Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Book Tour for Mess Me Up by Lani Lynn Vale (REVIEW)

A man who’s lost far too many things in life find himself running from the HEA that unexpectedly lands in his arms in this sexy series starter full of angst and a bit of suspense.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Mess Me Up by Lani Lynn Vale, along with my impressions of it, then add this first installment in the Bear Bottom Guardians MC series to your bookshelf!

When Rome Pierce moved to Bear Bottom, Texas, it was his intention to lay low. To not be seen. To find a way to heal his body and soul—as well as his son’s.
Nobody would know by looking at him that he used to play professional football. Not with the Bare Bottom MC cut covering his back, and definitely not with his friendly smile completely obliterated.
No longer is there charm in each smooth word that comes out of his mouth. What’s left is an angry, bitter, scared man that’s terrified one day he’s going to wake up and his entire world is going to be gone.
Nobody knows what drove him to leave the game he loved—nobody but her.
She’s the one person that has helped him make it through the dark days and even darker nights. She’s the bright and shining star in his pitch-black sky.
And he doesn’t even know her name.
He should be afraid that she knows things that not anyone—not even his best friend—knows.
Yet, with each encounter, he gives what little bit of his soul remains, and before he knows it only two people on this earth—one dying, and one too afraid to live—make his life worth living.
Until one day he has to choose—the love of his life, or the life he brought into this world.
Two impossible situations. One decision that would change him forever.


RP’s Biggest Fan.
I’m not sure how you became my therapist, or how we even got to the point of being pen pals, but I’ll take what I can get.
I could use a friend.
So, you want to hear about my life? How it’s nowhere near as glamorous as everyone makes it out to be?
Where should I start?
How about the paparazzi. They’re awful. They follow me home. They follow me to work. They follow me to my son’s appointments—though technically, they don’t know he’s my son. Luckily. That was one thing I did manage to do right—keeping him out of the limelight.
Lucky for me, too. Or, at least for him.
And if the paparazzi wasn’t bad enough, my ex was only with me for my money—because she knew that I had it.
If there was one thing I could erase from my life, it would be her.
But, if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have my son…and at this point, he’s the single bright light in the sea of darkness that is my life.
Last week she threatened to sue me because I broke the custody agreement we have for our son. Do you want to know what I did? Nothing. Not one damn thing. I stayed at her house while she went away for the day, and I put a drink on her coffee table.
Let me repeat that…I put a drink on her coffee table.
Ok, so it was a Coke can, and I didn’t use a coaster… but I’d finished the damn thing. It was completely empty, it wasn’t sweating, and it didn’t leave any sort of mark.
But, with the way she reacted, you would’ve thought that I’d carved my initials in the table using a screwdriver or something.
Oh, and let’s not forget what my team manager wants me to do.
He wants me to pose naked except for a strategically positioned football for Sports Illustrated.  When did Sports Illustrated stop focusing on sports in favor of selling what’s sexy?
You told me last week that you weren’t sure that you were going to write anymore. I realize that this back and forth we have going on isn’t normal, but if it doesn’t bother you, it doesn’t bother me.
I hope you write to me soon, RP’s Biggest Fan.



Readers will find themselves blubbering within the first few chapters as this surprisingly emotional tale set on the outskirts of the MC world will captivate you from the first page to the last.  It’s a journey of love and grief that pulls at the heartstrings before rising readers up to immensely happy heights.  Add in a bit of suspense and you’ll find yourself on the edge of your seat throughout each turn of the page before reaching its cheer-worthy conclusion.

