Dear Mr. Brodie,
I hope this email finds you well.
Your well-being and personal growth are of the utmost importance to me, as a therapist.
As such, I have decided it is in your best interest to continue individual therapy with another practitioner.
This is due to the potential for boundaries being crossed between us.
Attached is a list of colleagues I would recommend for you.
Scarlett Shepard, MS, MFT
Consider our sessions terminated. Now I can tell you how beautiful you are and how attracted I am to you.
Let’s start crossing boundaries over dinner tonight.
You’ll say it would be unethical, and I’ll point out that we’ve only had a few sessions.
You’ll cite the age difference, and I’ll tell you how hot it is that you’re six years older than me.
You’ll say you’re a mom, and I’ll remind you that I think your son is awesome. We don’t have to discuss my former attachments to former co-stars ever again.
This is due to the fact that clearly my only personality issue is that I’m irresistible.
Yours in well-being and personal growth, Dylan Brodie, W.M.H.T.A.T.Y.E.H. (Way More Handsome and Talented Actor Than Your Ex-Husband)
|Series:||The Brodie Brothers’ Series (Book 2)|
|Category / Genre(s):||Contemporary|
Older Woman (6 years)
|Point of View:||First Person, Present Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)|
|Location:||New York, USA|
|Release Date:||7th October, 2021|
Hilariously heartwarming romp
I am a huge fan of Kayley Loring’s books and this story just reinforces why – it’s sharp, witty, juvenile, hilarious, sexy, romantic, sarcastic and ultimately heart-warming. And did I mention hilarious?
This is the second book in the Brodie Brothers series – each telling the story of a different brother. This book does stand alone although we do get many cameos from Frankie and Owen from the first book (Funny Business) as well as the rest of the Brodie family which will make you want to read that book if you haven’t already. And you should – it’s awesome, too.
Dylan is the youngest of the Brodie brothers but while he might be the punchline of many a family joke, he still has the cockiness, charm, good looks and assholery synonymous with that family. There’s something about him that’s so endearing. Yes, he’s cocky but he’s very honest with himself and his emotions. And he’s very self-aware. His inner monologue is every one of us but personally, I really identified with his search for his place and proving himself to those he loves. When you add in Mr Noodles (his kitten) then he pretty much becomes a unicorn of men.
Scarlett is equally likeable and the perfect foil for Dylan. She’s a mum, a little older than Dylan (only 6 years) and a therapist. Her inner voice is beyond hilarious and showed that despite all her training, she was as crazy as the rest of us. She’s smart, funny, slightly hectic and not only did I enjoy her but I completely understood and agreed with every decision she made.
As I said, Dylan and Scarlett are perfect for each other and completely balance each other out. When Scarlett is panicking, Dylan is calm. When Dylan doesn’t believe in himself, Scarlett does it for him. They also have chemistry for days – even more pronounced because we have to wait a while for both of them to be on the same page and finally get together. But when they do? Swoon! Hot man waiting in the rain for you. Enough said.
I have to add in my appreciation for the whole cast of characters that make up this story. Owen and Frankie from the first book, Dylan’s parents, older brother Miles whose own storyline is deliciously teased… they are all fantastic. Noah, Scarlett’s son, is on hand for the obligatory Loring fart jokes. But it’s Scarlett’s mum who wins the prize for standout secondary character. She was no-nonsense, caring and terrifying and so funny. I fear that I can now hear her voice in my head as I’m living my life and making bad choices!
Despite loving the characters, their romance and their story, the thing about this book – and all Kayley Loring’s books – that stands out is the writing. It’s fast, fresh, almost frenetic in its pacing and so. Damn. Funny. I laughed out loud – truly guffawed – on more than one occasion. Many, many more than one. The assholery is on point – but so is the love. All the elements combine to make this one of the best stories I’ve read this year. Ms Loring has delivered another hilarious romp and I’d happily recommend this story to anyone wanting to laugh heartily alongside a sightworthy romance. 5 stars.
*I received this book in exchange for my honest review.*
Before writing steamy romantic comedy novels, Kayley Loring got her BFA in creative writing from a Canadian university and had a fifteen-year career as a screenwriter in Los Angeles (under a different name). She mostly wrote PG-13 family comedies that studios would pay her lots of money for and then never make into movies. In 2017 she decided to move to the Pacific Northwest and write about all the fun stuff that she wasn’t allowed to write about in those PG-13 scripts. Now she’s breathing cleaner air and writing dirtier words. It’s an adjustment that she’s happily getting used to.
We’re just standing here in the middle of the patio staring into each other’s eyes. And he’s still holding my hand. And I don’t want him to let go of it. He’s not rescuing me from a mediocre guy I don’t want to talk to anymore. He’s rescuing me from my frozen heart. And I’m not ready to defrost yet.
“Do you believe in fate?” he asks, totally unironically.
“Because. Things happen, and we either attribute meaning to them or we don’t.”
“Well, I’m attributing a lot of meaning to our both being here at the same time.” He guides me over to a bench near the patio bar. He takes a seat and gently pulls me down to join him, leaning in as though he has something urgent to tell me. “I hope that guy told you how beautiful you look tonight.”
“He didn’t, actually.”
“Well, he’s an adult who wears cargo shorts in the middle of autumn, so that doesn’t surprise me.”
“I still can’t believe you’re here.”
“I can’t believe you’re here. I was about to leave.”
“Let’s leave together, then.”
“I can’t leave with you.” I realize I’ve been slowly leaning in toward him, so I lean back, into a shrub.
“Then let’s stay here and hang out together.”
“I can’t just hang out with you, Dylan?” Shit that wasn’t supposed to be a question.
“That sounded like a question, so my answer is: Yes. You can.”
“I really can’t. But it’s very nice to see you. I hope you’re happy, and I hope you’re having a good night.”
“I am now.”
I try to stand up, but I have to sit down again, for margarita reasons and because Dylan’s hand is on my arm. Gentle but firm. Eager without seeming desperate. So very twenty-seven.
“I can’t just sit here and talk to you on a bench at a bar on a Friday night.”
He appears to be way too amused by those words that just came out of my mouth. “Why not? You talked to that idiot dude, and you didn’t even want to. You talked to Mia. She told me you were gracious when she ran into you. We’re both your clients, and I know you want to talk to me, so why can’t you talk to me here?”
“Because Mia has never asked me out.”
“Well, she talks about how beautiful you are all the time, apparently.”
“She’s just being sweet.”
He grins, a not-at-all-sweet grin, while stroking the top of my hand with his thumb. “So am I, Scarlett. So am I.”
How is this stroking the top of my hand with his thumb thing causing the glands in my vagina to produce so much lubricating fluid all of a sudden? Maybe if I concentrate hard enough I can convince the blood vessels in my clitoris and vulva to stop dilating… Nope. My nipples are basically murder weapons right now. I’m about two thumb strokes away from an involuntary moan.
This is just embarrassing.
This is wrong.
I need to say words. Out loud. Words that convey my intention to reinforce the therapist-client boundary we established in our sessions. Words that mean the opposite of please put your mouth on my mouth and all of the other parts of my body, which is what my face seems to be saying, because it’s getting closer and closer to his face again.