Year of the Category Review: Amorous Liaisons by Sarah Mayberry

Max Laurent has always wanted Maddy Green. But he let her go once before rather than stand between her and her dreams. Now she's on his Paris doorstep, needing a place to stay. She's just as hot and he wants her just as much. How can he resist seducing her?

When Maddy's world falls apart, it's only natural that she turns to Max for support. But fall into his bed? Never…until one steamy night, that is. And having had a taste of him, she's hungry for more. Then she has the chance to resume her career, although it means leaving him. Can she throw away the best sex—and the best friend—she's ever had?

Maddy is a prima ballerina. She has worked her way to the top and is on a road that she loves when a knee injury and the resulting surgery slow her down. Now the dance company's doctor says that she's done dancing and the owner of the company agrees and let's her go. Maddy is extremely upset and is anxious to seek out one of her friends who can make her feel better. When she thinks of that person she thinks of ex-dancer Max who was always able to make her feel better. She hasn't seen him in 8 years but what does that matter? She hops a plane from Sydney, Australia straight to Paris, France and hardly stops to pack a bag. When she knocks on Max's door he's more than a little shocked.

Max was also on his way to a fabulous dance career himself when he gave it all up to take care of his father who was ill. His father recently died and now he's following another of his dreams - of being a sculptor. Way back when (10 years before) Max had been madly in love with Maddy. The pain of leaving her and getting over his feelings were horrible. Now Maddy's on his doorstep and he's realizing that he never really stopped loving Maddy, he just pushed his feelings down into himself where they didn't hurt so much.

Maddy is not dealing with not being a ballerina so well. She's having problems with her emotions which was completely understandable. She didn't know what to do with herself or her life. She talks Max into letting her model for his sculptures when his regular model cancels even though she has to model in the nude. Max tries his best to act comfortable and not attack Maddy while she's modeling but barely restrains himself. After the first session Max has to hit a cold shower immediately only that doesn't do the trick. Maddy catches him in the shower jacking off and is suddenly seeing Max more in the "hot man" light rather than the "friend" light. Sexual relationship ensues.

I have to say that I really liked Max in this book. He was an upstanding guy who did what he needed to do when his father took ill. It wasn't what he planned to do with his life but he did it and did it well and with love. Even with his sister, who has a child with Autism, he is there for her when she needs him. He's very patient with Maddy. He more or less knows what she's going through since he had to give up dance so many years before and tries to be there for her without coddling her.

Maddy took some getting used to. She was very wrapped up in herself but I tried to see things from her point of view. She had lost the biggest thing in her life and didn't know how to go on. But it seemed that she was set to go in one direction and then she'd change her mind and go another. After a bit I was rolling my eyes at her. I couldn't quite say that I enjoyed her character until near the very end of the book.

The story I wasn't too much of a fan of. As much as I liked Max it was 2 adults who had no clue how to communicate with each other unless it was as friends or having sex. When it came to a loving relationship I'm not sure they knew what to say to each other. They couldn't speak their feelings but yet at one point one couldn't understand why the other didn't know how they felt. It's that whole, woman expects man to just know how she's feeling. And yeah, as far as I know, that never really works out. Some men just have to be told. It was frustrating to read for me.

This was my first Mayberry book and though I wasn't completely thrilled with the story itself I really enjoyed Mayberry's writing. It was easy to read and I never felt like I wanted to put the book down or just move on to the next chapter.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


nath said...

LOL, it sounds to me really realistic. I can't help but think a prima ballerina would be very self-absorbed. Risk of the career :)

Great review Tracy :D I think that Ames has just read this and she loved it. So it's good to see someone else's POV :)

Lori said...

Mayberry is a good author. I haven't read this one yet...

Tracy said...

Nath - yeah, with the whole ballerina thing I expected her to be self-centered but after a while I needed her to get over herself. lol
This was sent to me by Renee and I think she liked it more than I did so maybe it was just me. :)

Lori - I'll definitely be trying more of her books.

orannia said...

I really must try a Sarah Mayberry....and I do love the dance angle... *makes note of title*

Thank you Tracy :)

Cecile said...

Very good review Tracy! I liked that you were honest with your thoughts. Which means a lot to me.

I love how you had eye roll moments, and Nath kinda said it... "sounds to me really realistic." I know we want to be swept away with our romance... but it is true to our nature that we expect a man to know what we are thinking. That is what we would love more than anything else in the world... but they are not all there in the mind when it comes to things like that, lol!!! But I did like the story's foundation.
Will have to look into this author. She is new to me, so thanks for the introduction.
I hope you had a great day and have a wonderful tomorrow!

Hilcia said...

Thanks for the review, Tracy. Loved your POV on this one. I like the premise and will try it. :)

Tracy said...

Enjoy Orannia. Hey - did you get my last email?

Cecile - isn't it true? We want the men to know how we feel and unless they are completely in tune with us they can't so it. Even those that ARE in tune aren't psychic! That's what we have mouths for: communication. :)

You're welcome Hilcia!

Leslie said...

Great review Tracy. :) I think this is one Mayberry I'll pass on. I'm not crazy about the diva ballerina.

lurvalamode said...

Aww, I'm sorry you were thrilled with the story, Tracy. I'm bouncing in my seat though because I read a Mayberry this month too! My third! And loooooved it. Will post review on Monday.

I'm kind of at that point where if it's a Mayberry I'm going to try it. I've liked all three that I've read so far. It sounds like a good story. Hmmm. I probably won't be able to resist.

Tracy said...

Leslie - I didn't like the diva ballerina either so I understand. :)

Kmont - Like I said - I liked the hero Max a lot and he made up for a lot on the book. I did end up liking the heroine - just not til near the end. I won't give up on Mayberry though - not after your glowing reviews! ;)