peggy Bird, I couldn't put it down. I had it read in so short a time that I felt guilty at not reviewing it as soon as I finished but there wasn't a slot open to do so. This fabulous, spicy, suspenseful, contemporary features a hero that will make your knees weak, your heart flutter, and have you wishing you could smack Margo right upside the head for turning this loving, honest, sexy man away. From the moment this man first appears on the street outside her mother's house, you know he's a keeper. He goes the extra mile to make Margo feel special, safe, and supported in her career, her life choices, and emotional fears, right up to the make you smile ending. If only a man like Tony were real.

Peggy has created a series that carries characters from one to the next so you never really leave them behind. I read something she wrote about TOGETHER AGAIN - she said, "I got to thinking about stories I'd heard from women friends who'd gone to a reunion and seen an old boyfriend. I started making up stories about what could happen when you saw someone you'd once loved or had a crush on. When Tony and Margo appeared in those stories, I started to write about them. It didn't work. The first, second, third tries--I'm embarrassed to say how many drafts I went through, actually--were not good. I finally put it away and moved on to Sam and Amanda (LOVING AGAIN) and a novella--Liz and Collins story, (BEGINNING AGAIN)."

Well, Peggy - you finally got it right! You got it very right!

I highly recommend TOGETHER AGAIN, book 3 in the Second Chances series by Peggy Bird, if you love fabulous romance,  a sexy man who could make any woman feel special, and an exciting plot that keeps you so engaged you don't want to put this book down for any reason. If you haven't read the rest of the series, I recommend them as well. Great characters, tension-filled suspense, spicy romance and wonderful happy second chance endings. 

Happy Reading Everyone!

TOGETHER AGAIN, a Second Chances novel by Peggy Bird, Crimson Romance, available now in ebook formats.



Jaye Shields said...

What a fantabulous review!

Amy Valentini said...

Thanks! It's easy to write a review for a really good book! ; )