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Friday, May 9, 2014

Giveaway + Review: The Bottom Line by Sandy James

Title: The Bottom Line
Author: Sandy James
Release Date: May 6th, 2014
Format: Ebook
Source: Publisher
Buy: Amazon, BN, iTunes
Connect: Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Website

When life gets tough and love is hard to find, four friends take their troubles to lunch. Surviving a failed marriage and an illness that almost takes her life, high school teacher Mallory Hamilton needs the Ladies Who Lunch more than ever . . .

After a year of upheaval, Mallory has had her fill of change—with one exception. Her house is a disaster, and she wants it fixed. Hiring a contractor to finish the projects her ex-husband started will help her banish the past so she can return to the life she had before everything went awry. But her contractor is sexy, sweet, and single, which threatens the peaceful, solitary life Mallory has planned for herself.

Ben Carpenter has had a hard time raising his daughter without his ex-wife’s help. His new client’s projects will give him the extra income he needs, not to mention afternoons alone with a gorgeous woman. Though their attraction is undeniable, Ben sees the fear and pain hiding in Mallory’s beautiful eyes. But how can he help her if she won’t let him in? Ben can fix just about anything—but can he fix Mallory’s broken heart?

“How old are you, Mallory?”
“You really aren’t afraid to ask questions, are you?” Trying to lighten the somber mood that always accompanied a discussion of her disease, she grinned. “How old do I look?”
Was he growling? Good Lord, that’s all she needed: a guy with a bad temper and no sense of humor. “Do we really have to talk about this?” she asked.
The waiter interrupted, bringing them their entrees and grating more cheese on her fettuccine and Ben’s spaghetti Bolognese. She’d had no idea what “Bolognese” was when he’d ordered it, but from the looks of the food, it was a lot like regular meat sauce.
“Is there anything else I can get for you?” the waiter asked Ben.
“Mal?” Ben asked. “Need anything?”
“No, thanks.” She twirled her fork around, gathering the fettuccine into a small ball. “This looks wonderful. Nothing like fresh pasta. The box stuff always comes out kinda clumpy when I make it.”
“You need to add some olive oil to the water and wait to drop the pasta in until the water is already boiling. I always make my own pasta instead of using the crap they put in boxes.”
“You really do know how to cook! Most guys can only do one dish. Figured chili was yours.”
“You doubted me?”
She put her fork down against the side of her plate. “Look, Ben… I’m not sure exactly what I believe about you.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“We’ve known each other a couple of months, but we don’t really know each other.”
“That’s why we’re on another date. To talk. To see if we click. After those kisses—”
So that was the catalyst, the kisses they’d shared. The ones she’d let get entirely out of hand.
Why were all men so preoccupied with sex?
Her heart sank at the thought that he’d only asked her out to get in her in bed. “I’m not having sex with you.” The words came out much louder than she’d intended, and a few heads turned their way. “Sorry. I just… If the only reason you asked me out again is because of kissing—”
“Hotter-than-hell kissing,” Ben corrected. “But that’s not why we’re here. You’d recognize that if you’d drop your firewalls long enough to—”
“Firewalls? What firewalls?”
He leaned back in his chair and simply stared at her for a moment. “You’ve been through hell this year, haven’t you? Maybe I’m expecting too much too soon.”
That made absolutely no sense to Mallory. “What exactly were you expecting, Ben?”
“A chance.”
“A chance to do what?”
“Make you love me.”

Mallory Hamilton, is a teacher that is a breast cancer survivor. Her ex-husband ditched her as soon as he heard she had cancer, so she's not really in the market for a relationship. Trying to move on with her life and get rid of bad memories of a failed marriage; Mallory decides to hire a carpenter to make the house her own. I admired Mallory's character, she faced having cancer and a scumbag ex-husband that ditched her as soon as times got tough. The Bottom Line is based after the fact, so I was glad to see that she didn't sit and pout about it, she decided to make her life her own and change things to what she wanted.

Ben Carpenter, is a single Dad that is a carpenter. Yes, he's a carpenter and his last name is Carpenter. He doesn't find that humorous, but I do. He takes Mallory as a client and manages to not only repair her house, but also her heart. Though there are a few bumps along the way. Ben is a really straight forward guy, he has no issue saying what he feels and his daughter is the same way. He was a good fit for Mallory, she needed someone like that since her ex-husband left her not only doubting men, but also herself.

The Bottom Line is an emotional read that tugs at the heartstrings. I connected with Mallory, and was glad to see that the Ladies that Lunch, several of her co-workers, all had her back through her journey. I've enjoyed all of the books I've read by Sandy James and The Bottom Line is no exception, so I highly recommend her work. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series, Signed, Sealed, Delivered is out on July 1st, 2014!

About the Author:
Sandy James lives in a quiet suburb of Indianapolis with her husband. She's a high school social studies teacher who especially loves psychology and United States history. Since she and her husband own a small stable of harness racehorses, they often spend time together at the two Indiana racetracks.

Forever Yours is giving away (1) digital copy of The Bottom Line by Sandy James to one of my followers. The giveaway is International, and will start on 05/09/14 and end on 05/23/14. I will notify the winner via email, and the email address supplied via the rafflecopter will be given to the publisher so the prize can be given.

Enter using the rafflecopter below, good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Forever Yours also has another giveaway that is tourwide.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I would have found is name fun as well lol, perfect for him. The main character sounds really strong. It's nice to have a person like that and the romance sounds sweet too. Thanks for the review.

  2. I can get into stories like this but only in small doses, I lose my shit when I read too much sappy LOL

  3. thanks for the the sound of this book!

  4. It sounds good Lily, and I certainly admire the heroine for being careful and not jumping into things.

  5. lols...okay his last name reflects his job. I think that funny ;) Great review!

  6. LOL for that name!! That's really good one. I haven't heard of this one but it sounds really interesting. I love the sound of the romance. Great post! :)

  7. Have you read the Safe Havens series by Sandy James? I have recently finished Saving Grace and Runaway is on my reader. They are western historicals, and I really enjoyed the first one. The Bottom Line has guaranteed spot on my TBR list. :)

  8. Thanks for the beautiful review!! You (and Judith!) have been so very wonderful to me!

  9. Oh I so have a thing for single parents. I totally would snicker over the Carpenter bit too. lol Thanks for the heads up :) I'd not seen this one yet and so one I'm gonna need

  10. Great excerpt and review! I love a good, emotion-tugging contemporary that can also make me laugh (and a carpenter named Carpenter definitely makes me laugh--it's like In Plain Sight's marshal named Marshall ;) ).

    Jessica @ Rabid Reads

  11. oh this sounds so good, wow thank you for sharing the excerpt! now I am even more curious!