Rome Pierce was once a star football player, beloved by women and fans, before the sudden announcement of his retirement allowing him to care for his cancer-ridden son.  It was a lonely time as everyone seemed to turn on him for his choice, everyone except a letter-writing fan who became an unexpected support system to Rome as his son’s condition worsened.  After everyone left him to deal with the situation in his own stoic way, the letters became a life line that gave him unconditional support. With the abandonment of his son’s mother though he realized he couldn’t keep going on his own and allowed the one woman to make his son Matias smile into his life. Through all the highs and lows that followed Isadora became the rock that he needed and it just felt natural that they’d fall in love.  It was a bit of a rocky journey though as his fears had him making a rash decision that was understandable but frustrating nonetheless.  It was ultimately a journey of acceptance and second chances, knowing that to have happiness you have to be willing to love and lose, and it made Rome a better and more loving person because of it.  Growing up he had cold parents, ones who valued him for only his fame.  Only three people have ever really cared for him. One was his friend Tyler who he’s still trying to make amends to after years of lies by his son’s mother pulled them apart.  His grandmother was lost to him too through his assumptions.  His biggest loss though is Matias and it was a gut-wrenching journey to see play out.  It was gritty in its realism with a brave little boy showing more courage than most adults.  He was wise beyond his years and even after his passing he was still expressing his love for his father through the words he left behind. Rome’s grief was palpable, through Matias’s illness and after, his attempts to stay stoic made his rare cries all the more heartbreaking.  He was a delicious hero, and loving father, willing to give up much for those few he loved.  He was supportive of Izzy, never holding her back even in his most protective moments when danger got ever closer to her.  He valued her opinion and really listened when she talked.  All of this combined made him a delightful book boyfriend.  He’s not always perfect but being with Izzy made him a better man that he easily acknowledged.

Isadora Solis is a young woman who’s been put through the wringer, both physically and emotionally, throughout her life.  She’s had crushing loss of love and a bruising of her spirit.  From an abusive and judgmental father who never supported her to an ex-boyfriend who verbally and physically terrorized her and left her bruised and broken, she’s not one who trusts easily now.  When it comes to men she assumes the worst, but when it comes to Rome she saw in him only goodness.  At her lowest points it was his tv interviews that gave her hope that she wouldn’t always be alone. Fan letters and a twist of fate soon puts them together as they deal with his son’s illness and all the pain that comes after.  Being around Rome shows Izzy becoming more empowered.  She at first let her parents control her out of guilt, but standing up to them was her first step in making a life for herself.  She was a bit standoffish early on too, but being around the other members of the Bear Bottom Guardians MC and Rome’s old football teammates brought her out of her shell.  She became more sassy, snarky, and I enjoyed her blossoming strength.  She might’ve also been a bit naive when it came to sex, but her scenes with Rome were genuine and not only made me smile but blush too.  For all she went through in the past she finally felt worthy of standing up for herself and it made her one of my favorite heroines this year.

This book was an emotionally intense read from the very start as it was clear what was on the horizon for Matias.  The scenes involving father and son touched my heart, hinted at the end to come, and led to lots of tears as Ms. Vale depicted their relationship in a realistic and sentimental way.  Rome hit bottom in this story, knew he was in a dark place, and was more than willing to accept Izzy’s help in a friends to lovers romance that built naturally and believably.  Izzy too had her own loss that losing Matias reawakened.  Being together healed them though that healing snuck up on them as they were falling in love.  Though there are lots of heavy issues in this book, there’s plenty of happiness too.  Rome and Izzy’s banter often teems with sensuality and led to scorching encounters that singed my kindle’s pages.  Time spent with other eclectic characters entertained me too, put this new couple in the spotlight where they admitted their deep connection, and has me excited for future installments set in this world.  I’m especially tempted by the MCs mysterious and brooding Bayou and Izzy’s brother Slate who lost his own love and just got out of jail in revenge of her.  The only part of this story that I wish had been handled better was that of the murder of a cleaning client of Izzy’s and the crimes surrounding him and someone else close to her.  This mystery felt like a distraction, came out of nowhere, and left blood in its wake before being quickly resolved.  It felt like too much in a story already jam-packed with emotions.  Despite this unnecessary storyline, this was an engaging series-starter that pulled me in wholeheartedly and that I recommend to all those lovers of romance.  It pulled at my heartstrings while leaving me rooting for the very likable main couple and I’m now excitedly counting down the days until the next book in this series.

My rating for this is an A-

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Lani Lynn Vale is a USA Today Bestselling Author of over thirty titles.  She is married with three children, two dogs, two cats, a donkey, and a couple (a couple also meaning over twenty) chickens. When she’s not writing, you can find her curled up in her favorite chair reading.
Lani is married with three children, and lives in the Great State of Texas.


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